Hybrid Architecture with Boomi and Cloud Services
There are as many reasons to have a hybrid architecture as there are ways to implement it.
Maybe your hybrid architecture is a stepping stone in your move from on-prem integration solutions to the cloud. You may use the cloud as part of your empowerment of citizen integrators or end up with it because of shadow IT projects.
Whether you intentionally chose hybrid as a strategy, find yourself with it as a result of dealing with exceptions, or any point in between, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for a company to find itself - or engineer itself - into the middle ground between on-prem and the cloud, an integration platform, or custom code.
Of course, choosing a single integration solution (non-hybrid) can have its benefits. There is a comfort level in adopting a single way of thinking. Putting rails on how you develop, deploy, and create integrations reduces complexity and speeds implementation. But it also reduces flexibility and limits your ability to choose the right tool for the right job.
Before leaping to a hybrid integration solution, you should understand what it is and how you can extend your Boomi platform to leverage the benefits a hybrid architecture can bring.
What is Hybrid Architecture and Why Does It Exist?
There is an allure to choosing a single platform: it can be more straightforward and prescriptive. For some organizations, this benefit outweighs what they might lose in flexibility.
Unfortunately, no single platform can be optimized for every purpose and permutation of integrations. There are too many combinations of endpoints, integration patterns, deployment models (on-prem, cloud, hybrid, embedded), and constituents (integration specialists, citizen integrators). Committing to one way of doing things removes a lot of decision making. Still, it also means compromising on functionality and innovation potential that may not lead to the right business outcomes.
There is a lot of validation for using a hybrid architecture. Gartner refers to this as a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP), recommending that organizations need to move from task-specific tools to meet the complex challenges associated with digital transformation. Remember when we said you’re not alone if you’re using a hybrid integration methodology? Gartner predicts at least 65% of organizations will implement HIP by 2022.
Flexibility goes hand in hand with complexity, though. So, it’s helpful to understand a few examples of how extending your iPaaS with the cloud can answer specific needs.
Ways to Extend Your Boomi iPaaS Using the Cloud
We’ve seen many different ways of hybridizing Boomi. The list below shows a few examples of ways companies are extending their Boomi investments, along with some sample technologies to enable these approaches. This list is neither exhaustive nor is it exclusive - you can use any combination of these solutions, including a multi-cloud approach utilizing features from more than one cloud provider, depending on your business drivers and need.
Cloud Deployment and Networking
A few common examples: AWS EC2 or Azure VMS; AWS VPC or Azure Virtual Network
Cloud deployment and networking is the simplest of the use cases we’ll explore and is also the most basic first step to hybridization. It centers on moving your integration runtimes into the cloud instead of on-prem, making these private clouds an extension of your on-prem network.
Cloud deployment and networking can be beneficial if you’re looking to move away from on-premise solutions, or you’ve launched your architecture without a single on-prem server from the start. It both reduces costs as well as migrates architecture from CapEx to OpEx. It also enables access from anywhere (utilizing appropriate security restrictions), promoting innovation, and offering greater support options.
A few common examples: AWS MQ, SNS, SQS or Azure Service Bus
Sometimes, near real-time messaging and avoiding message loss are the most critical requirements of your integration. For instance, think about patient data. Depending on the application, the data may need to get from one source to another immediately, and avoiding lost messages is paramount. Many iPaaS platforms come with some form of messaging, but it is neither robust nor flexible enough to handle every critical case.
This is also a great way to integrate multiple architectures, like multiple iPaaS systems or multi-cloud. If you’re going through a merger, you may not want to commit to building messaging on one company’s architecture over another. Cloud messaging enables you to create both a neutral buffer as well as pluggable communication channels between the disparate architectures.
That doesn’t mean your iPaaS can’t be part of the solution. Leveraging your platform for orchestration and augmenting with cloud messaging can result in a solution that offers the exact functionality needed while compartmentalizing the components and diversifying the risk, letting each piece do what it’s best at.
