Posts Tagged 'integration appliance'

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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Finally an Integration Solution for Midsized Companies

I received an email from a software vendor today making this claim: Finally an Integration Solution for Midsized Companies.

The message was about fast delivery, low TCO, no programming, and simpler operations…..all good messages. The trouble is that the proposed solution from this vendor was an on-premise hardware appliance, not data integration delivered as an  on-demand service. It reminded me of a post I wrote a few months ago that still gets quite a bit of traffic:  Signs You Have Integration Appliance Reliance.  Midsized companies, more than any other segment today, are drawn to the benefits of software as a service (SaaS) data integration. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, some of the reasons that true mulitenant integration services are gaining momentum include:

  • Ease of use for non-technical users (minimal training, “set and forget” interface)
  • The ability to try before you buy (if you can’t sign up on and get started on their website, find out why!)
  • Subscription pricing model
  • Capital expense vs. operating expense

The trouble is that all vendor solutions are not created equally. Whether your company is midsized or in the Fortune 100, here are a few resources to help you select the right integration as a service solution:

Stuffing too much in a box

And most importantly, if you work for a midsized company with limited IT resources, be sure to select an integration solution that can grow with you as your data volumes and complexity inevitably grow. Performance benchmarks and scalability must not be ignored.

The bottom line: Don’t get “boxed” in to a short term data integration solution that you’ll quickly outgrow as your requirements broaden.

Somehow this image seemed appropriate…


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