Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Power and Potential of Data Virtualization

Let’s be blunt here. If you are not seriously planning to launch Data Virtualization initiatives in the coming months, you are likely to lag in supporting your company’s ability to remain competitive. You simply cannot sustain the historic infrastructure costs of all the ballast along with the time to implement and maintain integration middleware as it has been for years (decades, really). Data Virtualization is clearly a game changer.
There is a whole spectrum of Data Virtualization (DV).  I see a significant amount of confusion about data virtualization once you get past the basic concept that data from multiple sources can be combined and made available as if it were a single source. Most people are extremely narrow in their view of the scope, value and uses of DV.  
  • DV can be about creating a virtual enterprise data model for querying
  • DV can be about creating virtual MDM definitions
  • DV can be about simplifying the layers of services for any application
  • DV can be about eliminating the majority of staging data bases in your organization
  • DV can be about defining exactly the domain required by an application or portal
  • DV can be about significantly improving your time to value for any integration you need
  • DV can be about simplifying most any IT project
  • DV can be about Business Analytics and Business Intelligence
  • DV can be about Big Data
Data Virtualization is poised to drive a fundamental shift in the way IT departments and solution providers address the classic messy challenges of data integration and data availability. Think in terms of shedding the layers and layers of legacy accommodation that have been necessary simply because it has been “impossible” to align disparate data.
A word of caution:  if your Data Virtualization platform requires your data to be in a specific format (e.g., relational or XML) in order to include it in the data virtualization, then you are defying the concept altogether. You are having to do things like move your operational data from instruments to relational databases, and you have to put your SAP data into some form that the DV platform can deal with.  That’s a far cry from accessing live data!
Enterprise Enabler® deals with all types of sources live directly from the source. And, the concepts of DV are also applied to other patterns, for example, eliminating staging for ETL.