The Growing Popularity of the Hybrid Cloud

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Cloud is one of the trends that reflects IT evolution. “The cloud” delivers anything as a service at low-cost and is revolutionizing technology and changing the game for IT departments by driving innovation, experimentation, and new business models. Cloud computing offers three deployment models: private, public and hybrid.

Figure 1

 

The public cloud is where the service provider makes resources such as storage and applications available to the public via the Internet at much lower cost than that of having actual physical servers. However, the public cloud does not address security concerns and companies are not always be comfortable in transferring sensitive private data onto a public cloud. This issue led to a private cloud solution that allowed businesses to store confidential information to their own private servers.

 

Figure 2

 

So what is the Hybrid Cloud?

Depending on who you ask, there are several definitions of hybrid cloud.

Ed Anderson, Research Vice President at Gartner, says hybrid is “an on-premises private cloud combined with an off-premises public cloud” is a “limited definition” and “is only a subset of a broader, cross-vendor hybrid cloud definition that is more aligned with the way most organizations are constructing hybrid clouds.” Where Dave Bartoletti, the Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, says the definition of hybrid cloud is “very direct” and involves a situation where a public cloud service is connected to any other type of system or service.

In laymens terms, the hybrid cloud is a cloud computing model which uses a mix of on-premise, private cloud, and third-party public cloud services to perform distinct functions within an organization.

What is the Hybrid Clouds impact on Business?

The hybrid cloud makes it easier for companies to balance between the ground and cloud. It combines them all – public cloud, private cloud, and dedicated servers – and is the best approach to benefit from cloud’s scalability. According to RightScale 2016 State of Cloud Report, the demand for hybrid cloud has increased to 71% among companies.

A few of the benefits the hybrid cloud offers are:

  • By implementing a hybrid approach businesses have more agility, scalability and easy access to resources
  • Allows businesses to meet compliance requirements, with proper network security, a hybrid solution combining cloud and dedicated hardware can satisfy auditor requirements
  • Solves cloud capacity problem and eliminates the need to buy servers for backup
  • Provides efficient planning of private and public cloud infrastructure, thereby reducing cost
  • Improves time to market, quickly launch new products or services and drive revenue growth

Other major benefits of the hybrid cloud include:

  • Ability to split the workload into two separate environments
  • Flexibility to include right cloud technologies
  • Increased security of shared data

Where the private cloud provides security, but increases costs and the public cloud offers great technology at a reasonable price,  it has security constraints.  A hybrid cloud solution provides a solution that can meet both needs. It will enhance your business and solve complex business problems.

It is worth mentioning that while the hybrid cloud has many advantages, building it can come with its own challenges. Before adopting the hybrid cloud approach, it’s necessary to have a complete understanding of hybrid cloud as well as having an IT team with the appropriate skill set.

Understanding the drift in technology and demand for hybrid cloud is something we specialize in. For strategic insights or implementation expertise on how to build and/or evolve your hybrid cloud contact us at info@sofbang.com or 312.279.0430.

 

Fig 2: Source rightscale.com

Simplify Building Content-Rich Portals – A “Knockout” Cloud Journey with Oracle PaaS

Oracle Content and Experience Cloud service

Transform the customer engagement and digital experience using Oracle Content and Experience Cloud service with content workflow, collaboration using Oracle Process Cloud and seamlessly surface the data from various enterprise applications including SaaS, On-Premise ERP.

Introduction

Heather, as a marketing team lead, works daily on creating lot of collateral and content for upcoming campaigns, workshops. She would start with a draft version of all digital assets like images, view-lets, teasers (quick two minute videos), branding, slide decks etc. Day-to-day she makes lots of changes (edits/revisions) to the collateral and would like to share/review with her supervisor before she finalizes them. Additionally, she wants to be able check how those assets appear on various devices like mobile, tablets and web browsers.

Laura an HR executive would like to announce and quickly get word out to all internal employees about upcoming Holiday Party. With some examples from last year (images, videos etc.). Also as part of recruitment process, she would like to post the current openings (with referral bonus) on an internal portal/website.

The question is, is there a comprehensive, enterprise-wide digital content and experience management platform which can help both Heather and Laura to manage their day-to-day activities efficiently, with easy configurations, controlled access, integrated, and, of course, zero-coding. Can that system be accessed from anywhere through any channel with no disruption? Can that system be available on a need-based subscription model which is flexible enough to turn on/off?

There is. With the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud service, which provides omni-channel digital content management and creating engagement portals with one click of a button right from web browsers.

In this whitepaper we will take you deep into Oracle Content and Experience Cloud features and how easily we can integrate other PaaS offerings like Process Cloud Service (PCS), Integration Cloud Service (ICS) to surface the data from back-end systems and SaaS applications.

Continue reading…

Sofbang Tech Team Tips Series: Data Extraction ETL – An effective method to manage data

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What is ETL?

ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load, a process used to collect data from various input sources, transform the data depending on business rules/needs and load the data into a destination source. The need for this process comes from the fact that in modern computing, business data lives in many distributed locations and in multiple formats. For example, data is saved by organizations in various formats such as a word doc, PDF, XLS, plain text, etc. or may be kept in any of the commercial database servers like MS SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL. Managing this business information efficiently is a great challenge and ETL plays an important role in solving this problem.

The ETL process has three main steps, which are Extract, Transform, and Load

 

Extract – The first step in the ETL process is extracting the data from various sources. The data in each source can be in any of the formats like flat files or some database files.

Transform – Once the data has been extracted by various filters, validations, aggregate functions or some other business logic, it can be applied to the data to get the output in the desired format.

