345 AIR

345 AIR - Azure Integration Ready

345 AIR is the most secure Azure Technologies platform for integration and data projects. 

345 AIR gives you the full capabilities you need from a cloud integration platform – and more – in a single deployment: 

345 AIR provides these core integration capabilities:

In addition to this, we package in the capabilities you need for:

And we provide you with the best solution for:

  • APIs 
  • Workflow / orchestration 
  • Messages 
  • Event handling 
  • Custom code 
  • Streaming data 
  • Logging and diagnostics 
  • Operational dashboards 
  • Monitoring and alerting 
  • Configuration management 
  • Secret management 
  • Compliance 
  • Security 
  • Scalability and performance 
  • Availability 
  • Disaster recovery 
  • CI/CD 
  • Release management 

 

And we don’t stop there.  As we deliver more projects on 345 AIR we continually build more runtime features into the platform to solve common problems. 

How 345 AIR delivers value to your business

Conceptually, this is how the architecture of your business likely works – or should do.  You need to have three main layers: Demand & Experience, Delivery & Enablement and Infrastructure & Applications.

When you look at your IT estate, you’ll see that your apps will likely fit into one of these layers.  See the descriptions below so you can see whether your apps match the expectations and demands of their layer.

Demand & Experience

Delivery & Enablement

Infrastructure & Applications

This is where your customers and your workforce interact on a daily basis.  Web, mobile, instore.  Small websites and apps solve specific needs.  These apps are lightweight and quick to change.  You can respond to opportunities quickly and delight your customers.

The connection between your demand and infrastructure.  Flexible and adaptive, shielding your core apps from rapid change whilst enabling their value to be integrated. Your customer facing apps are built on these data and APIs.  This is the glue holding it all together.  This is 345 AIR.

This is the DNA of your business.  The major systems that your business runs on, which have been around for years.  These core systems are valuable yet are expensive and slow to change.  It’s hard to change these systems in response to customer demand.

Why we built 345 AIR

Questions you typically ask when planning or designing a solution in Azure include: 

 

  • What Azure services do I need? 
  • How much will it cost to run them? 
  • How do I secure them? 
  • How long will it take to implement? 

 

The answer you usually get is “it depends!”.  This is a common and frustrating answer, and we were never satisfied with it.  We recognised that building solutions on a consistent reference architecture improves developer productivity, provides predictable operating costs, makes the solution easier to manage and support.  That’s why we built 345 AIR. 

 

It’s not always like this.  When you allow your dev teams to build solutions organically, they will do just what they need for the job in hand, which is fine.  However, as more and more projects deliver you will find you have an inconsistent architecture, security may be applied inconsistently, your running costs will continue to spiral, updates and fixes will be harder to apply and you may struggle to keep everything running smoothly. 

 

When you build on (or migrate to) 345 AIR, you get the rapid benefits of a well-designed application landing zone, plus  DevOps, operational and runtime components that help you build and deploy faster, better and cheaper. 

Yes, but what IS 345 AIR?

This is the 345 AIR  framework.  We are constantly developing 345 AIR, so the details behind this framework are constantly evolving and improving.

345 Technology

345 AIR is: 

  • A secure application landing zone for Azure Integration Services, providing you with all the cloud infrastructure to build integration applications in Azure.  Once configured, the 345 AIR DevOps pipelines will build out your dev, test, staging and production environments – or however many environments you need. 
  • Support for your operating model.  This includes the tools to help you support and govern your application.  We implement security monitoring, platform instrumentation, alerting and operational dashboards.  In addition to this, we have configurations that give you multi-region disaster recovery (active/passive) and even multi-region high availability (active/active). 
  • Runtime components:  Integration subsystems that help you build more reliable applications faster.  We solve a lot of integration challenges, and we have found that we always need a number of core capabilities that are not provided by Azure Integration Services.  Examples include automated exception replay, message repair, dynamic configuration and throughput rate control, although we have an active roadmap for this. 
  • An SDK with development and test tools.  This includes a developer workstation build, test framework, API mocking, DevOps templates, worked integration examples and additional connectors not supplied by AIS. 

