HomeNewsArticle Display

Public release announcement of the Air Force Data Services Reference Architecture


As discussed in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the United States is facing an increasingly complex global security environment marked by the re-emergence of long-term strategic competition, rapid technological change and new concepts of warfare. The advantage in this next-generation of warfare will go to militaries that can gather, share and exploit data. To compete against great power adversaries and develop the underlying structures to dominate the new and emerging character of war, the Air Force must harness the power of the ongoing data revolution. For this to occur, the Air Force must become a data-driven organization that institutes policies and procedures which make data secure, visible, accessible, understandable, linked and trusted, or SVAULT.

To ensure Airmen have uninterrupted access to the SVAULT data they need, where and when they need it, the Air Force is integrating the functions of the chief information officer, the chief management officer and the chief data officer to spearhead a Digital Air Force initiative. A foundational piece of the DAF initiative is the Air Force Data Services Reference Architecture, signed by Matthew Donovan, under secretary of the Air Force, February 27. The DSRA outlines the Air Force’s approach to achieving SVAULT principles using modern and open data services technologies and architectural design patterns.

The objective of the Service Reference Architecture document is to provide clear guidance for the design, development, implementation and use of Air Force major command and functional data platforms. It provides common language for the various stakeholders, provides consistency of implementation of technology to solve problems, supports the validation of proposed solutions and encourages adherence to common standards, specifications and patterns. By adhering to these standards, both metadata and data will be made more SVAULT; data jails will be avoided and data will be shared across platforms. The data’s trustworthiness on different platforms will be exposed and the ability to link data together to support use case implementations will be increased. The document also serves as an authoritative source about a specific subject area that guides and informs the models of multiple architectures and solutions.

The Air Force DSRA is positioned below the Enterprise Reference Architecture level and crosses mission areas and portfolios. It is intended to demonstrate a capability-oriented architecture and support the implementation of diverse solution architectures for scalable data management, data-as-a-service and analytics-as-service capabilities. For ease of use, the reference architecture organizes data platform capabilities into four capability layers with two services overlays:

Capability Layers
•Data Product Consumer Services – these services consist of both value added and micro services that interact directly with the end consumers of an Air Force DSRA platform implementation. DPCS consume services from Enterprise Data and Analytics Services, Enterprise Metadata Services and Data Platform Foundation Services.

•Enterprise Data and Analytics Services – these services consist of both value added and micro services that provide data storage and operations, provide services to the DPCS, provides services to and consume them from the EMS and consume services from the DPFS.

•Enterprise Metadata Services – these services consist of both value added and micro services that support publication and discovery of data assets, data products, analytics and services across a solution implementation. They consume DPFS and EDAS and provide services to EDAS and DPCS.

•Data Platform Foundation Services – these services consist of foundational value added and micro services that are general purpose services consumed by the other three layers.

Services Overlays
Value Added Services represent value added user and consumer activities that Air Force DSRA is intended to support. Each VAS contains a description and functional standards and can be rendered by combining microservices into standard configurations and workflows as reusable, compound services. For configuration and implementation, each VAS has a defined workflow and a bill of materials consisting of the component microservices, data assets and analytic assets needed for the activity to fulfill the business need.

Microservices detail the fundamental core functions of a solution implementation of Air Force DSRA and represent the software components of the solutions that are installed and developed, tested and exposed as services within the Air Force DSRA to support the VAS. Each micro has clear standards, constraining criteria and benchmark performance targets that can be used for test-driven development and continuous integration. Combining these microservices into standard configurations and workflows as reusable, compound services creates VASs.

Adherence to the Air Force DRA encourages the use of cloud native services, open source software products and commercial-off-the-shelf software while remaining product and vendor agnostic. This positions the Air Force with the greatest degree of agility and competition while creating an environment where data can be shared and rapid incremental capabilities can be delivered monthly.


Facebook Twitter
RT @PACAF: #Airmen from the @USAFBandPacific led a masterclass for #NewZealand music students and shared the stage with one brave student f…
RED FLAG-Alaska, a series of @PACAF commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. forces, provides joint off… https://t.co/H3hrxEzFg5
RT @EdwardsAFB: #EdwardsAirForceBase is working to support the earthquake recovery efforts in the Ridgecrest, California area. This include…
"Working for @AFCLC as a SME in culture I recognized that I was immersing myself in a culture that was fairly new t… https://t.co/OIm556b1cg
RT @EdwardsAFB: Many Team Edwards members live in the Ridgecrest, California area. Our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the Searle…
#ICYMI, Watch the @Twitch battle between @ACC_Commander (#F15 Eagle #pilot) vs his son, Lt. Wade Holmes (#F16 Falco… https://t.co/K53BT6cizR
⚡️ “Happy 4th of July from the U.S. Air Force” https://t.co/XG9DKVG1fJ
RT @ActingSecAF: #HappyIndependenceDay2019 & sleep well tonight under the skies of freedom 🇺🇸 the @usairforce is standing the watch! https:…
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @POTUS Trump honors the U.S. military w/remarks from the Lincoln Memorial during the “Salute to America” celebrati…
RT @NBCNightlyNews: On #IndependenceDay, we're highlighting #ThoseWhoServe. A father and son were stationed at the same Arizona Air Force…
.@AirNatlGuard Director Lt Gen L. Scott Rice & the #USAF Honor Guard represented the Air Force during the #Bostonhttps://t.co/lkTda8BpDR
The United States of America 🇺🇸, the home of the free because of the brave. #Happy4thofJulyhttps://t.co/SHF4r017Wl
As the nation celebrates 243 years of independence today, stay safe while enjoying the festivities. Remember to sta… https://t.co/UhvgmuiuQN
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Great shots from the @ItalianAirForce of our Airmen training together. The F-35s are part of the Theater Security Package, d…
RT @ActingSecAF: Our #Airmen lead the way! Developing innovative solutions to increase readiness. https://t.co/9rjfT32Bd5 https://t.co/QYiW…
RT @waaf: In case you missed it, listen to @MistressCarrie's in-studio interview with the Director of the Air National Guard at the Pentago…
If you’re in the #Boston area, tune into @waaf now to listen in as @AirNatlGuard director Lt Gen Scott Rice is inte… https://t.co/lhwfxUSEWd
RT @AirmanMagazine: When a situation turns ugly, the @usairforce's Global Response Force squadrons are ready at a moment's notice. Full St…