Informatica Addresses the Big Data Problem
July 12, 2011 Alex Woodie
Informatica is the latest tools vendor to come out with a suite of tools that help address the problem of “big data.” Last month, the Redwood City, California, company debuted Informatica 9.1, which introduces a number of improvements designed to help companies make sense of massive amounts of data.
IBM i shops may know Informatica best for PowerCenter, its extract, transform, and load (ETL) too. The Informatica “platform,” on the other hand, refers to a collection of point tools that address a range of data integration concerns, including master data management (MDM), complex event processing (CEP), B2B data exchanges, cloud-based data integration, “ultra” messaging, information lifecycle management (ILM), and data quality tools.
Support for social networking data feeds is one of the ways that Informatica 9.1 can help customers use large amounts of data. According to an Enterprise Strategy Group report on Informatica 9.1, the software now supports data feeds for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This release also enhances Informatica’s capability to deal with large amounts of online transactional processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) workloads, including volumes into the petabyte range, ESG says.
The capability to utilize Hadoop-style distributed processing is another way that Informatica is helping customers to deal with the huge volumes of data emanating from social network sites. According to ESG, Informatica 9.1 supports the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), while the next release will add support for the Hadoop database (HBase). Informatica is working with EMC and Cloudera, each of which is distributing its own version of Hadoop.
With all of the data flooding into the organization through social networks and other data sources, it’s not surprising that Informatica has made MDM another area of focus with version 9.1. This release introduces the concept of “multistyle,” or universal, MDM. According to Informatica, this enables customers to support multiple types of MDM processing–such as registry-based, consolidated, coexistence-style, or transactional MDM–with a single instance of the MDM software.
Informatica 9.1 also brings enhancements in the area of self-service data integration. The vendor doesn’t want the complexity of big data integration projects to chain analysts and managers to the services of IT pros, so it bolstered its use of wizards throughout the software and sought to simplify it to enable non-technical people to get more out of it.
One Informatica customer that is already taking advantage of big data tools and the capability to blend data from social networking sites and core OLTP workloads running on the IBM i server is Station Casinos, which was featured in a recent Four Hundred Stuff case study (see “Station Casinos Makes a Safe Bet with Informatica”). Jeff Martin, director of business intelligence for the Las Vegas casino, says Informatica is helping it move to a position of “customer centricity.” “The technology allows us to align service levels to customer value to drive deeper, long-term, and profitable relationships,” he states in a press release. “And it enables Station Casinos to make relevant cross-sell and up-sell offers to customer.”