Bringing Down the Clouds with an Integration Appliance

A few months ago I wrote about a phenomenon known as “Appliance Reliance” in the cloud integration market.  The post summarized the signs that you might be relying on an on-premises hardware-based  integration solution if you’re a salesforce.com customer. Well this topic received a great deal of attention last week as IBM announced their intention to acquire Cast Iron Systems, an appliance-based integration vendor. I thought these two posts summarized the shift away from appliances and towards true cloud-based, multitenant integration solutions well:

Contradictions in the IBM Cloud

“…an appliance is pretty much a contradiction of terms when it comes to cloud computing. After all, if the whole point of cloud computing is to move more IT processes into the cloud, than why deploy an appliance to achieve that when the integration points should be in the cloud?”

Cloud SaaS Kill the Appliance?

“Appliances represent a first generation solution toward simplifying the SaaS integration problem, but they have been leapfrogged by true SaaS Integration offerings like the Informatica Cloud or Boomi Atomsphere.”

So if you’re just learning about the possibility of a data integration solution being delivered an “on demand” cloud service, here’s a summary of what to look for in a cloud integration solution:

  1. True multitenant versus hosted offering
  2. Ease of use
  3. Try and buy / rapid deployment
  4. IT or LOB usability
  5. Scalability
  6. Vendor viability

It remains unclear at this time if IBM agrees with this list. I guess time will tell…

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