Google and Informatica: Platform and Integration Rideshare with Big Data Driving
Google makes a healthy living by boldly investing in its own innovative and competitive spirit, and exhibits continuous daring by believing it can develop legitimate if not superior alternatives to market leaders. Consider all the cases where Google took on the challenge of being a fast second-mover:
- Browser: Firefox vs. IE vs. Chrome
- Mobile OS: iOS vs. Android
- Productivity Apps: Office vs. Google Apps
- Social Networking: Facebook vs. Google+
- Tablet: iPad vs. Galaxy Tab vs. Nexus 7
- Enterprise Cloud: Amazon AWS vs. Google Cloud Platform
Google competing as a platform player has become standard fare. Then why wouldn't Google take on the dirty work of building integration solutions so that, for example, Google Cloud does not end up as an island in the sea of enterprise IT? Why wouldn't Google deploy a team to develop a commercial Master Data Management (MDM) offering, data quality tools, and a massive number of packaged data transformations and migrations? Perhaps because it is far too difficult and time-consuming to replicate, and perhaps because Informatica has already done this work.
Thus, today we witnessed the announcement of Informatica joining the Google Cloud Platform Partner Program. Informatica took an extra step beyond mere partnership by unveiling Informatica Cloud Connector for Google Cloud, which, among other features, delivers secure data movement to-and-from Google Cloud storage and query services - particularly aiming for Google BigQuery which is Google's Big Data as-a-Service offering. Informatica integrative PaaS features are available on Google Cloud immediately via an early access program.
To be fair to Amazon AWS, Informatica has offered a long list of integration services for AWS, announced way back in 2009. Plus, more recently Informatica announced support of Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), Amazon's HaaS offering (Hadoop-as-a-Service) with availability of Informatica HParser reaching availability just a over a month ago to speed Hadoop parsing and transformations.
On the surface it would appear that Amazon AWS owns an integration headstart over Google due to the wide range of Informatica services already available for subscription on Amazon AWS, but it seems Google is focusing on integration more for Big Data at this stage than for enterprise apps, with BigQuery the main attraction. In addition, Informatica is making available its full set of integration services available as part of the Informatica Cloud for Google, which essentially puts Google on par with Amazon.
In most situations Google's name carries more sway than Informatica. In this case, however, the smaller vendor takes on the role of legitimizing the platform vendor. Bottom line is simple: You cannot do the vast majority of Big Data projects without data integration technologies, and you cannot hope to successfully host true enterprise applications in your Cloud without full-fledged data integration services. The roles switched in this case, where Big Data is driving, Informatica rides shotgun giving directions, and Google sits in the back seat thankful for the ride.