Definition

system of systems (SoS)

System of systems (SoS)  is the viewing of multiple, dispersed, independent systems in context as part of a larger, more complex system. A system is a group of interacting, interrelated and interdependent components that form a complex and unified whole. 

The goal of an SoS architecture is to get maximum value out of a large system by understanding of how each of the smaller systems work, interface and are used. Such designs require systems thinking -- a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way constituent parts interoperate, work over time and function within the context of a larger, evolving system. 

In the data center, independent constituent parts of a large system are connected through SoS-defined software interfaces called middleware.  Such programs ensure that constituents do not compete for subtasks within the larger system and provide messaging services so that constituent systems can communicate. 

 

 

 

 

Contributor(s): Ryan Punzalan
This was last updated in February 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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