Integration is at the core of effective hybrid deployment

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Integration and deploymentNo sizable enterprise instantaneously moves to cloud in one swoop. It is a gradual process of carefully selecting applications that will benefit most from the move.

Each application will have its own challenges, such as sensitivity to the location of data, latency of connections with other applications and suitability for target cloud platforms, along with other factors. For most enterprises, hybrid will be the norm for a long time to come.

This sets an interesting challenge for integration software. Your applications send and receive data from many other applications, often using a variety of patterns from file transfer to event driven messaging to real-time APIs.  While you may be lucky enough to be able to move an entire application to the cloud, the picture will be much more complex for its related integrations.

How must the topology of your messaging infrastructure change? What will happen to your centralized enterprise service bus? Are the adapters separable? Where will you host the exposure point for your APIs?

Then there’s the question of whether you want to continue to run and manage integration software yourself. Simply moving your existing integration software to machines in the cloud does not free you up to focus on core business activities. For at least some of those integrations, you’d probably prefer to move to an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that takes away the need to worry about the detail of the infrastructure configuration so you can simply focus on the required capacity.

For some future integrations you may want to go a step further and provide application teams and even the business itself with fully managed integration software as a service (iSaaS), such that it can create some of its own integrations directly.

This brings us to the crux of the challenges posed by hybrid integration. Migration of applications to cloud can take years, and the sequence of that migration will be a constantly changing target.

Enterprises must ensure that they can cleanly maneuver integration software across the hybrid topology, potentially changing to more managed styles of infrastructure and platforms.  This requires a dramatic rethink of how software is provisioned and licensed. You should be able to deploy integrations in the most logical place at each stage in your migration to cloud. In short, you need choice with consistency to be able to move what you want, when you want without having to buy new or renegotiate contracts.

IBM is making it easier to deploy integration software across hybrid environments by introducing a new freedom license for IBM Integration Bus, IBM Integration Suite and IBM App Connect Professional. These new, hybrid entitlement licenses give you flexibility to deploy your entitlement however you want: on-premises, on the cloud or both, with just one purchase.

Read more about the challenges that hybrid integration aims to resolve through the lens of a reference architecture. Also, watch for further announcements regarding how we are addressing licensing for modern cloud focused enterprises by introducing hybrid entitlements.

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