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Hexaware E-book on Q & A for Cloud BI

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Hexaware Business Intelligence & Analytics


Actionable Intelligence Enabled

HEXAWARE Q & A E-BOOK ON CLOUD BI


What is cloud computing? Cloud computing can be defined as a solution in which all users share the available resources as and when needed. It can be identified by some characteristics such as elasticity (i.e. the capability to scale up or down on demand), multi-tenancy, pay-per-use etc. What is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)? SaaS facilitates running of online applications. The vendors completely manage the applications while the users pay a service charge. It is suitable only for generic applications and not for custom, complex ones. PaaS aprovides the platform to allow the creation of new web (cloud) applications. Since moving applications between platforms is cumbersome there is an increased risk of vendor lock-in. Vendors manage everything but the applications. IaaS replaces a companys infrastructure by allowing applications to run on the vendors cloud hardware. The onus of managing the environment is equally shared between the user and the vendor.

Layers Applications Databases Security Runtimes Networking Storage Server Hardware Virtualization Servers

IaaS

PaaS Self-managed

SaaS

Self-managed Everything except the applications is managed by the vendor Completely managed by the vendor

Vendor managed

Provide major SaaS, PaaS and IaaS vendors in the market SaaS: Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce.com, Google Docs PaaS: Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com IaaS: Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, GoGrid, VMware, CA Technologies, Bluemile. Explain the different cloud computing deployment models Public Clouds are available publicly (to all), owned and provisioned by a cloud services vendor. A public cloud simply indicates shared resources available over the Internet from a third-party provider. These resources are typically available on pay-per-use models.

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Private Clouds thrive within your organizations fortress of privacy, are indigenously managed (by your own IT team) or by a third party vendor and may be established on-premise or off-premise. They are cloud services you create and control within your enterprise. The benefits offered by Private clouds differ from that offered by public clouds in that they are harnessed with higher data security and reliability. Hybrid Clouds are a combination of the public and the private cloud. Management responsibilities are equally shared between the vendor and the enterprise itself.

Community Clouds are cloud services shared among several organizations/enterprises that form a community with same/similar purposes of existence. Management can be either done by the enterprises or an off-site third party cloud provider and they may be established on-premise or off-premise. What is multi-tenancy? Multi-tenancy is a technical mechanism in Cloud computing that supports multi-tenants (i.e. customers) in the same operating environment. It ensures necessary isolation of customers privilege resources in a shared environment. A key characteristic for multi-tenancy is that one tenants data is effectively isolated from other tenants authorization. Tenants can be from the same enterprise (e.g. finance and marketing departments of a single enterprise) and hence multi-tenancy should not be used interchangeably with the term multi-enterprise.

Cloud Computing Types

Public

What is cloud BI? Cloud BI Jaspersoft defines a cloud-based business intelligence platform as one that makes use of IaaS, complements and extends today's PaaS, utilizes an on-demand, virtualized, elastic software and hardware environment, and delivers application-level functionality as a service (commonly referred to as SaaS)

Private

Hybrid

Public

Public

Public

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What are the primary Pros and Cons of cloud based (or SaaS) BI? Pros: Potential for faster deployments since little to no infrastructure is required Scalability Reduced total cost of ownership Pay-on-demand Reduction in carbon footprint due to no or limited hardware Cons: Vendor lock-in Switching between cloud vendors Not suited for mission/machine critical apps where downtime cannot be afforded No or limited control Why is cloud BI touted to be a game-changer? The use of BI in cloud makes it affordable and accessible to those who need it. Traditional BI systems have always been very expensive: right from bringing up a system to maintaining it. Also, the users who needed these BI systems had no access, leaving them incapable of taking any critical business decisions. With cloud BI, the cost drops dramatically with a web browser being the primary or the only requirement in most cases. It also renders better support to dashboards or reports intended for the next generation mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

What are some of the scenarios where Cloud BI can be recommended? Cloud (SaaS) based BI can be recommended when: You require lots of elasticity in terms of usage, price and volume You dont need mission-critical SLAs You are not dependent on offline/disconnected architecture You dont need the maturity of on-premise BI platforms and solutions What are some of the risk mitigation steps and strategies to look into while adopting Cloud BI? Perform due diligence for security, back up and disaster recovery Do not overlook pricing and contract matters Evaluate long term total cost of ownership (TCO) Do not fail to test platforms through proof-of-concept programs Check out support offerings like communities, discussion forums and blogs How do virtualization and private cloud initiatives impact BI applications? BI is all about agility and clearly technology such as cloud that enables important technology such as BI to improve business agility is very important. Cloud provides a new delivery channel for firms to get their BI services more cheaply than the typical seven-figure BI/DW and data integration deal. An example would be Jaspersoft, an open source BI tool that while installed in client sites, can run optimally in a virtualized, cloud-enabled x86 environment

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One of the central issues with Big Data volume is the issue of how to most effectively store and analyze it, and in fact the cloud is ideal for this, which is why companies like NetApp are beginning to offer hosted near-IaaS Hadoop solutions that feature infrastructure optimized for I/O intensive analytic workloads. Are portability options available with cloud vendors? Today, it is fairly possible that businesses may get locked in with a cloud vendor. One of the important reasons for this situation is the fact that a majority of cloud vendors in the market have developed non-interoperable solutions. This is a consequence of the fact that there are no interoperability standards for cloud computing available today. Interoperability standards and frameworks for interoperating between clouds are still evolving and should become mature in the years to come. Why should traditional BI vendors adopt Cloud BI when it jeopardizes their revenues from selling licenses? Traditional BI vendors can and would welcome Cloud BI; they just have to change their strategy. Instead of making money by selling licenses to few major companies (who can afford the huge licensing costs) they can make money by now selling their services/products in a pay-per-use model to a large number of companies including small and medium enterprises. Basically, the model changes from earning big with few companies to earning small with many companies. The upside to this approach is that it increases their market presence since their clientele would be spread all across from small, medium to major enterprises.
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What are the other mega trends alongside Cloud BI? Today there are three mega trends: Cloud BI, Social media and Mobile BI each feeding into the other. The reason these are inter-dependent is because of what they can offer to the end user. For e.g. some of the key advantages of Mobile BI are increased employee productivity, improved agility and enhanced collaboration. Social media offers real-time data that can be crucial in making strategic business decisions at the right time. Cloud BI proves to be the platform to tap the potential of the other two mega trends to the fullest because of its great time-to-value, quick & cheap deployment, scalability and less to no administration requirements among others. When all the three mega trends work in tandem, the expectations of todays end-user can be easily met. How is data loaded into a cloud-based data warehouse? Loading data into a cloud-based data warehouse is no different from how it works in any on-premise DBMS. Once a schema is defined, the data can be extracted and transferred using standard migration tools available with the vendor. You can use commercial ETL tools to perform transformations and take care of the business logic. The instance in the cloud appears like any other database instance in your organization.

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For more queries on Cloud BI please get in touch with corporatemarketing@hexaware.com and BIInnovations@hexaware.com Want to keep up with the industry's latest trends? Visit our blog on BI http://blogs.hexaware.com/index/business-intelligence to hear from our experts