The latest cloud data management service from cloud data integration company Informatica is designed to help companies make the transition to cloud platforms or expand their cloud implementations, especially those with a big stake in more traditional on-premises infrastructure.
Informatica released on Dec. 19 a new version of its iPaaS (Integration-Platform-as-a-Service) that uses artificial intelligence to automate integration between cloud systems and on-premises systems.
A few years ago companies were primarily concerned about deploying their first cloud system with Amazon Web Services or another cloud platform. But since then the cloud computing landscape has become more diverse.
“If you are investing in the cloud today, you are definitely investing in multi-cloud not a single cloud to on-premise,” Ronen Schwartz, senior vice president of Informatica, told eWEEK. “You might have some SAP HANA, Workday, Azure and others if you want to take advantage of the best of breed cloud players.”
To address this multi-cloud environment, Informatica offers what it calls a “unified and modern user experience” supported by a modular, microservices architecture that is customizable and easy to navigate.
While iPaaS handles complex integration and data management on the backend, the front-end experience is tailored to the needs of end users. “We redesigned our backend for a full microservices architecture that updates quickly,” said Schwartz.
As a result, users are presented only with the projects and tools they need to use in what is essentially a personalized home page. This could range from a small number services for non-technical business users or many more for those involved in more complex projects.
Analyst Charles King said Informatica’s decision to invest in microservices is a key element of the new release.
“Informatica’s embrace of a new microservices architecture is critical for customers intent on or actively modernizing their business applications or pursuing digital transformation initiatives,” King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, told eWEEK in an email. “That doesn't necessarily include every Informatica client, but it is likely to serve the needs or pique the interest of those who are looking ahead of where they stand today.”
Informatica has also brought advanced orchestration to its iPaaS service designed to optimize the work that is best done on-premise versus the cloud. Moving data and files between systems can be challenging, but Schwartz said Informatica has done a lot of work to simplify the process.
“You can mass ingest like a million files from on-premise to the cloud and we automatically compress those files,” he said.
Early customers such as National Instruments laud the ability to move data easily between systems. “We will leverage our new Informatica iPaaS platform to better manage data exchange between ERP, CRM and data warehouse systems,” said James Humphrey, Principal Architect at National Instruments, in a statement.
The new iPaaS is powered by Informatica’s CLAIRE artificial intelligence engine that gives IT managers data management recommendations, such as when it makes sense to move files to the cloud or to move files that aren’t accessed much to cheaper storage. “We are constantly collecting metadata about the data itself and how it’s being used and driving recommendations based on analysis of the data,” said Schwartz.
Informatica’s Intelligent Cloud Services also addresses the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) set to go in effect in Europe in May, 2018. Customers can designate “in region” data processing if they want to ensure data resides in specific regions. Informatica has data centers in Ireland, the UK, Germany as well as Australia.
“This covers the data and the metadata,” said Schwartz. “You log in and just say what locality you want; it’s an easy configuration.”
King noted that IBM and other cloud service providers are already offering compliance with GDPR. “As GDPR and similar compliance regulations become more common, working with cloud providers that understand those requirements and seamlessly support them will become increasingly invaluable,” he said.
Schwartz said the new Informatica release “sets the foundation” for other regulations it expects to follow next year’s initial GDPR requirements.