Oops! The input is malformed! Data Replication for Improved BI and Analytics: A Spotlight Q&A with Matt Benati of Attunity by Ron Powell - BeyeNETWORK UK


Data Replication for Improved BI and Analytics: A Spotlight Q&A with Matt Benati of Attunity

Originally published 29 February 2012

BeyeNETWORK Spotlights focus on news, events and products in the business intelligence ecosystem that are poised to have a significant impact on the industry as a whole; on the enterprises that rely on business intelligence, analytics, performance management, data warehousing and/or data governance products to understand and act on the vital information that can be gleaned from their data; or on the providers of these mission-critical products.

Presented as Q&A-style articles, these interviews conducted by the BeyeNETWORK present the behind-the-scene view that you won’t read in press releases.

This BeyeNETWORK spotlight features Ron Powell's interview with Matt Benati, Vice President of Global Marketing at Attunity. Ron and Matt discuss the advances in data replication, its role in “big data” analytics and the business benefits data replication can provide.

RON: Data replication has long been a strategic capability for all large enterprises. How have you seen data replication evolve and what are the typical use cases you’re seeing these days for data replication?

Matt Benati: The typical use cases we’re seeing include business intelligence and predictive analytics, operational data warehousing, operational and real-time reporting, query offloading, migrations, upgrades and data distribution. We are also receiving more and more inquiries about moving data to the cloud for many of these same use cases.

RON: Attunity is an established company that has been in the data integration space for more than 20 years. I understand that your new data replication product, Attunity Replicate, promises a radical departure from the traditional, complex process of data replication. How do you accomplish that and what are the product’s differentiators?

Matt Benati: Two of Attunity Replicate’s key differentiators are high performance and simplicity. In recent tests, Attunity’s replication was up to 10x faster than the competition and our change data capture was 2 and a half times faster. And where our competitors require customers to have advanced/master DBA skill sets and years of experience to install and use the product, Attunity Replicate features a revolutionary “Click-2-Replicate’ design with drag-and-drop functionality – unheard of in today’s data replication space.

RON: How are you able to gain such a significant performance edge over the competition?

Matt Benati: Attunity Replicate’s powerful high performance is chiefly possible via our innovative in-memory streaming technology. Think of Attunity Replicate as a high-speed bullet train with no stops and the competition as a regional train with many stops. Additionally, Attunity Replicate is a complete end-to-end solution with high-speed bulk loading as well as incremental and schema replication. The competition does not offer bulk loading or DDL replication and therefore these necessary steps in the process must be done in several separate steps requiring additional IT labor. These missing capabilities affect performance negatively and add unwanted complexity.

RON: Can you tell us more about the simplicity that Attunity Replicate offers? In addition to the Click-2-Replicate design, what else about the product enables a simplified user process?

Matt Benati: A key feature that is very popular with our customers and prospects is Attunity Replicate’s out-of-the-box automation. Every step of the replication process is automated, which means that no extra scripting and master DBA skills are necessary. Attunity Replicate automatically switches to change data capture mode once the initial full load is complete. But it gets better – if a new table is added to the source, Attunity Replicate recognizes this and will automatically perform a full load of this table and then move into change data capture mode. You may be wondering how the target database can receive the data for such a modification – well, remember, Attunity Replicate also automates the creation or modification of DDL and schema changes. Additionally, Attunity Replicate provides web-based dashboards to monitor the entire replication life-cycle.

It is truly a holistic replication solution! The competition simply does not offer this level of end-to-end completeness and automation.

RON: Big data has created some of the industry’s largest and most difficult challenges to solve. Can you highlight the crucial part that Attunity plays in an effective end-to-end solution?

Matt Benati: Today, big data is used to provide companies with competitive advantages through business intelligence and analytics. One of the most time-consuming and difficult parts of managing big data is the process of accessing and moving the data. And that’s where Attunity shines. We help expedite the process significantly by efficiently replicating all big data content – structured, semi-structured and unstructured – on premises and to the cloud, easily and quickly.

RON: Organizations today demand flexibility in their solutions to fit various use cases where they may only need to leverage parts of a very robust solution. What kind of flexibility do you offer?

Matt Benati: Attunity’s heritage stems from successfully enabling access to and data movement from legacy systems including OpenVMS, HP NonStop, and mainframes. We continue to offer those solutions and have expanded the breadth of data integration offerings significantly over the years. In fact, we are proud that all of our products have been improved and refined based on direct customer input to ensure we’re offering the flexibility and functionality they require. In addition to our roots in connectivity, we also offer data federation, data replication, change data capture, enterprise file replication and managed file transfer solutions. These provide our customers with options that they choose to best suit their needs and allow them to tackle their most challenging data integration initiatives.

Regarding flexibility specific to Attunity Replicate, we allow our customers to choose where they want the product to sit in the enterprise. Attunity Replicate offers zero footprint functionality by residing on a separate server. This means that no agent needs to be placed on source or target – eliminating overhead on mission-critical systems. However, in the spirit of flexibility, Attunity Replicate can also be installed on either the source or target instead, if that’s what the customer desires.

Lastly, Attunity Replicate can load data directly to a server or data warehouse without the need for ETL. If limited transformations are needed, then Attunity Replicate’s high-performance loading capabilities are ideal to directly replicate the data quickly, simply and efficiently. I should also note that today’s modern data warehouses are very adept at data cleansing and data transformation; Attunity Replicate’s focus on high-performance matches well with this new ELT paradigm.

RON: I can see how the benefits we discussed would enable a faster time to value for businesses that are able to gain improved BI and business insight more quickly and readily. What specific, business-level benefits can organizations gain by using Attunity Replicate?

Matt Benati: Being able to gain improved BI and analytics for better insights is critical for businesses today. When companies have real-time, 360-degree views of their business, it enables them to make better, more timely fact-based decisions. This empowers organizations and gives them a competitive advantage since they can trust that decisions are consistently being made based on accurate, up-to-date information. In addition, enterprises are able to increase their agility. This means they can move more quickly, reduce risk and respond faster to events. Lastly, the ability to make analytics more accessible throughout an organization is very valuable.

Overall, Attunity Replicate offers a lower total cost of ownership and frees up IT staff for higher-value activities by providing high-performance and a radically simple design.

RON: Thank you Matt for bringing us up to date on data replication and Attunity.

SOURCE: Data Replication for Improved BI and Analytics: A Spotlight Q&A with Matt Benati of Attunity

  • Ron PowellRon Powell
    Ron is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010.  Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

    More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

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