Information as a Service
I don't have to tell anyone about the growing problem of complexity that faces
development and IT managers. Enterprises find themselves managing increasing
numbers of applications, tied to a diverse array of internal and external data
sources, services and people. The end result: The information often is out there,
but the applications -- and the people who rely on them -- can't get at it.
Enter the concept of Information as a Service (IaaS). Like Software as a Service
(SaaS) before it, IaaS aims to break chokepoints that have developed as the
scope, scale and interconnectedness of enterprise systems have grown. Where
SaaS enables the flexible delivery of trusted applications to endpoints over
public and private networks, IaaS enables a more dynamic, flexible and robust
means for information access across evolving and growing infrastructures.
Enterprise vendors are already hard at it. From Microsoft's Dynamic IT strategy
to IBM's Information on Demand and Oracle's Fusion middleware, the drive to
enable flexible, scalable and ubiquitous access to business information is well
Forrester Research recently published
a report that looks at the emerging IaaS market. It describes IaaS as employing
data virtualization middleware to enable a flexible architecture that minimizes
data management through robust automation, while providing real-time data sharing
that eliminates the need to ship massive volumes of data to individual applications
and servers. Distributed data caching and a virtualized infrastructure deliver
low latency performance, and also serve to boost resiliency via redundant data
feeds. Centralized data access controls, provided again by a common middleware
layer, ensure both security and compliance.
So which vendors are ahead of the pack? According to Forrester, BEA Systems,
IBM, Oracle and Red Hat are in the lead, with BEA and Oracle standing out in
all IaaS use cases defined in the report. For its part, Microsoft lags because
it can't match the sheer breadth of leading platforms, but the report calls
Redmond a leader in the high-performance and enterprise search use cases.
Is IaaS something your development shop is starting to look at? E-mail me at
Posted by Michael Desmond on 01/31/2008 at 1:15 PM