Integration as a Service Connects Your Apps to the Cloud
Hybrid cloud management spans beyond setting up your IaaS environment. The majority of enterprises use a mix of on premises infrastructure (both legacy and newly deployed) and cloud-based resources. Often a major hurdle remains: applications that are not ready to connect to the cloud.
Enter Integration as a Service. We know, we know. Everything as a Service overload! This emerging field involves a vendor who can help architect enterprise IT apps to work across on premises and cloud environments, complete with real-time exchange of data.
How does Integration-a-a-S work and what should you expect from a cloud integration provider?
Intro to Cloud Integration as a Service
Integration-a-a-S can be a fully custom engagement, or it can come from a vendor who offers a PaaS hosted with a cloud provider. These platforms, such as Dell Boomi, help sync data across SaaS and other apps. At the consumer level, you may be familiar with some Integration service providers like If This Then Than (IFTT) or Zapier. They're managed via web portal and are Pay As You Go (PAYG).
While these providers offer a true -as-a-Service on-demand model for their platforms, they can be limited in which cloud applications they can connect and how custom you can get with your on-prem infrastructure and applications.
We would like to posit that Integration-a-a-S can also be provided from a service provider who offers ongoing custom software development and IaaS/PaaS management. This full stack integration would be paid in a combination of subscription services and consulting, one-time engagements, making it not quite a true -a-a-S delivery model, but one still worth considering.
This type of integration partner will help you develop custom software solutions -- whether that means brand new software, middleware, or rearchitecting your existing apps – that enable integration of your wide ranging enterprise systems with cloud IaaS and PaaS. This often includes assistance with or ongoing management of the cloud environment as well as the software stack.
Goals of Integration-as-a-Service include:
- Elimination of specific dependencies within applications
- Interoperability and data exchange between various data storage systems
- Spending less internal time on syncing application data
- Improving efficiency of infrastructure management
- Migrating to cloud-first infrastructure design
- Expanding resources on-demand in a “burst” situation
- Consistency across architectures and APIs
- Diminished requirements for patching and upgrades
- Automation of applications and related infrastructure components (such as Infrastructure as Code)
Why use Integration as a Service?
Moving apps to the cloud isn’t always as simple as you might hope. Using a third party to integrate systems allows your IT team to focus on user experience and improving service delivery rather than maintaining cloud resources and adapting your apps to this new paradigm.
Integration-as-a-Service can be used to leverage cloud storage for on-premises applications (especially useful for cold storage in object storage environments), hosting web applications and email archives, application development and testing, and big data initiatives (which benefit from cloud-native tools and platforms).
With many hybrid cloud architectures, security is a major factor for performing some actions on-prem. Integration-a-a-S is one solution that can enable authentication or other security mandates on-premises before moving data to public cloud apps.