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Building a highly available Informatica EDI platform with Veritas InfoScale Enterprise

Do you use Informatica and expect it to be always online?  Are you running Informatica in a multi-node High Availability (HA) configuration?  If so, you need InfoScale!

While Informatica is focused on providing an advanced EDI solution, they rely on InfoScale to make sure the solution is enterprise-ready by:

  • Managing high availability for the underlying hardware used by the Informatica applications
  • Providing high performance shared storage needed for Informatica HA configurations

Let’s talk about why InfoScale is the recommended solution for both Informatica high availability and storage.

Veritas InfoScale is a software-defined optimization solution for mission-critical applications that abstracts applications from their underlying hardware and software resources. That abstraction enables enterprise-grade optimizations around business continuity, performance, and infrastructure agility across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

InfoScale’s customized integration with Informatica manages both high availability and shared storage for PowerCenter and B2B Data Exchange (B2BDX).  It helps keep the applications up and running, with optimal performance.  By using InfoScale with Informatica, you get a highly available and resilient platform for managing enterprise data integration/transformation initiatives.  Figure 1 shows an example of what this looks like.

Figure 1. InfoScale Enterprise with Informatica PowerCenter HA and B2BDX HAFigure 1. InfoScale Enterprise with Informatica PowerCenter HA and B2BDX HA

There are several key benefits you get by using InfoScale with PowerCenter and B2BDX:

  • Intelligent monitoring of application health and proactive instant failure detection
  • Agent-based monitoring and automation that ensures maximum application availability
  • Fault-tolerant clustered file system for Informatica HA deployments
  • Reduced storage costs with a flexible scale-out architecture
  • Data integrity in the event of a node failure in PowerCenter HA and B2BDX HA deployments
  • High availability and shared storage in public cloud environments
  • Intelligent replication for agility and mobility across geographical locations

How InfoScale and Informatica work together

InfoScale’s integration with Informatica provides customized agents for PowerCenter and B2BDX as well as the associated third-party databases (ex: Oracle, MS SQL Server). InfoScale protects the Informatica components that are critical for overall application availability. Check out Figure 2 to see what this looks like.

Figure 2. InfoScale Agent for Informatica PowerCenter and B2BDXFigure 2. InfoScale Agent for Informatica PowerCenter and B2BDXInfoScale monitors and instantly detects failures of PowerCenter and B2BDX resources with an Intelligent Monitoring Framework (IMF) customized for Informatica. InfoScale agents automate HA management and ensure clean application shut down and restart after a failure. When an Informatica resource managed by InfoScale fails, InfoScale can initiate a failover operation to a secondary node or standby cluster in a different location (including cloud!). 

InfoScale also has a unique feature called Virtual Business Services that lets you manage high availability for integrated PowerCenter and B2BDX environments as a single logical service, including the associated repository database.  This means automated failover and recovery for the overall data integration/transformation service with minimal downtime and no manual intervention! Figure 3 will give you an idea of what this might look like in your environment. You can also check out section 3.1.6 in Veritas InfoScale: Managing Mission-Critical Applications in a Software-defined Data Center for more information on how this works.Figure 3. Example configuration of an InfoScale Virtual Business Service for Informatica PowerCenter and B2BDXFigure 3. Example configuration of an InfoScale Virtual Business Service for Informatica PowerCenter and B2BDX

So, we’ve talked about how InfoScale provides high availability for Informatica, but what about storage?  InfoScale is the solution recommended by Informatica for the shared storage needed in HA deployments. There are a couple of options for how InfoScale can be used to provide storage for Informatica:

  • Advanced shared storage – An NFS server failure can cause downtime for PowerCenter and B2BDX servers. InfoScale’s Cluster File System (CFS) is recommended by Informatica for shared storage with HA deployments. CFS provides highly available, parallel access to files across all nodes in a PowerCenter HA or B2BDX HA configuration and improves on both efficiency and performance compared to NFS.
  • Flexible Storage Sharing (FSS) – a unique and high-performance storage option that can be implemented with CFS using Direct Attached Storage (DAS) on PowerCenter and B2BDX nodes. FSS can reduce storage costs for Informatica and provide better performance than traditional SAN, all while simplifying implementation and operations.  Figure 4 shows how this works.Figure 4. Informatica B2BDX HA deployment with InfoScale Enterprise using CFS and FSS shared storageFigure 4. Informatica B2BDX HA deployment with InfoScale Enterprise using CFS and FSS shared storage

More information on FSS can be found here.  Are you running Informatica in the cloud? You can use FSS to provide high performance shared storage in public clouds (AWS, Azure, GCP) with all the same benefits and functionality as an on-premises deployment!  Are you currently in the cloud but looking to move to a different cloud? InfoScale also provides platform-agnostic intelligent data replication that can help get your Informatica applications and data into another cloud environment, or out of the cloud completely if you want to move back on-premises.

Summary

InfoScale is the solution recommended to provide the foundation for managing highly available EDI projects with Informatica.  With InfoScale, you get cost-effective high availability and high-performance shared storage with increased efficiency and agility for Informatica environments. This allows you to focus on delivering innovative EDI projects with the confidence that they will be highly available and providing a high-quality user experience – either on-premises or in the cloud.

Please check out my Informatica white paper and the InfoScale technical library for more information. 

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