Normally a reseller agreement between two vendors wouldn't be worthy of much note. But a recent decision by EMC to resell middleware technologies developed by Informaticaillustrates how approaches to managing data are evolving in a way that continues to deemphasize databases.
Under the terms of the agreement, EMC will resell master data management (MDM) and information lifecycle management software from Informatica alongside its own wares. The primary goal is to offer customers a set of tools for retiring applications while still making data accessible to end users. According to Adam Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of the Application Information Lifecycle Management business unit at Informatica, this enables an IT organization to reduce its application and database license fees because those software components are no longer needed to access the legacy data that is now archived using tools from Informatica and EMC.
There's a massive amount of resistance any time an IT organization tries to retire an application, so this approach creates an opportunity for the IT organization to save massive amounts of money on software licensing fees while still give users access to the data.
But the longer-term implications of the EMC alliance with Informatica are even more compelling. In the latest version of Informatica 9, data can be processed in transit. That means that IT organizations don't necessarily have to process data using database servers. It's still very early in terms of how IT organizations are going to adopt and master this new middleware capability.
But the one thing that is for certain is that middleware companies on the one end, and storage companies on the other, are moving to reduce the dependency of the IT organization on the database. How this trend will evolve remains to be seen, but as data becomes less tied to specific applications and databases, the more likely it is we'll see a whole new paradigm emerge concerning the way data is managed over the next few years that deliberately reduces the need for database software.