Misleading Real Time Product Literature
After reading some real-time integration literature for a few products, I'm left feeling like the vendors are missing the point. There was a lot of focus on moving data from point to point in real time, and on how low the latencies are for their products. This would be fine if we were only worried about how fast it took data to get from point A to point B.
The problem is that this is not the real measure of what's important. The business need that drives the real-time infrastructure dictates what sort of latency is important. It's a rare enterprise that needs subsecond interconnections, or data precisely 30 seconds after an event occurs. The focus should be on meeting the information latency needs of the users.
Most products will do this. Getting them into benchmark-like shootouts is counterproductive. It's not so much the fault of the vendor marketing as it is the whole IT buying cycle. Everyone wants neat little checklists that can run down to do a product comparison, and the product marketers like to focus on things that are easy to differentiate.
It's easy to show the difference between 5 second and subsecond information delivery. It's hard to show the difference between one product's mechanism for integrating with a custom system and another's, and why one is better. It's easy to show how well a system scales under various workloads, but not how performance is affected if one link in a chain of systems has a problem.
This is one of the reasons I wrote my last article on real-time data integration for Intelligent Enterprise. What we're usually trying to buy with integration products is infrastructure, and infrastructure doesn't come in a box. IT infrastructure is a set of technologies that need to fit into a technology plan, and need to supply a relatively stable and regular set of services.
Posted by Mark Tuesday, July 01, 2003 9:33:00 PM |