Column: In the kingdom of the blind, the one API man is king


Column: In the kingdom of the blind, the one API man is king

Nick Booth

Is data the IT infrastructure's version of flab? Are great useless 'big' data files, a sort of information cholesterol, clogging the arteries of the network and blocking up the I/O interfaces? Should resellers offer a sort of data liposuction, so all those stupid rich media files, which are laden which megabites, can be extracted from the body of the company, leaving it looking lean and trim.

No, that's nonsense. Jeff Bradshaw, the chief technical officer of Adaptris, has a much better metaphor. 

Data is like the eyes of an organization. If your left eye offends you, you should strike it out, say the Bible. What the Gospel doesn't mention is that doing this will ruin your sense of spatial awareness; having two eyes allows you to see things in three dimensions. 

So if you have internal data and data in the cloud, you need to make sure they are linked up in order to get the full picture. So that means that a layer of super-fast nervous tissue must connect the cloud with the internal data. The technical term for this is cache storage and it gives the body of a company a synchronized view of the world that can be accessed at high speed by its central processing units. 

So now Adaptris can help companies like Big Airline and Massive Unfriendly Telecom instantly access data that once took six weeks to get their hands on. It's not that long ago that all data was held in silos and was rarely cross-referenced. In those days, the corporation had a fly's composite eyes and about as much intelligence. 

But cloud computing hasn't yet liberated the CIO and COO from the tyranny of silos. There's a new problem emerging, thanks to the cloud. Now that cloud apps are proliferating there are endless APIs (or barriers, as they've more accurately known) across which COOs flounder. The APIs and the service level agreements that govern the functioning of a modern corporation are proving just as restrictive as the old silos of information. They're the new silos of connectivity. 

So in the kingdom of the blind, the one API man will be king.

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