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This blog was originally posted under: The IM Blog
Informatica has announced the availability of Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) Winter 2017 release, which provides the company’s various integration and associated capabilities via cloud-based services. This is technically known as an “integration platform as a service” but I refuse to use the hideous acronym associated with this – “a special kind of beauty exists which is born in language” – not if you start from here there isn’t.
Prior to the launch of IICS this offering was generally known as the Winter Cloud release: which is also the name of a painting by Benjamin Everett and the colour of a paint – a very light pink – from International Tile Paints. My original title of this piece was therefore “the very light pink release from Informatica”. But the Informatica marketing department didn’t like my use of the word “light” because that might imply that this was a light release! Come again? Is there a humour deficiency here? I do not understand the logic. They also suggested that as Informatica has re-branded itself with an orange logo then perhaps “soulful orange” or “the new orange in town” might be preferable alternatives to referencing the pink of Winter Cloud. Where do these people live? Certainly not in the same universe as you or me.
More seriously, there is a lot in IICS and Informatica is rightly excited about this release.
I’m actually not going to discuss all the features of IICS – a microservices architecture, a new user experience, template-driven development, leverage of the CLAIRE artificial intelligence engine and a bunch of other capabilities – even though these all make worthy discussion points in their own right. What I do want to stress is one of the underlying design principles behind IICS, which is cloud portability.
The cloud is a non-trivial environment. To begin with there are multiple providers, the three major players Amazon, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform; as well as a host of less popular cloud platforms. You do not want to be locked into one particular platform, for all the same reasons that lock-in has always been a problem. However, it is much worse in the case of the cloud, because vendors are constantly (typically quarterly) introducing not just new functions but entirely new capabilities. And this makes it much more likely – and more common – that you will want to port, either between offerings on the same platform or that you will want to move from one provider to another.
Further, it is clear that companies are not limiting themselves to using a single platform. In fact, it has become a best-of-breed environment where different user departments (and I include IT as a user department here) are choosing different providers for different applications and solutions. Which is fine, except that it further increases the likelihood that you will want to migrate from one platform to another at some time in the future, at least for any specific application. And, in addition, it means that you have far more connectivity requirements: not just between your on-premises and cloud data but from the former to multiple instances of the latter as well as across all your various cloud implementations.
So, cloud portability is a growing and important issue that is not getting the attention in the market it deserves.
Returning to pale pink, one of the underlying principles behind the development of IICS is that it should be cloud provider agnostic and – Informatica being Informatica – that it should enable both connectivity between and migration across different cloud platforms. While that won’t fix every cloud portability issue, it will provide a solution for many of them and it is, in my opinion, what every vendor running in the cloud should be aiming for.