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8/31/2009
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Cast Iron Offers Amazon EC2 Integration

The service lets customers integrate and move data between apps in Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and their own data centers.

Cast Iron Systems, a provider of cloud computing integration services, is now offering a service utilizing Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.

Eight-year-old Cast Iron has worked with customers such as Allianz and Amerisource Bergen to integrate software-as-a-service applications with their on-premise applications. Cast Iron's primary product has been SaaS integration appliances, which are small servers programmed to let companies integrate their Salesforce.com application services, for example, with their onsite Oracle financial applications.

Now Cast Iron is renting space on Amazon EC2 to offer a new service that lets customers integrate and move data between applications that are in EC2 and their own data centers, or move data between a software service and an onsite app.

It's intended to replace the middleware or custom coding companies would typically need for such an integration. Hoover's, for example, is using Cast Iron's new service to let customers access Hoover's data, delivered as a software service, from within Oracle On Demand, another software service. Cast Iron Cloud on EC2 accesses the Hoover's service via APIs, extracts the required data based on the search criteria and delivers it as a "mashup" directly within Oracle CRM On Demand, said Cast Iron VP Chandar Pattabhiram.

The integration service might also appeal to companies looking to move databases or applications to Amazon EC2 that they no longer want to maintain onsite, but which they may want to integrate with remaining onsite apps, Pattabhiram said. Other potential customers are small software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies that use EC2 to host their applications and want to offer cloud-to-onsite application integration services to their customers.

CIOs often cite cloud-to-onsite application integration as one the biggest drawbacks of cloud computing, due to the cost and complexity of such projects.

InformationWeek's Informed CIO series lays out 10 questions to ask about application performance management before buying. Download the report here (registration required).

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