Informatica hopes 'Vibe' can be data integration's version of the JVM

Vibe, a 'virtual data machine,' will eventually run on small devices and sensors

Informatica has given its virtual data machine technology a proper name and is planning to create versions of it that can run on anything from high-end servers in private data centers to small devices and sensors.

Dubbed Vibe, the "VDM engine" concept has been part of Informatica's data integration platform since the beginning, said Marge Breya, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. It allows users to create data-integration mappings once, and then run them across multiple platforms.

Informatica recently ported its VDM to the Hadoop framework for large-scale data processing. The VDM provides an abstraction layer that makes users of Informatica's PowerCenter application "defacto Hadoop developers," since they can use their existing skills, according to a statement.

But Informatica's goal with Vibe is to have the VDM technology running in far more places, such as sensors on industrial equipment or smart utility meters, capturing data and sending it to back-end systems for analysis.

"Data is coming from everywhere," Breya said. "It's a world of performance optimization if you can have a smart network that can understand every device and performance level on the network."

She equated Informatica's vision for Vibe to the Java Virtual Machine, which now runs on billions of small devices around the world.

Work is still ongoing to create a slimmed-down version of Vibe that can actually run on those lower-powered gadgets, said Ash Kulkarni, senior vice president and general manager, data integration. Informatica doesn't expect to make announcements on that front until next year, he added.

Informatica is expected to discuss Vibe further during its customer conference, which begins Tuesday in Las Vegas.

It's also planning to announce a new product, PowerCenter Express, a version of the flagship version that's aimed at department-level deployments.

Informatica already had a similar, cloud-based offering, but Express is deployed on-premises.

There is significant demand for a product like Express among Informatica's customer base, many of which have large investments in its software but have IT operations that use a shared services model, Kulkarni said.

But then these same companies have developers working on one-off projects at the departmental level, who need Informatica-like functionality but don't yet know whether their project will be big enough to warrant being part of the shared services model, he added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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