Too Many Silos, Long Project Deliveries

Everyday IT is challenged to provide their business colleagues with new information typically sourced from existing data silos.

When choosing between physical consolidation with ETL versus more virtualized, federated approaches, architects have to consider a number of business, data source and data consumer considerations.

Increasingly, data federation is proving the right approach, especially when the business needs a solution fast, doesn’t have a sizable budget to spend on infrastructure and staffing, and wants to minimize the risk involved in deploying a new solution.

Data Federation

Rapidly integrate multiple data sources

Data Federation Combines Data Faster

Cisco helped pioneer data federation starting in 2002 and today provides the most proven data federation offering in the market.

You can use Cisco’s Data Integration Strategy Decision Tool to help you decide when to use data virtualization, data consolidation or perhaps a hybrid combination.

Forrester’s Case for Data Federation

In Federation: Sharpen Your Focus On Vast Constellations of Data, Forrester analyst James Kobielus and colleagues summarize the case for data federation as follows:

“Scattered business information permeates many enterprises. This disunited data often conforms to various schemas and formats, resides in sundry databases and applications, and falls under the purview of myriad owners, administrators, and business domains. Such a fragmented state of affairs can prove frustrating for information workers who require a single, unified view of disparate operational data within their reports, dashboards, query tools, and other business intelligence (BI) applications.

The most common approach for integrating heterogeneous data into a single, unified BI view is enterprise data warehousing (EDW), which has constraints that often limit its applicability in highly decentralized and agile environments.

When users simply need unified, near-real-time, on-demand access to data that originates in many source applications, data federation is an attractive alternative. Information and knowledge management (I&KM) professionals should also consider data federation a complementary approach that can extend and enrich their current EDW environment.”

Gartner’s Case for Data Federation

In Hype Cycle for Information Infrastructure 2012, Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Ted Friedman provides the following data federation advice:

“The potential of data federation/virtualization technology is compelling. In theory, this technology can create an abstraction layer for all applications and data, thereby achieving flexibility for change, pervasive and consistent data access and greatly reduced costs, because there is less need to create physically integrated data structures. The end result is greater agility from, and freer access to, an organization’s data assets. Among other benefits, this style of technology offers an opportunity for organizations to change and optimize the manner in which data is physically persisted, while not impacting the applications and business processes above.”

TDWI’s Case for Data Federation

In the TDWI Checklist Report – Data Federation, TDWI Director of Research, Wayne Eckerson guides data federation users as follows: 

“Data federation is an important tool in today’s data integration portfolio. Data and application architects use the middleware to query and join data from multiple sources on the fly and deliver the results to data-hungry decision makers. It makes a lot of sense to use data federation tools when it takes too long or costs too much to create a persistent store of consolidated data, such as a data warehouse or data mart.”