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This paper has introduced the basic concepts of the IA design philosophy and has introduced the design philosophy and tenets of the IA approach to systems architecture. The following IA tenets were presented: designing the system to the needs of the application, employing an iterative design process, striving for simplicity, and using archetypes; reusable system components.

This paper also presented the IA archetypes, as well as recommended combining archetypes to architect systems and datacenters. Additionally, recommendations for the combination of archetypes through the use of traditional design techniques (such as top-down or bottom-up and structured or ad-hoc design) were explored. Further, the duality of archetypes, as well as the concurrent application of design methods was examined.

Finally, an example of how to approach and analyze a system design task using the IA philosophy was presented.

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