2014 Spring Newsletter — Focus on Shadowbase Product Management

Keith B Evans

Keith B. Evans Shadowbase Product Management

Shadowbase Solutions for Big Data and Hybrid Cloud Computing

Two topics which are hot in the IT world these days are Big Data and Cloud Computing. But what exactly do these buzzwords mean, and how can Shadowbase software solutions help your company take advantage of the significant benefits they have to offer, while avoiding the pitfalls?

Big Data

The amount of information being generated each year is exploding at an unprecedented rate. It is estimated that 80% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years, and this rate is increasing. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook, articles and news stories posted online, blogs, emails, YouTube and other videos – they are all contributing to what is now called big data.

Big data offers the opportunity for companies to obtain real-time business intelligence that they could never reach in the past from their typical internal systems. Think of the customer-sentiment analysis that can be obtained simply from tweets. However, big data is a collection of data sets so large and so complex that it becomes impossible to process with current database management tools and data processing applications.

Most of the content of big data is noise. It has no value to an organization. However, buried in this noise are tidbits of invaluable data to determine what customers are thinking, to plan new products, to find the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, to monitor for fraud and cyber-attacks, and to use for many other purposes. The challenge is extracting the meaningful data from the noise. This is the task of the big data analytics engine.

A big data analytics engine requires a large network of heterogeneous, purpose-built servers, each performing its own portion of the task. All of these systems must intercommunicate with each other in real-time. They must be integrated with a high-speed, flexible, and reliable data distribution and sharing backbone. The suite of Shadowbase products includes the ideal solutions to provide this function.

The Shadowbase data replication engine is the glue that binds the servers comprising a big data analytics system. With its ability to rapidly and reliably reformat and transfer large amounts of data between heterogeneous databases and applications in real-time, Shadowbase replication is ready to play a major role in the big data explosion. For more information, please read Shadowbase Solutions in a Big Data World.

Hybrid Cloud Computing

Companies are moving more and more IT services and utility applications to public cloud compute resources to take advantage of the economy and flexibility of cloud computing. There are no initial expenditures to purchase equipment, data center space, and staff. A company must only cover the costs of the compute and storage (and in most cases, communications) resources that it uses.

However, there remains a reluctance to move critical applications to the public cloud and for good reason. Notable instances of public cloud failures (service outages) and data loss have been reported, and security is a concern because the organization has lost direct control over its environment.

There is motivation, though, to find a way for critical applications to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing. A hybrid approach that assigns critical processing to highly available private critical systems such as HP NonStop servers (among others) and highly scalable, accessible from anywhere noncritical processing to the public cloud is a concept that is gaining momentum. The Shadowbase data replication engine plays an important role in this hybrid cloud approach by providing the ‘glue that binds’ virtual machines running in the public cloud to highly available private servers handling the critical roles.

There are many Shadowbase-supported architectures that allow critical systems to take advantage of cloud computing by offloading non-critical functions to the cloud infrastructure. These include:

  • Using the critical server as the master database while replicating the database (or portions thereof) to the cloud applications and cloud storage infrastructure for local query processing to distributed cloud users.
  • Backing up cloud-resident critical data onto a critical system either periodically or on a continuous real-time basis.
  • Moving noncritical transactions to applications running in the cloud if the critical system becomes heavily loaded (load sharing).
  • Integrating distributed applications and data running both in the cloud and on critical systems (a form of distributed data integration and application integration).
  • Integrating multiple heterogeneous clouds for application interoperation, including the capability to run an application in an active/active mode in two clouds for a continuously available business continuity architecture.

So whether it’s Big Data or Cloud Computing, Shadowbase solutions provide the replication and integration infrastructure “glue” necessary for your company to exploit the benefits of these new technologies, to lower your IT costs, improve the fault tolerance and continuous availability of your applications, and increase competitiveness.

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