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Integration Issues in Cloud Environments

As Cloud adoption increases and applications get more embedded in traditional business

As Cloud adoption increases and applications get more embedded in traditional business, questions of application interconnectivity, data integration and security will bubble up to the surface. And that is where we will have problems in the very near future.

At this time, application vendors are looking for the best way to deliver solutions using the Cloud infrastructure to customers, and with the recent announcement of Google Apps marketplace, these customers will now have more solutions to choose from after the SalesForce.com's AppExchange. Having data in a Cloud environment poses some unique challenges that traditional applications did not have:

  1. First, how do you get your business data from the Cloud application in-house for processing, backup / archival and governance purposes?
  2. How can you load data into this application (ETL or transactional) from other sources when there are very few (or no) standards around application interoperability, data integration and security

This problem was discussed in greater detail by David Linthicum in his column on the Informatica blog. There are of course, prevailing standards for data integration that can be adapted for this purpose, and there are some organizations, including OMG, working to come up with a standard. Also, application vendors have also seen this kind of requirement and are typically happy to build solutions to help with this kind of requirement. Some vendors even have made significant investments in building out a full Enterprise Service Bus for the purpose of data integration and on-premise data transfer.

Then there is a more fundamental issue of integration between different elements of the Infrastructure itself: David Vellante discusses in his Internet Evolution column that there is "lack of integration between storage, backup, network, security and management functions within virtualized environments".

While there are initiatives from IBMSun and organizations like Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF)Open Grid Forum (OGF) and others to create Open APIs that will help drive interoperability between infrastructure components, it is far from being a standard.

Read the original blog entry...

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Arun Rao is a seasoned technology executive based in the SF Bay Area.