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IBM InfoSphere: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

Any enterprise that uses other IBM database or analytics software will likely be interested in the IBM InfoSphere Information Server. It’s a full-featured platform that unites data integration capabilities with data quality and data governance. Gartner estimates that approximately 10,700 organizations worldwide use the product.

Jump to: IBM InfoSphere Features Table

Company Description:

Founded in 1911, IBM is one of the largest, oldest, and most well-respected technology companies in the in the world. Nicknamed Big Blue, the company has its headquarters in Armonk, New York, and has more than 380,000 employees globally. Last year, it reported revenue of $79.139 billion and net income of $5.753 billion. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IBM, and it is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.

The company offers a wide array of different products and services, including mainframe systems, analytics, automation, blockchain, cloud computing, collaboration, IoT, IT infrastructure, mobility, security and artificial intelligence solutions. It serves customers in 177 different countries worldwide.

Product Description:

IBM acquired the ETL technology that became the InfoSphere platform in 2005. Today, the company describes the IBM InfoSphere Information Server as "a market-leading data integration platform which includes a family of products that enable you to understand, cleanse, monitor, transform, and deliver data, as well as to collaborate to bridge the gap between business and IT."

InfoSphere's key capabilities include data integration, data quality and data governance. Its massively parallel processing provides fast performance and scalability, and it integrates with other IBM products for analytics, data warehousing, master data management, and more. The software is available in four different editions: InfoSphere Information Server for Data Integration, InfoSphere Information Server for Data Quality, InfoSphere Information Server on Cloud and InfoSphere Information Server Enterprise Edition, which provides end-to-end data management capabilities. IBM also offers a an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solution called Application Integration Suite on Cloud.

Gartner places IBM in the Leaders quadrant for data integration tools and the Visionary quadrant for iPaaS.

Features:

Deployment:

Cloud or on-premises

Licensing:

Proprietary

System Requirements:

The on-premises version of IBM InfoSphere Information Server runs on Linux, Windows or AIX. Exact system requirements vary based on the size and scope of the deployment. In general, the server requires 2 GB to 6 GB RAM and 3 GB to 5 GB of storage space. The desktop client requires 2 GB RAM and 2 GB hard drive space. Some installations may require processors with eight or more cores.

Connectors

InfoSphere Information Server connects to most relational and mainframe databases, ERP, CRM, OLAP, performance management and analytics applications. Dozens of connectors are available for AWS, Cognos, Greenplum, Hive, DB2, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Sybase, Teradata and many other applications.

Design and Development Environment:

IBM offers a Web-based design interface called DataStage Flow Designer that is suitable for non-programmers. The on-premises version of DataStage also has a graphical interface with more advanced capabilities.

Key Capabilities

  • Information governance
  • Data integration
  • Data quality
  • Parallel processing
  • Hadoop support
  • Cloud support
  • Native API connectivity

Support and Services:

Training, certification, support and other professional services available.

Pricing:

$7,800 per month and up for the cloud version of IBM Information Server. $2,750 per month and up for the IBM Application Integration Suite. Pricing for on-premises version not available.

IBM InfoSphere Features Table

Features

IBM InfoSphere

Deployment

Cloud or on-premises

System Requirements

 

Operating System

Linux, Windows, AIX

Processor

Some deployments require 8-core processors

RAM

2 GB to 6 GB

Storage

3 GB to 5 GB

Software

Depends on deployment details

Connectors

AWS, Cognos, Greenplum, Hive, DB2, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Sybase, Teradata, others

 

Design and Development Environment

Graphic environment, web-based or Windows thick client

Key Capabilities

 

ELT

Yes

ETL

Yes

CDC

Yes

Data Quality

Yes

Data Governance

Yes

Others

Parallel processing

Support and Services

Training, certification, support and other professional services

Gartner Magic Quadrant Rating

Leader (data integration); Visionary (iPaaS)

Price

$7,800 and up for cloud version; pricing not disclosed for on-prem version

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