Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

The Business Intelligence A Cloud Paradox

Simultaneously one of the best use-cases for cloud as well as the worst. What’s IT to do?

Simultaneously one of the best use-cases for cloud as well as the worst. What’s IT to do?

David Linthicum, SOA and cloud pundit and all-around interesting technology guy, recently pointed out a short post on business intelligence (BI) vendors joining forces with the cloud to offer cloud-based BI services.

Four open-source and proprietary vendors on Wednesday announced a new partnership resulting in a cloud-based BI (business intelligence) stack.

Jaspersoft and Talend will respectively lend their open-source BI and data-integration technologies to the integrated offering, which also employs Vertica's analytic database and RightScale's management software for cloud-based application deployments.

Thought #1: That’s a perfect use case for cloud! Business intelligence processing is (a) compute intensive and (b) interval based (periodic processing; BI processing and reports are generally scheduled occurrences). It is a rare organization that builds OLAP cubes and runs ETL processes and generates reports all the time. But when they do, look out, they can bring a server (or three) to their knees.

Thought #2: That’s a horrible use case for cloud! The data, though it may be anonymized to remove personally identifiable information/account data, is still sensitive. It’s not any one field or combination of fields that are sensitive, it’s the whole data set. That combination of data is used to make business decisions, analyze business performance, and provides a great view of an organization’s current operating and financial status. That kind of data is not something you want shared outside the organization.


WHY IS THE DATA SO IMPORTANT?


Some of the data used for business intelligence and data mining operations is not all that interesting. But some of it contains the very data from which businesses can and do make very critical business-oriented decisions. Some of the data being analyzed consists of sales and demographics: past, present, and future. Some of that data can be interpreted as information about the financial health of an organization which, for some companies, is not something that should be handed off to a third-party without some fairly stringent assurances regarding the security of that data both from prying eyes and theft.

The last time I took a hard look at BI solutions I managed to convince the powers that be to ship me a copy of the subscription database. To a publishing company the subscription database, and all the data that describes those subscribers, is a goldmine. Even though I then worked for the same organization and the testing was being conducted in an isolated environment the data was stripped, masked, and as anonymized as possible lest it “leak” out into the real world. It was that important to the organization that the data be safe that most of the juicy bits were effectively gone by the time I got my hands on it.

This is not an uncommon scenario. The data often churned through by business intelligence systems is extremely sensitive and crucial to the day-to-day decisions made regarding the business. This is not just sales data, it’s the keys to the kingdom, effectively. For a competitor to get their hands on that data would be disastrous. Thus, it is hard to believe any organization would trust a third-party provider with that data.

Not sure about that? Remember that BI systems and reports are supposed to enable business decision makers to answer questions like:

  • What product is selling well and at what price point in area X?
  • What are buyers in demographic Y currently spending their dollars on?
  • Who buys products like Z?

Imagine a fierce competitor getting their hands on that data, and what they could do with it. Consider the impact on the organization if competing businesses can answer those questions for both themselves and your organization? “Not good” would be an understatement.

But the fact is that such systems are the perfect use-case for cloud given their periodic and highly compute intensive demands on the data center.


A SOLUTION: PRIVATE CLOUD


warning-private-cloud If ever there was a good use-case scenario for a private, internal cloud BI systems are it. The ability to consume additional resources, on-demand across the data center in a distributed way would certainly decrease the overall operating and capital expenses often associated with business intelligence initiatives and the data – the very important, sensitive data – would remain safely locked up within the confines a data center over which the organization has complete (one hopes) control.

Now, given the mix of vendors involved in the aforementioned venture that kicked off this quandary, it appears to be the case that this will be an offering more along the lines of Salesforce.com. Salesforce has, of course, done well with ensuring the security of its sensitive data and providing the isolation required by many customers to trust essentially outsourcing such a business-critical function (SFA). Seriously – when have you heard of a breach in Salesforce security leading to data leakage? Exactly. So it is not beyond imagining that a BI-related venture based on a similar shared platform/isolated data (multi-tenant) model might entice some away from investing in expensive hardware and software to support BI efforts internally.

The difference between the data housed in Salesforce and data shoved into BI systems, however, is enough to continue to be cautious about pushing such responsibility off to the cloud. This really isn’t about the security of the cloud, it’s about the value – and risk – of the data to the organization, and whether the potential savings would offset the risk. Many organizations are likely to say “no, no it doesn’t.” Thus it is a good idea to consider the potential benefits of building out an internal cloud instead. With a quarter of IT executives recently surveyed initiating private cloud implementations in 2009 anyway, it makes sense to look to BI as a possible early contender for deployment in an internal cloud-based architecture.

 

Follow me on Twitter View Lori's profile on SlideShare friendfeedicon_facebook AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Related blogs & articles:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
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.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix 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. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...