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VA Enterprise Architecture

VA EA Networks and Infrastructure Domain

VA EA Networks and Infrastructure DomainIncreasingly, consistency and elimination of duplication in IT are needed to ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars while still gaining efficiency and economy of scale. As the demand for IT systems and services continues to increase, it is incumbent on VA to ensure that the planning for new and modernized infrastructure adheres to those principles which help ensure lowest cost, optimization of resources, and interoperability. The Networks and Infrastructure Domain seeks to drive the organization and collection of pertinent infrastructure content to support sharing and consolidation, good IT infrastructure asset management practices, increase interoperability across the VA, enable greater information across the enterprise and reduce costs.

Domain Scope

The Networks and Infrastructure Domain describes the VA Information Technology (IT) infrastructure consisting of hardware, software, and delivery platforms on which VA mission and general support systems and capabilities are deployed. According to the Conceptual Metamodel below, the scope of this Domain includes IT infrastructure and technical standards.

Conceptual Metamodel – Networks and Infrastructure Domain View Conceptual Metamodel – Networks and Infrastructure Domain View

Conceptual Metamodel – Networks and Infrastructure Domain View

Domain Objective

The Networks and Infrastructure Domain objective is to align the VA to an Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM) and Taxonomy to define Network & Infrastructure relationships and facilitate the collection, categorization and visualization of Network & Infrastructure entities across the Veterans Affairs enterprise.

Organizing Construct

The Networks and Infrastructure Domain data will be organized as Platform, Network or Facility data. These three Networks & Infrastructure data domains will be directly applicable to Systems & Applications data stored in VASI. The figure below illustrates the Networks & Infrastructure Domain organizing construct and the possible categorizations of each Networks & Infrastructure data domain.

Networks & Infrastructure Proposed Organizing ConstructConceptual Metamodel – Networks and Infrastructure Domain View


Networks & Infrastructure Proposed Organizing Construct

Relationships

The Networks and Infrastructure Domain is closely related to the Systems and Applications and Security Domains and the security requirements with which VA IT must comply. These relationships:

  • Provide operational-level network and infrastructure information to complement the business and systems information and enable thorough enterprise IT management
  • Describe hardware and software rules, standards and configurations necessary for the development, deployment, and maintenance of systems, networks, and applications
  • Provide traceability of enterprise goals and strategies throughout the solution development lifecycle
  • Define systems, services, infrastructure, and security compliance requirements using standardized methods and formats
  • Provide a foundation on which improved infrastructure interoperability will be achieved

When this Metamodel and its relationships are fully developed, the information captured in this domain will be used to “enable sharing and reuse of infrastructure to reduce costs, increase interoperability across the government and its partners, support efficient acquisition and deployment, and enable greater access to information across [the] enterprise.” (Federal Enterprise Architecture [FEA] Framework Version 2, dated 29 January 2013)

Networks & Infrastructure IRM Taxonomy

The VA EA Networks & Infrastructure Domain Taxonomy, based upon the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) – Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM), will categorize IT platform, networks and infrastructure assets. The Networks & Infrastructure IRM will support VA strategic objectives by providing greater access to enterprise information and, thru analysis, identify opportunities to share and reuse existing assets, reduce costs and drive IT investments.

The structure of the VA EA Networks & Infrastructure Domain is based upon the FEA IRM. The FEA IRM utilizes a three-level hierarchical structure: Level 1 captures the Domains, Level 2 consists of Subject Areas and Level 3 consists of Categories. The figure below depicts the IRM Domains (Level 1) and Areas (Level 2).

Networks & Infrastructure Domain IRM TaxonomyConceptual Metamodel – Networks and Infrastructure Domain View


Networks & Infrastructure Domain IRM Taxonomy

The Networks & Infrastructure Domain IRM Taxonomy will drive the Networks & Infrastructure logical data model to be implemented in VEAR to categorize and collect IT infrastructure content. Existing VA data sources can be leveraged to organize network and infrastructure data in VEAR and produce data-driven visualizations thru the use of business intelligence tools to facilitate enterprise level IT infrastructure assessments and improve strategic planning and investments.

Future Enhancements

Network Mapping / Visualization

Network Mapping and Visualization will be a significant capability of the VA EA Networks & Infrastructure Domain. Existing VA data sources can be leveraged to organize network and infrastructure data in VEAR and produce data-driven visualizations thru the use of business intelligence tools to facilitate enterprise level IT infrastructure assessments and improve strategic planning and investments. Below are illustrations of planned VA network views.

VA Networks & Infrastructure ViewsConceptual Metamodel – Networks and Infrastructure Domain View


VA Networks & Infrastructure Views

Configuration Management Database (CMDB) Integration

The scope and use of the CMDB is expanding to support the CIO’s new vision for system and service lifecycle management that will impact IT portfolio management. As an enhanced version of the CMDB is implemented, changes and additions will be made to the VA EA that will provide useful and timely information to decision-makers.

TRM Integration

The VA EA Team is proactively seeking to enhance the alignment of the content within the VA EA Repository with the Technical Reference Model (TRM) repository. The TRM Taxonomy and content will be mapped to the FEA Application and Infrastructure Reference Models as well as to the relevant VA EA domain objects. The TRM integration in coordination with ITAMS and an enhanced CMDB can facilitate various enterprise level views and assessments of Systems and their underlying technology components.

Key EA Artifacts Currently Available

  • Enterprise Mobility – This webpage supports the Veteran-centric need, VA has released several mobile applications and application programming interfaces, and launched the va.gov/developer website, which is a hub for sharing resources with intra- and inter-agency developers as well as the public.
  • Cloud Computing – describes how VA OI&T leverages the VA Cloud Enterprise as a business enabler to give Veterans, their dependents, VA employees and contractors, and VA business partners seamless access to reliable globally information in a robust, secure, and cost effective manner.

Related Information Resources

  • Configuration Management Database (CMDB) – VA’s authoritative database used to manage changes to VA Configurable Items (CI). CIs refer to all types of VA IT technologies requiring change and configuration management control, such as hardware, software, applications, and underlying network infrastructure.

Compliance & Standards