A Beginners Guide to Federated Architectures

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Introduction to Federated Architectures

A federated architecture is an architectural model consisting of different architectures hosted in the same or different locations but sharing resources such as gateways and other network services. They share these resources through the use of a central framework of management that is tasked with enforcing usage and configuration policies. 

This means that the management, data planes, and control are distributed across different systems but managed from a centralized location. Such a setup makes it easy for a single administrator to come up with policies for the entire architecture instead of applying different policies to different systems in the same architecture. This creates a uniform setup across the architecture hence streamlining operations.


Federated and Distributed Architecture

Sometimes, federated architecture and distributed architecture are often confused, and in other cases, used interchangeably. However, these are two distinct and different sets of architecture. While the distributed architecture refer to an architecture set up and working from different geographical locations, federated architecture refers to an architecture that comprises different systems, whether set up at a single or multiple geographical locations, that work together using federated technologies.

The federated architecture employs a centralized framework for management that is tasked with enforcing the same policies across the entire architecture as well as creating an environment that allows all the systems under the architecture to share resources. The management framework also dictates how systems in the architecture exchange data and verify authentication when interacting with each other.


Benefits of Using Federated Architecture Using federated architectures comes with a number of benefits.

Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Consistency: Federated architecture allow all the systems in the architecture to work as part of the architecture. This creates consistency in user experience and makes the entire architecture easy to maintain. Enforcing policies gets even easier since you do not need to apply different policies to different systems in the architecture.
  • Streamlining Operations: When an administrator wants to work on a federated architecture, for instance performing basic management tasks, they can do that from a single point of entry instead of doing the same separately for the different systems in the architecture. This makes it easy for organizations to streamline their operations and to maintain a uniform environment across their architecture.
  • Enhancing Security: When managing different systems operating under different architectures, it is easy to face issues due to human error when handling multiple systems. However, federated architecture create a uniform environment where all the security requirements are handled from a centralized location, eliminating any possibilities of error.
  • Improved Visibility: Federated systems create a centralized management platform that makes it easy for administrators to gain visibility through the entire architecture. This would be different for systems that need to be managed individually since they might require a lot of work and errors might not be easy to diagnose.
  • Interoperability: Federated architecture create an environment that allows easy exchange of services and data to all the systems in that particular architecture. This fuels collaboration hence improving productivity in the workplace.


Federated architecture are very important to modern businesses. They provide interoperability, consistency, and access control that is needed to enforce all the policies required for the smooth operations of any application. 

Due to changes in customer demands and advancements in technology, businesses are increasingly modernizing their applications and require a faster time to market while doing it. However, poor integration or lack of it is creating inefficiencies in configuration and visibility gaps, making the modernization of the applications quite difficult. 

That notwithstanding, federated architecture are making sure that businesses are able to modernize their applications and eliminate the issues that create inefficiencies by offering an efficient and consistent deployment of policies as well as enforcement across the entire architecture. 


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