Welcome!

Server Monitoring Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Ken Schwaber, JP Morgenthal, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Server Monitoring, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Server Monitoring: Article

Hybrid Solutions for Data Virtualization and Enterprise Data Warehouses

Eight best practices – Part 2

Weblogic at Cloud Expo

The intersection of data virtualization and enterprise data warehouses represents corporate best practices for delivering the rich data assets available in the enterprise data warehouse with the myriad sources of data now available outside the data warehouse.

In Part Two of this two-part series, I will target improving data warehouse efficiency by showing four best practices where data virtualization, used alongside data warehouses, saves time and money.

Part One examined ways that data virtualization improves data warehouse effectiveness.

4. Data Warehouse Hub and Virtual Data Mart Spoke
In a common scenario in today's enterprises, a central data warehouse hub is surrounded by satellite data marts in the same way that spokes surround a hub. These marts typically contain a subset of the warehouse data and are used by a subset of the users. These marts are often created because analytic tools require data in a different form than the warehouse. On the other hand, they may be created to work around warehouse controls. Regardless of their origination, each additional mart adds cost and potentially compromises data quality.

IT teams use data virtualization to create virtual data marts to eliminate and/or reduce physical data marts. This approach abstracts warehouse data to meet specific consuming tool and user query requirements, while preserving the quality and controls of the data warehouse.

In the integration pattern shown in Figure 1, the data virtualization middleware hosts virtual data marts that logically abstract and serve specific analytical reporting requirements.

Industry Examples
A mutual fund company uses data virtualization to enable its 150-plus financial analysts to build portfolio analysis models leveraging a wide range of equity financial data from a ten-terabyte financial research data warehouse with MATLAB and similar analysis tools. Prior to introducing data virtualization, the financial analysts frequently created satellite data marts for every new project. Now the IT team offers virtual data marts with a set of robust, reusable views that directly access the financial data warehouse on demand. Analysts now spend more time on analysis and less on accessing data, thereby improving their portfolio returns. The IT team has also eliminated extra, unneeded marts and their maintenance/operating costs.

An energy and oil company uses data virtualization to provide oil well platform data from a central Netezza data warehouse to engineers, maintenance managers and business analysts. This data is optimally formatted for a wide range of specialized analysis tools including Business Objects, Excel, Tibco Spotfire, Matrikon ProcessNet and Microsoft Reporting. The IT team quickly builds virtual views and services, thus rapidly responding to new, ad hoc queries. Analysts now leverage the warehouse with its virtual data marts as the single source of truth rather that replicating the data in local, "rogue" data marts.

6. ETL Pre-Processing
Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tools, leveraging virtual views and data services as input to their batch processes, appear as another data source. This best practice also integrates data source types that ETL tools cannot easily access, as well as reuses existing views and services, saving time and costs. Further, these abstractions do not require ETL developers to understand the structure of, or interact directly with, actual data sources, significantly simplifying their work and reducing time to solution.

In the integration pattern shown in Figure 2, the data virtualization middleware complements ETL by providing access, abstraction and federation of packaged applications and web services data sources.

Industry Example
An energy company wanted to include SAP financial data in its enterprise data warehouse along with other sources and content. However, its ETL tools alone were unable to decode the SAP R/3 FICO complex data model. The IT team used data virtualization to access the SAP R/3 FICO data, abstract it into a form more appropriate for the warehouse, and stage it virtually for the ETL tools. With more complete and timely financial data in the data warehouse, the company can now better manage its financial performance.

7. Data Warehouse Prototyping
Building data warehouses from scratch is time-consuming and complex, requiring significant design, development and deployment efforts. One of the biggest issues early in a warehouse's lifecycle is frequently changing schemas. This change process requires modification of both the ETL scripts and physical data and typically becomes a bottleneck that slows new warehouse deployments. Nor does this problem go away later in the lifecycle; it merely lessens as the pace of change slows.

In the integration pattern shown in Figures 3 and 4, the data virtualization middleware serves as the prototype development environment for a new data warehouse. In this prototype stage, a virtual data warehouse is built, saving the time required to build a physical warehouse. This virtual warehouse includes a full schema that is easy to iterate as well as a complete functional testing environment.

Once the actual warehouse is deployed, the views and data services built during the prototype stage retain their value and prove useful for prototyping and testing subsequent warehouse schema changes that arise as business needs or underlying data sources change.

Industry Example
By using data virtualization during the prototyping stage, a government agency has speeded up the ETL and warehouse development process by four times. This result remains consistent during subsequent translations of working views into ETL scripts and physical warehouse schemas.

8. Data Warehouse Migration
Enterprises migrate their data warehouses for a number of reasons, including saving costs and reducing total cost of ownership. Another is mergers and acquisitions. In these scenarios, duplicate data warehouses need to be rationalized. A third reason is standardization. When an enterprise or government agency wants to rationalize different warehouses based on disparate technology platforms, they may migrate to a standard platform.

Regardless of the reason, in every case the reporting and analysis supported by the migrating data warehouse must continue to run seamlessly.

Data virtualization removes reporting risk by inserting a virtual reporting layer between the warehouse and the reporting systems. Decoupling these systems enables the reporting to continue before, during and after the migration. The integration patterns shown in Figure 5, Figure 6, and Figure 7 depict the original state prior to migration, the modification to reports via the virtualization reporting layer, and the stage where the new warehouse and supporting ETL are brought online and the old data warehouse is retired. The virtual layer insulates reporting users by enabling a controlled migration of the reporting views. Each existing view can be duplicated, modified to point at the new warehouse, and tested before the actual cutover, thereby insulating the reporting users from undue risk. Further, the virtual reporting layer is easily extensible for adding more sources or supporting new reporting solutions.

Industry Example
To reduce total cost of ownership when migrating to a data warehouse appliance, a large technology company used data virtualization to decouple its reporting from the data warehouse. Significant data warehousing cost reductions were achieved and reporting successfully migrated without interruption.

Conclusion
The articles in this two-part series have examined the eight best practices for using hybrid solutions of data virtualization and enterprise data warehouses to deliver the most comprehensive information to decision-makers. The intersection of the virtual and the physical data warehouse is aiding forward-thinking enterprises that must deal with the proliferation of data sources, including many web-based and cloud computing sources outside traditional enterprise data warehouses. Enterprises and government agencies that can learn from and adapt these best practices to their own enterprise information architectures will be best prepared to handle the continuous deluge of data found in most enterprise information systems today.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert "Bob" Eve is vice president of marketing at Composite Software. Prior to joining Composite, he held executive-level marketing and business development roles at several other enterprise software companies. At Informatica and Mercury Interactive, he helped penetrate new segments in his role as the vice president of Market Development. Bob ran Marketing and Alliances at Kintana (acquired by Mercury Interactive in 2003) where he defined the IT Governance category. As vice president of Alliances at PeopleSoft, Bob was responsible for more than 300 partners and 100 staff members. Bob has an MS in management from MIT and a BS in business administration with honors from University of California, Berkeley. He is a frequent contributor to publications including SYS-CON's SOA World Magazine and Virtualization Journal.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...