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Robert Eve

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Virtualization: Article

Virtualization - Fast-Forward to Today's Virtual Data Marts

Don't get stuck in the slow lane

When Honda introduced the Civic in America in 1972, industry experts declared Honda would never succeed because automobiles were too complex and required skills and technology beyond those of the mere motorcycle company. Fast forward to today when Honda’s Civics and Accords are two of North America's top-selling cars.

What changed?

Honda developed the skills and technology to build nimble automobiles, while competitors stayed mired in old paradigms – big cars, poor mileage, and mediocre quality.

This story is being retold today with virtual data marts.

Virtual Data Marts – Solutions with Promise
When data marts and data warehouses were introduced in the mid-1990s, both physical and virtual versions were developed. Proponents valued virtual marts because of their promise of faster time-to-solution and greater agility to better meet fast-changing business requirements. However, critics argued against the virtual approach, contending physical replication and data consolidation were necessary steps prior to executing business intelligence (BI) reporting and analytics.

Technology vendors attempting to develop the first generation of virtual data mart technology lived up to critics’ predictions: they were unable to overcome the complexity in the source data, the fears of bogging down transactions systems, and the need to restructure data from tabular to dimensional form before reporting. As a result, the extract, transform and load (ETL) tool became the de facto solution for the complex data integration requirements of BI.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert "Bob" Eve is vice president of marketing at Composite Software. Prior to joining Composite, he held executive-level marketing and business development roles at several other enterprise software companies. At Informatica and Mercury Interactive, he helped penetrate new segments in his role as the vice president of Market Development. Bob ran Marketing and Alliances at Kintana (acquired by Mercury Interactive in 2003) where he defined the IT Governance category. As vice president of Alliances at PeopleSoft, Bob was responsible for more than 300 partners and 100 staff members. Bob has an MS in management from MIT and a BS in business administration with honors from University of California, Berkeley. He is a frequent contributor to publications including SYS-CON's SOA World Magazine and Virtualization Journal.

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