Load – This is the final step where the ‘transformed’ data is loaded in the target destination which may again be a flat file or some predefined RDBMS file.

 

Why and Where is ETL Required

Companies or organizations with years of history and/or a global presence will inevitably go through technological changes at some point; ranging from manual systems to simple in-house applications and data storages ranging from flat files to RDBMS. This can potentially create subprocesses within the big process (business) with completely different applications running on suitable hardware and architectural platforms.

In such scenarios, the organization’s unit in location “X” might be using mainframes and another unit at location “Y” would be using the SAP system to manage operations related data. In this type of setup, if an organization’s top management needs a consolidated report of all the assets of the company, it can be a challenge to gather all the data and reports. Collecting the right data for reports from disparate systems, then consolidate them manually can be a cumbersome process that could take days to deliver a final report to management.  A more efficient way would be to have a system that fetches data from these disparate sources, stores it in a data warehouse environment and generate a report whenever needed.

So how do you fetch the data from these different systems, make it coherent, and load it into a data warehouse?

To do this, we need a methodology or a tool that can extract the data, cleanse it and load it into a data warehouse application. In order to consolidate the historical information from all disparate sources, we set up an ETL system, which transforms the data from the smaller databases into the more meaningful long-term databases.

ETL is useful when

  • Companies need a way to analyze their data for critical business decisions.
  • The transactional database cannot always answer complex business queries.
  • You need to capture the flow of transactional data.
  • There is a need to adjust data from multiple sources to be used together.
  • To structure data to be used by the various Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
  • To enable subsequent business/analytical data processing.

 

ETL graphic

 

There are a variety of ETL tools available in the market. Some of the prominent ones are:

No. List of ETL Tools ETL Vendors
1 Informatica PowerCenter Informatica Corporation
2 InfoSphere DataStage IBM
3 Oracle Data Integrator Oracle
4 Decision Stream IBM Cognos
5 Data Integrator (BODI) SAP Business Objects
6 SAS Data Integration SAS
7 Talend Studio Talend
8 Pentaho Data Integration Pentaho
9 Pervasive Data Integrator Actian / Pervasive Software
10 Clover ETL Javlin

 

Advantages of the ETL tool

  • ETL tools normally provide for better performance even for large datasets.
  • They have built-in connectors for all the major RDBMS systems.
  • They help to reuse complex programs for validations etc.
  • They offer intuitive visual integrated development environment.
  • They also offer performance optimization options such as parallel processing, load balancing etc.

At, Sofbang I have worked with Talend Open Studio, an open source project for managing various facets of ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process for BI and data warehousing. It is one of the most innovative data integration solution in the market today.

It’s open source, free to use, and community-supported. It summarizes every operation that loads, retrieves, transforms and shapes data,  and provides very easy to use ‘drag and drop’ UI components to enable intuitive and faster UI development a shown below:

Fig: Talend IDE Screen

For example, let’s try this with an ‘Excel Sheet’ as a raw input, which needs some validations, and filters to apply to data.  Based on that information we should get our desired data in the ‘output’ Excel.

Step 1: The sample input Excel is shown below which contains some invalid names and other details of employees.

Step 2: Drag and drop the respective components (in this case for processing Excel) from the components palette on the right-hand side, put them on the screen and draw the output connections as shown below:

Step 3: Now define the validations and filters to be applied to input data, by clicking on the ‘map’ component as shown below: In this case, we define our filters and validation as;

  • Names should be valid
  • Date of birth should be greater than ’01-JAN-2012’
  • All employees drawing salary greater than 20000 should be filtered and stored separately.

Step 4: Click on the ‘Run’ button to execute the job and get the results.

Step 5: When clicking ‘Run’ button we will get the following screen:

Step 6: The resulting ‘filtered’ and ‘validated’ Excel is shown below:

Fig: Excel with Valid names and Salary > 20000

 

Fig: Excel with Valid names and DOB > ’01-JAN-2012’

Sofbang Achieves Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service

Sofbang is excited to announce that we are one of the first companies globally to achieve OPN Specialized Status for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service!

Oracle Cloud is the industry’s broadest and most integrated public cloud, offering a complete range of services across SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. It supports new cloud environments, existing ones, and hybrid, and all workloads, developers, and data.  The Oracle Cloud delivers nearly 1,000 SaaS applications and 50 enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to customers in more than 195 countries around the world and supports 55 billion transactions each day.

Sofbang continues to make significant investments in the Oracle Cloud Platform ensuring that its comprehensive end-to-end solutions extend and integrate on-premise and SaaS applications.  In addition, Sofbang has its own Oracle Cloud Solutions Center of Excellence, which streamlines its ability to streamline operations, run customer proofs of concept and develop relevant industry solution accelerators built on the Oracle Cloud Platform. Sofbang’s solutions accelerators include Licensing and Permitting, Mobile Contracts Management, Mobile Workforce Management and Proximity Based Marketing, built and designed with a scalable architecture that grows and evolves as business needs change. Sofbang’s solutions accelerators are available for download on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, Apple Store and Google Play, and leverage best practices and open standards.

“As a system integration partner with an Oracle Cloud designation and distinguished recipient of the Oracle Mobile Partner of the Year award in 2015, Sofbang continues to demonstrate an industry-leading commitment to helping our joint customers leverage Oracle’s Integrated Cloud,” says Valerie Singer, Vice President, North America Cloud Strategy and Sales at Oracle.  “We congratulate Sofbang on its achievement in attaining OPN Specialized status for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service.”

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