Big Data Meets Data Virtualization

Not Your Grandfather’s Data Warehouse – Big Data and Virtualization Impact your EDW Architecture” is the title of a recent blog by Brian Hopkins, a new analyst in Enterprise Architecture group at Forrester Research. Brian makes some great points about how two key technologies, Big Data and Data Virtualization, are impacting information architecture strategies and changing the role of the enterprise data warehouse as we know it.

 EAs should consider Big Data and Data Virtualization impacts on their future DW architecture

Above is the subtitle of Brian’s article. Wise guidance if you ask me.  And certainly in line with the work Composite Software is doing with our most advanced data virtualization customers.

Regarding Big Data per se, Brian makes the point that “Big Data expands the scope of data warehouses.” Further he points out that “Big Data technology applies the power of massively parallel distributed computing to capture and sift through data gone wild – that is, data at an extreme scale of volume, velocity, and variability.”

This is in-line with Gartner analysts Mark Beyer and Donald Feinberg’s insights on big data as reported at the Gartner BI Summit in Los Angeles in early May.  There Beyer and Feinberg used volume as the “big” equivalent, but added velocity, variety and complexity to the set of challenges facing information architects.

Enterprise data virtualization technology will change your Data Warehouse architecture

Brian’s second key point highlights data virtualization’s key architectural role in federating Big Data silos and the myriad other enterprise data sources both in the enterprise data warehouse and beyond. 

Brian advises that “future enterprise information architectures are likely to include malleable structures combining virtual and physical stores and connections to Big Data sets.” Further he counsels “You may need to put data warehouse architecture refresh on your work plan and start collaborating with stakeholders to sketch out a new target state to capitalize on these trends. Especially if your data warehouse is not a brand-spanking-new appliance that incorporates virtual data stores and Big Data already.”

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