Data Virtualization for Business Intelligence Systems
Data virtualization is a technology that makes a heterogeneous set of databases and files look like one integrated database. When used in business intelligence systems, it can make the architectures dramatically simpler, cheaper, and, most important, more agile. New reporting and analytical needs can be implemented faster, and existing systems can be changed more easily. This increased agility is needed because, on one hand, business users demand more agility from their systems since their world has begun to change, and, on the other hand, because new forms of business intelligence, such as operational reporting, big data analytics, 360-degree reporting, self-service reporting, and exploratory analysis, are required. This book is dedicated to data virtualization and how to efficiently exploit that technology in business intelligence systems. But letâ€™s start with the beginning, and letâ€™s start with the term virtualization.
In the IT industry, we have entered the era of virtualization. Sometimes it feels as if anything in our industry can be virtualized, including memory, storage, networks, and data centers. Virtualization is hot. Look at the popularity of cloud technology, which can be classified as a virtualization technology as well. Virtualization is right in the spotlight, and it will stay there for some time.
What all these virtualization technologies and concepts have in common is that they encapsulate a certain resource. Any virtualization solution hides how much of the resource is available, its location, how much of the resource is available, what API is needed to get to the resource, and so on. But donâ€™t confuse virtualization with the term virtual world offered by some computer games. Those games do present something virtual, but theyâ€™re not encapsulating a particular resource.
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