January 4, 2007

Data integration appliance vendor Cast Iron Systems

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into computing appliances – not just data warehouse appliances, but security, anti-spam and other appliance types as well. Today I added Cast Iron Systems to the list.

Essentially, they offer data integration without the common add-ons. I.e., there’s little or nothing in the way of data cleansing, composite apps, business process management, and/or business activity monitoring. Data just gets imported, extracted, and/or synchronized, whether between pairs of transactional systems, or between a transactional system and a reporting database. A particularly hot area of application for them seems to be SaaS/on-demand app integration (Salesforce.com, Netsuite, etc.) In particular, they boast both Lawson and Salesforce.com as internal users, and at least at Lawson they are used for a Salesforce/Lawson integration.

The big advantage to this strategy is that their integrator is simple enough for appliance deployment. Indeed, unlike most other appliance vendors I talk with, they say almost nothing about the features or speed of their technology – it’s all simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. I’m not being critical here; data integration can be pretty boring whether or not it’s simple, so keeping it simple is all to the good.

As for the hardware/platform side, it’s similar to what I’m hearing from other appliance vendors (Netezza and their emphasis on an FPGA are a real outlier). Namely:

Being even less dependent on hardware tweaks than some other appliance vendors, they might seem to be a natural candidate for the VMware “virtual appliance” strategy. But while Cast Iron has built a VMware-based prototype, they find that most of their customers don’t have a VMware infrastructure in place. Thus, going VMware-based would obviate many of the deployment advantages of the appliance format.

Comments

5 Responses to “Data integration appliance vendor Cast Iron Systems”

  1. The Monash Report»Blog Archive » Guide to my recent research on computing appliances on January 18th, 2007 5:25 am

    [...] Half or more of the computing appliance vendors I’ve looked into follow very similar hardware strategies: They use mainly standard parts; they include uncommon but off-the-shelf networking (and sometimes encryption) accelerators; and they of course optimize the mix of those parts and general hardware architecture as well. Examples I’ve posted about recently include – and I quote the forthcoming column – “DATallegro and Teradata (data warehousing), Cast Iron Systems (data integration), Barracuda Networks (security/antispam), Blue Coat Systems (networking), and Juniper (security and networking).” [...]

  2. DBMS2 — DataBase Management System Services»Blog Archive » The boom in Salesforce.com integration on March 17th, 2007 12:09 am

    [...] I just rechecked my notes from my January talk with Cast Iron Systems. A large part of Cast Iron’s new business is also integration with Salesforce.com, Netsuite, and other SaaS vendors. [...]

  3. DBMS2 — DataBase Management System Services » Blog Archive » Cast Iron Systems focuses on SaaS data integration on April 25th, 2008 12:11 am

    [...] I wrote about data integration vendor Cast Iron Systems a year ago, its core message was “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” Supporting [...]

  4. data integration on January 13th, 2009 8:14 am

    Process-centric, Services (SOA)-based approach to Integration. Integrate in hours and days.

  5. More on Cast Iron Systems | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on May 3rd, 2010 11:54 am

    [...] again recently with Simon Peel of Cast Iron Systems, and this time I got a better understanding of Cast Iron’s simplicity claim. It refers largely to a drag-and-drop interface that furthermore provides default mappings between [...]

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