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How is architecture different from infrastructure?

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An issue that Chris Lockhart bring up in this much discussed post, Architecture is Not: Infrastructure, How is architecture different from infrastructure?

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  • Infrastructure supports architecture, just as foundations support buildings. I create an infrastructure of servers and associated networks in order to apply a system architecture to best solve some business problem.

    But then I can't say I've ever seen anyone worried about this differentiation before!

  • Agree with Paul, above. Infrastructure is the assets -- people, hardware, systems, networks -- deployed to support a business. Architecture is concerned with the design of how these assets work together.

  • I like to think that you can't really see architecture, only an interpretation or implementation of it. Infrastructure is the implementation, whether it follows the architecture or not. In fact, many infrastructures have no architecture at all.

  • At the risk of being boring, Chris is spot-on. Specifically if we mean architecture to be Enterprise Architecture then infrastructure is 1/4th of the TOGAFian model. A single view of the architecture is insufficient. A single type of view is equally insufficient. EAs will probably emphasize certain types of views based on their backgrounds. But Chris says it well when he starts talking about business objectives, mission, etc.

    Of course, we could get philosophical and start talking about architecture a la Vitruvius but I need to get back to work :)

  • Of course infrastructure needs to be architected!

    The concept of architecture Views is well established. The idea is that each View has defined stakeholders and defines a multi-dimensional architecture. At CBDI we use for following Views:
    - Business
    - Specification
    - Implementation
    - Technology
    - Deployment
    In context with the question, infrastructure is the combination of deployed technology.

  • Obviously physical infrastructure and architecture are not the same. Yet an architecture both provides and, in a sense, is a kind of conceptual infrastructure - a meta-structure in which ideas of structure (and views of that structure, and so on) can be arranged in consistent, meaningful, useful ways.

    So the question "how is architecture different from infrastructure?" can be answered in different ways, according to what we're looking at. Are they the same? The short answer is physical-world = No, conceptual-descriptions = probable Yes.

  • Architecture is some thing that is related to the Application that You Design, This depends on the Technologies that you use..etc but Infrastructure is the one that lays the Foundation for the Architecture that has been Built. This the foot on which the App Architecture Resides. Infrastructure decides how robust the application is and all the Capacity planning that is done based on the Non Functional Requirements is being done at the infrastructure Level. One is Dependent on the Other and one can not be derived from the Other Just Like RSA in Cryptography

  • Using a loose definition, *everything* has an architecture. However, what is very much debatable is how good or bad the architecture is.

  • Infrastructure is usually part of Physical Design of an Architecture. Architecture is more Logical than Physical. It is about deployment of an architecture.

  • Look no further than then Construction industry.

    Architecture is the design. Infrastructure is the minimum components required to give the architecture a physical existence.

    Now can we please keep this simple before we start creating "standards" to differentiate between the 2.

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