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TIBCO talks cloud strategy for the enterprise

Sriram Chakravarthy, TIBCO's head of cloud strategy, shares the integration giant's views on enterprises and cloud computing.

TIBCO, which bills itself as "the world's largest independent provider of business integration software," is working to realign its software and business process products to meet interest in cloud computing. It's pitching TIBCO Silver as the integration and middleware answer as enterprises seek to decouple themselves from traditional IT infrastructure. It's got a lot of competition -- Oracle is hyping its Fusion middleware, and IBM recently bought Cast Iron, which integrates Software as a Service (SaaS) with internal ERP solutions. Sriram Chakravarthy, senior product manager for cloud services, laid out TIBCO's views on cloud and gives some examples from the trenches.

What is the interest level in public cloud vs private cloud technologies among TIBCO customers?

Sriram Chakravarthy: There is a considerable amount of interest in both the public and private clouds. We are starting to see the following trends:

  • Public clouds for new projects/pilots: Enterprises are utilizing the public cloud model for new projects, as they provide a quicker and cheaper alternative to deliver applications. In most cases, after the initial pilot and test scenarios, they either move to a private or an in-house deployment model.
  • Private clouds for better utilization of existing resources: Enterprises are looking at private cloud-based deployments for better utilization and elasticity to maximize resources for existing applications (primarily Java, JEE,.NET).
  • Cloud bursting: Although it is still marginal compared to the other two, we are starting to see some initial set of uses where applications (especially high-performance, computer-based applications) running in a private cloud or data center are bursting into a public cloud to meet resource demands and then shrinking back after completion.

From a platform perspective, we believe it is necessary to provide for a platform that is infrastructure agnostic and provide the choice of delivering enterprise grade applications to either a public or a private cloud-based infrastructure. Our customers are using both private and public cloud deployments, and in some cases, a hybrid of both. It just really depends on what fits their technology and business requirements best.

Where does TIBCO see the most interest in clouds and how can the interested enterprise IT organization make sensible use of cloud infrastructures like Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

SC: We continue to see interest across various verticals, with a stronger awareness and need among telecom, financial services institutions and government agencies. A few use cases that demonstrate how enterprises from a variety of markets are starting to leverage a cloud platform to deliver services more quickly to their customers:

  • A media marketing company uses pilot programs to determine the effectiveness of their market data for product introduction, pricing, placement, etc. Running this function on their own infrastructure turned out to be not only expensive, but also time consuming to deliver and administer, leading to diminishing returns on the feedback they got from these pilots. They are using…an elastic application platform (on top of an AWS infrastructure) to effectively shrink the amount of time and resources its takes to deliver these pilot programs.
  • A telecom provider is using TIBCO Silver to reduce the time and resources it takes to onboard partners. The goal is to eliminate the need for partners to invest in their own infrastructure and platform resources and instead utilize an elastic cloud platform to build the next generation mobile applications. This would also enable them to have a far broader reach -- instead of having tens of large partners who can invest in the infrastructure to create applications, they can potentially have thousands of smaller partners building applications on their services delivery platform without a large upfront investment.
  • A large insurance company has invested in virtualization technology to consolidate and aggregate its data centers. They are using TIBCO Silver to help them migrate existing packaged, JEE and custom applications to this new data center, as well as enabling these applications to better utilize the virtualized data center.

What role does TIBCO see things like Salesforce.com and Google Apps playing in the enterprise with TIBCO products?

SC: We do see SaaS applications, as well consumer and social networking applications, being used [more] in the enterprise. We also see a lot of value in integrating existing enterprise assets with these applications. We predict that the integration aspect of the platform will become increasingly critical to enable enterprises to create composite applications that can securely integrate the data and processes of the enterprise assets with the usability of consumer applications.

SRIRAM CHAKRAVARTHY'S BIO:
Mr. Chakravarthy is head of cloud services and strategy at TIBCO. He has more than 10 years of experience in designing and implementing high-performance messaging servers, integration and on-demand platforms and has helped design scalable, high-performance middleware architecture for Fortune 500 customers. Sriram holds several patents in distributed computing and Web services. Prior to joining TIBCO, Chakravarthy held senior management positions at Rearden Commerce and Fiorano Software. He earned his Masters of Science degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science.

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