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How do Clouds Talk to Each Other!!


All thse days, while building our applications we leveraged the outsourced and SaaS(Software as a Service) Offerings. And every possible application, CRM, and customer sites was dumped on the Cloud!!.

But, the very basic question that arises is

“How do I connect or sync up my data between the Cloud Environment and our traditional on-premise systems”   or  “How do different Systems on the Cloud Talk to Each Other

Here is where Integration pitches in, and being in context with cloud i.e clubbing together the ndividual applications and messaging or integration backbone. Some people have also started naming it as CIA (Cloud Integration Architecture) similar to the EAI at on-premise level

Here is a picturistic view of the situation : (Source : CastIron.com & Jitterbit.com)

Integration is not something NEW, we have already done it in the past with our Traditional Approach, so we just need to re-iterate the same with the new Cloudy Env., considering similar scenarios.

The Basic and fundamental step toward integgration should be to check the feasibility of connecting the source and the target system, considering both Cloud-to-Enterprise and Cloud-to-Cloud Integration and touchpoints.

From the above Pic. : Its something like updating the data in the SAP/Oracle from the salesforce.com.

The patterns of integration might become more complex as cloud computing becomes more pervasive

There are 3 different ways of addressing the Integration Needs :

  • software-based on-premise integration tools,
  • on-premise appliance-based integration tools, and
  • the cloud-delivered integration tools.

Software-based on-premise integration tools :

  • Here the traditional integration server software is run on an on-premise server to drive integration among any number of systems, whether cloud computing or on-premise.
  • It is very costly
  • Providers include IBM, Software AG, Oracle, and Informatica

On-premise appliance-based integration tools :

  • Here an Integration Box is provided with a preconfigured and optimized server designed for a specific pupose of talking between the Cloud and the Enterprise.
  • Some in-built adapters are provided for ease of integration and maintaining data sync.
  • Providers include CASTIRON (currently an IBM company).
  • CastIron supports integration with Salesforce.com and Amazon EC2 layer

The cloud-delivered integration tools :

  • This is based on the Integration as a Service (IaaS).
  • This model works best with the cloud-to-cloud Integration.
  • Providers include Boomi(by Dell) and Informatica on Demand
  • In-built connectors or services are readily available to plug and play while integrating across clouds.

Following are the things that needs to be taken care of while Integrating at Enterprise level :

Firewall – i.e safety & reliability

Performance – i.e faster movement of data

Maintainance & Upgrade – i.e better supporting framework

Governance – i.e monitoring and logging data

Security – i.e Encryption and data protection

Here is a snapshot of the CIA(Cloud Integration Architecture) :

The Key Points that needs to be addressed for a Cloud Integration are:

  • User Interface Integration – aggregates and/or abstract cloud app provider UI APIs to help provide a consistent, customizable and modular UI,
  • Data Integration – allows an enterprise to merge, purge and augment similar datasets from multiple cloud app vendors,and
  • Function Integration – the most complex integration, involves gluing cloud APIs together into some kind of workflow or orchestration-like service.

Links to some Cloud Integration Products :

Inspiration from the following link :http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/integration-challenges-cloud-computing-157?page=0,1

Happy Clouding!!! 🙂

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