Vibe: Informatica’s Play to Dominate Data Integration, Large and Small

Loraine Lawson

A slew of announcements came out this week about integration, but it’s Informatica’s new offering, Vibe, that’s grabbing the tech headlines.

Vibe is a virtual data machine engine. What is that? Well, Informatica is comparing it to Java Virtual Machine, which runs Java bytecode on just about anything. As far as I can tell, what that means is Vibe is sort of the Horton Hears a Who of integration: It’s designed to help manage data, no matter how big, no matter how small.

This virtual data engine has always been part of Informatica’s data integration platform. It’s the kernel that allows you to create data integration mappings once but run those mappings again across other platforms.

 “The VDM separates the data integration instructions, which map out the business logic for handling data, from the underlying execution technology,” TechWeek Europe explains.  “This means the logic has to be mapped only once, and can later be deployed anywhere – on-premise or in the cloud, in batch or real-time.”

It also can be used with Hadoop to support large-scaled data processing, according to IDG News.

 “The VDM provides an abstraction layer that makes users of Informatica’s PowerCenter application ‘de facto Hadoop developers,’ since they can use their existing skills, according to a statement,” IDG News explains.

That’s nice, and of course there’s a huge demand for anything that will make Hadoop usable by more developers.

But that’s not the reason Vibe is grabbing headlines. The big news with Vibe is Informatica’s plan to slim down that virtual data machine to run embedded in applications and on small devices, including sensors.

“Through Vibe, Informatica hopes to move from being a niche data-integration player to a major force in Big Data and the equally hyped ‘Internet of Things,’” writes Bloomberg Businessweek technology reporter Ashlee Vance. “The bet here is that all manner of devices will be throwing off data in the years ahead, which will cause some chaos as companies try to come up with a systematic way to handle the information.”

To sum up: Informatica is getting ready to integrate, cleanse and manage the data that comes streaming in from the Internet of Things. You can see why that would be pretty big news.

Ray “R” Wang, CEO and principal analyst of Constellation Research, contends Vibe changes the data integration landscape.

“The confluence of big data, mobility, cloud based deployments, and massive end point proliferation requires a solution like VDM to support the shift from data to decisions,” he writes. “In fact, future big data business models require easy to deploy and manage solutions that process vast quantities of data and increase the speed of decision making.  As these requirements change how data integration, data quality, tie back to the information life cycle, expect competitors to create VDM like solutions.”

For now, Informatica points to four immediate and, frankly, important use cases, according to Wang:

  • The automatic bridging of virtual and physical data movement
  • Development of Hadoop integration jobs without MapReduce knowledge
  • Enabling hybrid IT with cloud and on-premise integration
  • Embedding data quality inside an application

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