In our data-driven world, businesses are always looking for new and innovative ways to gain an edge over the competition. Technologies such as data virtualization can help businesses achieve their goals while optimizing operations, enhancing performance, and improving customer service. Below, we’ll explore the benefits of data virtualization and provide tips for choosing the best data virtualization software for your business.
Understanding Data Virtualization
Data virtualization is a process that allows businesses to access their data from a centralized location, regardless of where that data is physically located. This is done by creating a virtual copy of the data that can be accessed by authorized users from anywhere in the world. By employing data virtualization software, businesses can improve their data efficiency and performance, while also minimizing the amount of storage space that is required.
Data virtualization improves performance and scalability by reducing the amount of data that needs to be queried, and by reducing the number of hops that data must make between the data source and the data consumer. It can also be used to improve data quality by standardizing the data format and by cleansing and de-duplicating the data.
Virtualization can also strengthen the security of the data architecture by limiting access to authorized users, and by encrypting the data when it is transmitted between the data sources and the data consumers.
Some factors you should consider when choosing a data virtualization product include the type of data you want to virtualize, the size and complexity of your environment, your budget, and the features offered by different platforms.
Identifying Your Infrastructure and Compatibility Needs
When looking for data virtualization software, it’s important to first assess your infrastructure and compatibility needs. This includes understanding the requirements of your applications and your organization’s overall architecture.
For example, if you have a large-scale application that requires a lot of resources, you’ll need a data virtualization platform that can accommodate those demands. Likewise, if you’re using multiple applications that need to work together, you’ll need software that can integrate with them seamlessly.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the compatibility of your current infrastructure with the data virtualization software. For example, some platforms only run on certain operating systems or require specific hardware configurations. Make sure the software you choose will work with your existing setup.
It’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and make sure the data virtualization software you choose can meet them. Otherwise, you may end up with a product that doesn’t accommodate your needs, and you’ll end up wasting your money.
Assessing the Features of Data Virtualization Software
When looking for data virtualization software, you must select a product that not only has the features you need today, but also the features that can meet your needs in the future. For example, the software should be able to handle a variety of data formats and be able to integrate with your existing systems.
The scalability of the software is another significant factor in choosing the right data virtualization solution. The product should be able to handle increasing amounts of data and be able to support more users as your business grows.
If your business is looking for software that can improve data quality, you may want to consider options that include data profiling and data cleansing features. If improving the agility of your data is a priority, look for virtualization software that includes self-service capabilities.
Another factor to consider is the company behind the software. A good software provider should have a strong track record of success and be able to provide you with the support you need when you encounter problems. Additionally, the company should be able to keep up with the latest trends in data virtualization so that you can continue to take advantage of the latest technology.
There are several commercial and open-source virtualization options available. Some of the most popular platforms include Dell Boomi, IBM InfoSphere DataStage, Microsoft SQL Server Data Virtualization, and Oracle Data Integrator.
Evaluating the Cost of Data Virtualization Solutions
When evaluating the cost of data virtualization solutions, there are numerous factors to consider, the first of which is the price of the software itself. Some solutions are more expensive than others, though this may be offset by other features or benefits. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of implementing and supporting the software. This includes both initial setup costs and ongoing maintenance fees.
Another important consideration is the amount of data that needs to be virtualized. Not all solutions are able to handle large amounts of data, so you’ll need to make sure the software has big data capabilities. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure your hardware is capable of handling the additional load that data virtualization will create.
Finally, you’ll need to consider any potential licensing costs associated with using a data virtualization solution. Many vendors charge per user or per CPU, so you’ll need to factor this into your budget if it applies.
Getting Started With Data Virtualization
Once the data virtualization platform is selected, the next step is to create the data model. This is the blueprint for the data virtualization layer and defines the structure of the data, including the columns and tables. It also includes the relationships between the data sets.
The data model can be created manually or using a tool such as IBM InfoSphere Data Architect. Once the data model is created, the data can be virtualized. This is done by importing the data into the platform and creating the virtual tables and views.
Once the data is virtualized, it can be accessed by the applications and users. The data can be queried and manipulated just like any other data set. This allows the users to work with the data in the way that is most convenient for them.
Data virtualization platforms can be a valuable tool for organizations of all sizes. They can help to improve the accuracy and timeliness of the data, while also reducing the complexity of the data architecture.