Informatica Takes PowerCenter to the Clouds

With data fast moving into the cloud, an integration independent delivers its software via Amazon EC2.
In 2007 as cloud computing first started to capture the attention of the mainstream business community, Informatica responded by releasing on-premise adaptors for Web services and software as a service (SaaS) offerings such as The vendor followed up in 2008 with Informatica On Demand, a hosted, self-service data integration offering aimed at business users and SaaS system administrators. Now Informatica is stepping up its cloud coverage yet again with PowerCenter Cloud Edition, its core integration software hosted on Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (Amazon EC2).

"As more data moves into the cloud, we're finding that some integration needs are best served by having the data integration software in the cloud as well," says Girish Pancha, Informatica executive vice president and general manager of data integration. "For instance, if you're trying to build an application on Amazon that requires data, you don't need to bring it into your on-premise infrastructure."

PowerCenter Cloud Edition is to be formally introduced in September, but it was announced last week as a beta release. Where Informatica On Demand is aimed at lightweight integration for non-IT users, PowerCenter Cloud Edition is aimed squarely at IT professionals, with all the integration logic and coding capabilities of the standard edition of PowerCenter. Customers can convert existing PowerCenter licenses to be provisioned though Amazon, or they can use the software in pay-as-you-go fashion using Amazon payments starting at $24.95 per hour for a single node. The offering relies on the Amazon SimpleDB database and Amazon S3 storage as well as EC2, and it provides access to a variety of data sources, including relational databases, flat files, SaaS applications and Web services.

As a complement to the Cloud Edition, the vendor also announced last week the released of the Informatica On Demand PowerCenter Service, a new offering designed to let users remotely execute and manage data integration jobs on Amazon EC2. The service provides cloud-based remote administration capabilities to support self-service data migration and data management.

"The idea is to enable IT developers to build integration jobs with the PowerCenter Cloud Edition and then let business users run them in self-service fashion using the PowerCenter Service," Pancha explains. "This extends the capabilities of Informatica On Demand to be aware of the new PowerCenter Cloud Edition."

Cloud offerings and, particularly, pay-as-you-go-pricing will expand the market for Informatica software among small- and midsized-enterprises, according to Pancha. "Lots of potential customers wouldn't think of using Informatica for temporary needs and tactical projects," he says. "This provides an option for folks who think it's cheaper to hand code their integration projects."

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