Platform variants 

There is always a trade-off between running cost and other non-functional requirements such as security and availability.  Depending on your priorities, we have multiple flavours of 345 AIR which we then match to meet your needs. 

  • Standard Edition.  This edition is optimised for cost, running in a single Azure region.  The compromises?  You can’t take advantage of all the isolated network security that you find in the Premium Edition. 
  • Premium Edition.  In Premium, 345 AIR installs with isolated networks already configured.  These can be connected to your internal corporate network so that you have a 100% isolated solution where no traffic is exposed to the Internet. 
  • Enterprise Edition.  When availability is most important to you, we have an edition of 345 AIR that will run active-active in 2 or more Azure regions.  Never miss a beat with this version of the platform.  The compromise?  Obviously, your running costs will be much higher as you have duplicate resources in multiple regions. 

The benefits of 345 AIR 

This platform has been built to help give you real value.  For some Azure projects, especially when security and reliability are critical, even getting the base infrastructure in place can cost you £100K.  345 AIR  

  • 100% cloud native – 345 AIR is built on Azure PaaS services, so your whole solution will run on cloud-native technology.  No server patching, effortless scalability and no license fees. 
  • Evergreen platform – your supported 345 AIR platform comes with regular updates so that you don’t have to worry about obsolescence.  As cloud services are deprecated we will ensure that applications built on 345 AIR are migrated onto newer hosting services. 
  • Security – take advantage of readily available private VNets, secure private endpoints, security monitoring where we have already done the thinking for you to minimise your attack surface to produce a verifiably secure platform. 
  • Speed to deploy – the deployment of 345 AIR is parametised, so we can configure the solution and tailor it to your own environment.  Once the configuration is ready, our DevOps code will automatically build your dev, test and production environments. 
  • Supportable – with built-in logging, diagnostics and alerting, your 345 AIR platform will tell you when something is wrong and ensure that you have the information available to help fix things when it does. 
  • Faster project delivery – from pre-built DevOps pipelines and examples through to ready-built components to solve common problems, you can build solutions more easily and benefit from tried and tested subsystems. 
  • Future roadmap – 345 AIR is improving all the time, with new features, new options, developer tools and templates.  When you build on 345 AIR you know the platform will continue to be maintained and improved. 

Where might you use 345 AIR? 

There are many examples where we have built business processes on 345 AIR, but here are a few that are a good fit:

  • ERP integration – one of the most common application areas we deal with is ERP integration.  Synchronising data with your warehouses, suppliers, customers, goods inwards, product catalogues, maintenance management systems and CRM means that you need the right tools and the right platform to build on.  We have experience of  integrating with SAP, Oracle, Dynamics 365 and JD Edwards, with future projects planned for several other vendors. 
  • BizTalk migration – BizTalk is a whole integration hosting platform, first designed over 20 years ago,  that’s great for integrating on-premises applications.  Now these old BizTalk applications are being migrated to the cloud, 345 AIR is the natural destination.  The Azure product set supports some of your BizTalk components, whilst the remaining capabilities can be supported with other features of the platform. 
  • IBM WebSphere migration – just as with BizTalk, your on-premises applications built on IBM WebSphere will need to be migrated to Cloud at some point.  It makes sense to choose 345 AIR as your destination for this migration, as it supports the Enterprise Service Bus capabilities that you bought WebSphere for in the first place.  The good news – you’ll get this for a fraction of the cost!
  • People processes – every business has people, and they join, leave and move all the time.  They are sick, they have children, they lost their passes or laptops.  The people processes involved can require updates to a dozen different systems or more.  345 AIR gives you the foundational tools to be able to automate these processes and prevent the errors and omissions that your people find so frustrating. 
Andrew Rivers

If you are interested in delving deeper into the world of 345 AIR, I invite you to schedule a call with Andrew Rivers via Calendly. Simply use the ‘Book a 345 AIR meeting’ button and explore the subject further at your convenience.

Further reading

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