Business-intelligence software has historically been the domain
of larger enterprises, largely due to the time and cost requiremed
to implement. Smaller businesses with limited IT resources merely
see BI as a 'wish-list' only item.
However, this is changing as several BI software vendors have introduced
BI Appliances are boxes that are pre-configured with business intelligence
software, providing a 'ready to go' solution. However, this 'box'
still needs to fit into the data center. To get around that issue,
BI appliances are going virtual.
For instance, Business Objects, one of the largest pure-play BI
vendors launched its first virtual appliance in September 2007.
There are two ways to deploy BI in a virtual world:
BI Appliances - solution is installed on any available
box in its data center within an existing virtualization infrastructure,
- A pre-configured, pre-optimized version of Business Objects
- A ready-to-go database
- Security protocols
BI Virtual Appliance - alternative, rather than
a replacement for the 'hardware' BI appliances. Virtual BI Appliances
require less IT involvement.
IBM, Cognos and Netezza all offer BI appliances loaded with Business
Objects software A maintenance-free BI option is provided by Business
Objects using [SaaS] software as a service.
The BI appliance is aimed at small and midsize businesses. With
this market sector growing 50% faster than Business Objects enterprise
business, this is providing a significant revenue stream for BI,
heralding an ongoing interest with BI vendors to make business intelligence
more accessible and more affordable.
To date, Business Objects and BI vendor, Panorama Software, are
the only ones offering BI in a virtual appliance model. Many Business
Objects customers are already running the software on a VMware infrastructure,
but the virtual appliance approach will help SME businesses manage
the investment in business analytics.
In spite of vendor hype that the virtual appliance can be operational
within several hours, barriers to entry for smaller companies remain
around ease of use, data quality problems, and the cost of good
data architects and BI software licenses.
The solution is available both direct through the BO Channel and
through VMware's Virtual Appliance Marketplace. About 600 virtual
appliances are sold through VMware's marketplace. More Business
Objects BI solutions will be available as virtual appliances in
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Clear About BI With This Comprehensive Guide To BI Strategy, Program &
BI Solution Index | Market
| Gartner Eval. |
Comparisons | BI
On Demand | BusinessObjects | Cognos
8 BI | IBM | Information
Builders | MS PerformancePoint
| MS Sharepoint | Microstrategy
| Oracle BI | SAP
BI | SAS |
Teradata | BI Virtual Appliances
| BI Vendor Updates | 2008