A few common examples: AWS API Gateway or Azure APIM
API management gives you a level of control over services and access. With an API management layer, you can abstract integration processes through web-enablement, or add a security layer in front of services. For example, if you’re sharing data from several accounts in your CRM with a partner for co-marketing, you may want to provide visibility while still maintaining access control.
Your existing iPaaS might offer API management, but perhaps it’s not as flexible or feature-rich as you need. Or, the API security model can’t meet your needs or is only available as a paid add-on. A hybrid approach creates opportunities to develop consistent and highly usable alternatives for provisioning, visibility, publishing, and access management. As with other architecture extensions, weigh these benefits against the simplicity of having everything on a single platform with a single pane of glass to view platform health.
A few common examples: AWS Lambda or Azure Functions
Hybrid architecture and serverless go hand in hand. Using a serverless environment allows you to move spikey workloads off of static infrastructure built to manage peak processing times. This prevents you from having servers sitting idle while you only pay for the compute time actually used. It’s an ideal cost-saving solution that adds scalability.
Another benefit is performing complex tasks that would otherwise require configuration acrobatics to accomplish on your platform. Complex tasks that may require dozens of process shapes to achieve may be easier with a dozen lines of custom code.
A few common examples: AWS S3 vs. Azure Blob Storage
There are things that all iPaaS’s like Boomi do well, like orchestration. Other things they are simply not meant to do. Storage is one of those things. The cloud, on the other hand, is perfectly positioned for precisely this kind of work.
So, if you’re doing anything with files - file processing, sharing files with partners, and so forth - combining your iPaaS with cloud storage expands the capabilities of your system. An everyday use case is a custom FTP server with orchestration for your clients, partners, and staff.
The hybrid approach to this use case gives you better, more robust file management that you couldn’t get with a single solution.
Management and Governance
A few common examples: AWS CloudWatch, X-Ray, CloudFormation or Azure Monitor, Automation
How do you stay on top of your sprawling architecture? Your platform likely has hooks for monitoring, management, and governance, but most don’t do this out of the box. A hybrid approach elevates the transparency to your integrations and refines your management and governance of provisioned objects in your expanding ecosystem.
Using a hybrid approach, you go beyond Boomi’s capabilities by adding in DevOps monitoring and management to your continually evolving infrastructure. This also adds deployment automation, which becomes especially important in the instances of deployments with a large footprint involving hundreds of virtual servers or large numbers of APIs.
Get these things right
Again, these approaches aren’t either-or - you can use any combination of them as your needs dictate. There isn’t a right or wrong way to realizing a hybrid integration architecture, as long as you’re addressing the most critical aspects:
Separation of Concerns: Let each component do what it does best, without duplication or impeding the functionality of other components in the architecture.
Availability and Recovery: Ensuring redundancy, especially for mission-critical services, is critical. Hybrid architecture means you can put the “can’t fail” components on highly available and hardened servers and keep an eye on quick recovery in the event of a failure.
Interoperability: Your integration architecture should play well with all of the other architectures in your ecosystem, whether on-prem, in the cloud, or across partners.
Transparency: Make sure you have the appropriate levels of visibility and accessibility into your infrastructure and services and that you can be ahead of problems with monitoring and alerting.
A flexible and feature-rich hybrid integration architecture isn’t as simple as a single platform-based solution, but combining your iPaaS with cloud services may be the right mix to tackle your complex integration needs. It can also be a valuable first step to becoming cloud-native.
Reach out to Big Compass for an evaluation of your existing architecture, and let us help you find ways to extend and move to the cloud.
ADOPTION & EXPANSION
+ Number of APIs
+ Business coverage
+ Number of contracted apps
+ API usage
+ API reuse
EFFICIENCY & COST SAVINGS
+ Number of APIs in each SDLC stage
+ Time spent in each SDLC stage
+ Cost and time to build an API
+ App development velocity
+ Number of launches per year
+ Number of defects
SECURITY & VULNERABILITIES
+ Security violation
+ Policy enforcement
+ Time since the last version was published
+ Number of throttling issues
+ Time to onboard
+ Number of deployments
+ Number of incidents
+ Percentage of customers impacted. per incident
+ Time to resolve incidents