Informatica 9.1 Platform is Designed for Big Data Integration, With Support for Social Data and Hadoop

Informatica Corporation has announced the Informatica 9.1 Platform, which the company says is the first unified data integration platform that can take advantage of the potential of big data. Informatica 9.1 for big data enables "the data-centric enterprise" by providing four critical capabilities: big data integration, authoritative and trustworthy data, self-service, and adaptive data services.

In addition to higher levels of data flowing into and being created by organizations than ever before which is often referred to as "big data," there is also "big velocity" and "big variety" of information, observes James Markarian, CTO of Informatica.

In Informatica's view, big data can be broken into three separate but very related trends:  big transaction data resulting from the massive growth in transaction data volumes, big interaction data fueled by the explosive growth in interaction data from social media and sensor technologies, and big data processing with highly scalable processing using Hadoop open source technology. With support for all three trends, Informatica 9.1 aims to deliver a unified data integration platform to enable what Informatica calls the data-centric enterprise.

"From a customer perspective, they want to get a handle on both their transaction data and their interaction data simultaneously," says Markarian. This enables them, for example, to use interaction data to provide context or a better understanding of their transaction data. "That really is the movement toward big data processing and that is where technologies like Hadoop have come into the picture," says Markarian.

The sheer scale of the data that organizations are managing makes the process of getting a handle on transaction data and coupling it with interaction data even more complex. According to Markarian, a terabyte or a few terabytes used to be considered to be a lot of data, but now Informatica is hearing customers talk about managing petabyte-scale volumes and, when they think about the future, they are considering how they are going to manage exabytes of information. "The burdens that this is going to place on IT and IT infrastructure is going to be enormous," Markarian says.

Key elements of Informatica 9.1 are:

  • Near-universal connectivity to "big transaction data" from traditional transaction databases, such as Oracle and IBM DB2, to the latest optimized for purpose analytic databases, such as EMC Greenplum, Teradata, Teradata Aster Data, HP Vertica and IBM Netezza.
  • The release also provides connectivity to "big interaction data," including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. By enriching enterprise transaction data with social interaction data, enterprises benefit across a variety of business initiatives, such as customer loyalty programs designed to increase sales.
  • Informatica 9.1 also features connectivity to the Hadoop file system, HDFS. Using the connector, enterprises can leverage the highly scalable power of MapReduce by moving data into Hadoop for "Big Data processing" and moving the results to a target data store for consumption.

With the rise in data volumes and types, master data management also becomes more important. Informatica 9.1 provides a unified and versatile architecture for delivering both just-in-time and point-in-time master data known as Registry style and Hub style MDM respectively so enterprises benefit from the timeliness of a system-of-reference with Registry style MDM and the scalable performance of a system-of-record with a Hub style MDM. "We have the right kind of MDM solution for any kind of application context in which you want to use it," says Markarian.

Informatica 9.1 also enables reuse of data quality policies across data profiling, data cleansing and MDM projects to enable enterprises to ensure consistency of results across projects and improve agility. The release also enables proactive alerting in support of data quality efforts employing complex event processing technology to identify data quality exceptions in a timely manner.

In addition, Informatica 9.1 delivers personalized-for-role self-service facilities to  support users IT analysts, developers, data stewards, project owners and business users; and provides adaptive data services by provisioning high quality data governed by centrally managed policies.

"One of the things that has impressed us about big data is that it really has touched every vertical," says Markarian. It used to be seen in financial services and often in telco, but not other industries. "Now, what we are seeing with the rise of all these new big interaction data sources is that everyone seems to be interested, whether it is healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, or logistics. Every vertical that we address - which is basically every vertical - seems to have an interest in solving big data problems."

Informatica 9.1 is generally available now. For more information, go to the Informatica website.