Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Frank Lupo

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Data Virtualization Adoption Propelled by Significant Business Benefits

Faster, cheaper, better...data virtualization middleware platforms provide critical data integration capabilities

Enterprise adoption of data virtualization accelerated in 2011 propelled by organizations growing need for greater business agility, lower costs and better performance.

These benefits were fully described in an earlier series of articles:




The success of data virtualization can now be observed across hundreds of organizations and is clearly evident in the ten case studies described in the recently published Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility.

In this article, I will describe data virtualization at a high level and explain how data virtualization technology works.

What is Data Virtualization

Data virtualization is a data integration approach and technology used by innovative organizations to achieve greater business agility and reduce costs.

Data virtualization technology is a form of middleware that leverages high-performance software and an advanced computing architecture to integrate and deliver to both internal and external consumers data from multiple, disparate sources in a loosely coupled, logically-federated manner.

By implementing a virtual data integration layer between data consumers and existing data sources, the organization avoids the need for physical data consolidation and replicated data storage. Thus, data virtualization enables the organization to accelerate delivery of new and revised business solutions while also reducing both initial and ongoing solution costs.

Most front-end business applications, including BI, analytics and transaction systems, can access data through the data virtualization layer. Consumption is on demand from the original data sources, including transaction systems, operational data stores, data warehouses and marts, big data, external data sources and more.

High performance query algorithms and other optimization techniques ensure timely, up-to-the-minute data delivery.

Logical data models, in the form of tabular or hierarchical schemas, ensure data quality and completeness.

Standard APIs and an open architecture simplify the consumer-to-middleware-to-data source connections.

Data virtualization middleware platforms provide the functionality described above within integrated offerings that support the full software development life cycle, high-performance run-time execution and reliable, 24x7x365 operation.

How Data Virtualization Technology Works

The primary objects created and used in data virtualization are views and data services.

These objects encapsulate the logic necessary to access, federate, transform and abstract source data and deliver the data to consumers.

These objects can vary in scope and function depending on the business need, canonical information standards and other usage objectives. Individual objects can call other objects in order to perform additional functions. This is often done using a layered, or hierarchical, approach where objects that perform application delivery functions call objects that perform transformation and conformance functions which, in turn, call objects that perform source data access and validation functions.

The ability to reuse common objects in this way provides flexibility, accelerates new development and reduces costs.

The grouping of objects related to a single domain or subject area, such as trades in financial services or projects in research and development, can be used to create the data virtualization equivalent of a subject-oriented data mart. Multiple domains can then be combined to create the virtual equivalent of a data warehouse.

As a result, data virtualization can be adopted in a phased manner, starting with a narrow set of application use cases and expanding over time to a wider, enterprise-scale adoption.

A data virtualization platform consists of three primary middleware components that perform a full range of development, run time and management functions. These include:

  • Integrated Development Environment
  • Data Virtualization Server Environment
  • Management Environment

Integrated Development Environment

Data virtualization technology includes an integrated development environment (IDE) that can be used by a range of people, from business analysts to application developers, to define and implement the appropriate view and data service objects.

The foundation of these views and services is an underlying logical data model that is, in turn, based on either a tabular or hierarchical schema. Data quality requirements, such as standards conformance, enrichment, augmentation, validation and masking; and security controls (e.g., authentication and authorization) can also be also implemented within these object definitions.

The IDE includes profiling-like introspection and relationship discovery capabilities designed to simplify each developer's understanding of existing data sources and jump-start the modeling process.

To limit the coding required and save development time, drag and- drop modeling techniques and a rich set of pre-built, any-to-any transformations automatically generate view or data service objects. Multiple languages (SQL, XQuery, Java, etc.) can extend these capabilities to address more advanced data virtualization needs.

Standard source and consumer APIs, based on ODBC, JDBC, SOAP, REST, etc., simplify source data access and consumer delivery development activities.

Integrated data governance, including lineage and where used, metadata asset management and versioning provide needed controls.

Data Virtualization Server Environment

In data virtualization, run-time activities are typically triggered by queries, or requests for data, from a consuming application. The data virtualization server is the component that executes these queries.

The query engine within the server, which is specifically designed to process federated queries across multiple sources in a wide-area network, optimizes and executes queries across one or more data sources as defined by the view or data service.

Cost- and rule-based optimizers automatically calculate the best query plan for each individual query from a wide variety of supported join techniques. Parallel processing, predicate push-down, scan multiplexing and constraint propagation techniques optimize database and network resources.

The data virtualization server also does the following:

  • Transforms query results sets to ensure that the data is complete, high quality and consumable by the user.
  • Executes authentication and authorization security functions to protect data from improper use.
  • Caches appropriate data sets to enhance both performance and availability.

To complete the query, the server delivers the results directly to the consuming application and logs all activities.

Management Environment

Data virtualization servers are configured for development, testing, staging, production, back-up and failover operations.

To manage this topology, meet service-level agreements (SLAs) and ensure reliable 24x7x365 operations, the data virtualization platform also includes a complete set of integrated management tools.

These integrated tools support all the activities required to set up the data virtualization middleware and users, including provisioning the software, granting access to sources, integrating with LDAP and other security tools, etc.

System management tools manage server sessions and resources.

Monitoring tools log activities, monitor memory and CPU usage, as well as display key health indicators in dashboards.

Optional clustering tools improve workload sharing and synchronization across servers.

Data Virtualization Platform Examples

A number of enterprise software vendors provide data virtualization technology.

Several of these solutions are delivered as extensions to other technology platforms, such as BI, ETL or an enterprise service bus (ESB).

Others, such as the Composite Data Virtualization Platform from Composite Software, are complete, standalone data virtualization platforms.

Conclusion

With increasing pressure to move faster, save money and perform better, organizations have adopted data virtualization technology with successful results.

Data virtualization middleware platforms provide critical data integration capabilities that support the full software development life cycle, high-performance run-time execution and reliable, 24x7x365 operation.

When evaluating data virtualization offerings, different vendors have taken different approaches.  The best selection will require you consider not only functional capabilities, but also domain expertise and complementary services that each vendor can provide.

And finally, check references.  Real users doing real work is the best test.

Editor's Note: Robert Eve is the co-author, along with Judith R. Davis, of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility, the first book published on the topic of data virtualization.  This article includes excerpts from the book.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge 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. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at 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. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at 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. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" 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. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at 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. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...