Click here to close now.




Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Nicholas Lee, Ian Khan, SmartBear Blog, Tom Kelly, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

How Data Virtualization Improves Business Agility – Part 2

Accelerate value with a streamlined, iterative approach that evolves easily

Business Agility Requires Multiple Approaches
Agile businesses create business agility through a combination of business decision agility, time-to-solution agility and resource agility.

This article addresses how data virtualization delivers time-to-solution agility. Part 1 addressed business decision agility and Part 3 will address resource agility.

Time-To-Solution Agility = Business Value
When responding to new information needs, rapid time-to-solution is critically important and often results in significant bottom-line benefits.

Proven, time and again across multiple industries, substantial time-to-solution improvements can be seen in the ten case studies described in the recently published Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility.

Consider This Example: If the business wants to enter a new market, it must first financially justify the investment, including any new IT requirements. Thus, only the highest ROI projects are approved and funded. Once the effort is approved, accelerating delivery of the IT solution also accelerates realization of the business benefits and ROI.

Therefore, if incremental revenues from the new market are $2 million per month, then the business will gain an additional $2 million for every month IT can save in time needed to deliver the solution.

Streamlined Approach to Data Integration
Data virtualization is significantly more agile and responsive than traditional data consolidation and ETL-based integration approaches because it uses a highly streamlined architecture and development process to build and deploy data integration solutions.

This approach greatly reduces complexity and reduces or eliminates the need for data replication and data movement. As numerous data virtualization case studies demonstrate, this elegance of design and architecture makes it far easier and faster to develop and deploy data integration solutions using a data virtualization platform. The ultimate result is faster realization of business benefits.

To better understand the difference, let's contrast these methods. In both the traditional data warehouse/ETL approach and data virtualization, understanding the information requirements and reporting schema is the common first step.

Traditional Data Integration Has Many Moving Parts
Using the traditional approach IT then models and implements the data warehouse schema. ETL development follows to create the links between the sources and the warehouse. Finally the ETL scripts are run to populate the warehouse. The metadata, data models/schemas and development tools used within each activity are unique to each activity.

This diverse environment of different metadata, data models/schemas and development tools is not only complex but also results in the need to coordinate and synchronize efforts and objects across them.

Experienced BI and data integration users will readily acknowledge the long development times that result from this complexity, including Forrester Research in its 2011 report Data Virtualization Reaches Critical Mass.

"Extract, transform, and load (ETL) approaches require one or more copies of data staged along the physical integration process flow. Creating, storing, and manipulating these copies can be complex and error prone."

Data Virtualization Has Fewer Moving Parts
Data virtualization uses a more streamlined architecture that simplifies development. Once the information requirements and reporting schema are understood, the next step is to develop the objects (views and data services) used to both model and query the required data.

These virtual equivalents of the warehouse schema and ETL routines and scripts are created within a single view or data service object using a unified data virtualization development environment. This approach leverages the same metadata, data models/schemas and tools.

Not only is it easier to build the data integration layer using data virtualization, but there are also fewer "moving parts," which reduces the need for coordination and synchronization activities. With data virtualization, there is no need to physically migrate data from the sources to a warehouse. The only data that is moved is the data delivered directly from the source to the consumer on-demand. These result sets persist in the data virtualization server's memory for only a short interval.

Avoiding data warehouse loads, reloads and updates further simplifies and streamlines solution deployment and thereby improves time-to-solution agility.

Iterative Development Process Is Better for Business Users
Another way data virtualization improves time-to-solution agility is through support for a fast, iterative development approach. Here, business users and IT collaborate to quickly define the initial solution requirements followed by an iterative "develop, get feedback and refine" process until the solution meets the user need.

Most users prefer this type of development process. Because building views of existing data is simple and fast, IT can provide business users with prospective versions of new data sets in just a few hours. The user doesn't have to wait months for results while IT develops detailed solution requirements. Then business users can react to these data sets and refine their requirements based on the tangible insights. IT can then change the views and show the refined data sets to the business users.

This iterative development approach enables the business and IT to hone in on and deliver the needed information much faster than traditional integration methods.

Even in cases where a data warehouse solution is mandated by specific analytic needs, data virtualization can be used to support rapid prototyping of the solution. The initial solution is built using data virtualization's iterative development approach, with migration to the data warehouse approach once the business is fully satisfied with the information delivered.

In contrast, developing a new information solution using traditional data integration architecture is inherently more complex. Typically, business users must fully and accurately specify their information requirements prior to any development, with little change tolerated. Not only does the development process take longer, but there is a real risk that the resulting solution will not be what the users actually need and want.

Data virtualization offers significant value, and the opportunity to reduce risk and cost, by enabling IT to quickly deliver iterative results that enable users to truly understand what their real information needs are and get a solution that meets those needs.

Ease of Data Virtualization Change Keeps Pace with Business Change
The third way data virtualization improves time-to-solution agility is ease of change. Information needs evolve. So do the associated source systems and consuming applications. Data virtualization allows a more loosely coupled architecture between sources, consumers and the data virtualization objects and middleware that integrate them.

This level of independence makes it significantly easier to extend and adapt existing data virtualization solutions as business requirements or associated source and consumer system implementations change. In fact, changing an existing view, adding a new source or migrating from one source to another is often completed in hours or days, versus weeks or months in the traditional approach.

Conclusion
Data virtualization reduces complexity, data replication and data movement. Business users and IT collaborate to quickly define the initial solution requirements followed by an iterative "develop, get feedback and refine" delivery process. Further independent layers make it significantly easier to extend and adapt existing data virtualization solutions as business requirements or associated source and consumer system implementations change.

These time-to-solution accelerators, as numerous data virtualization case studies demonstrate, make it far easier and faster to develop and deploy data integration solutions using a data virtualization platform than other approaches. The result is faster realization of business benefits.

Editor's Note: Robert Eve is the co-author, along with Judith R. Davis, of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility, the first book published on the topic of data virtualization. This series of three articles on How Data Virtualization Delivers Business Agility includes excerpts from the book.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.