You wouldn’t buy a car solely based on looks or the salesperson’s patter, right? Also if you’re like me you want to peek under the hood, kick the tires and take the car for a spin around the block. A quick test drive allows you to feel how the vehicle handles, helps you listen for “weird” noises and provides enough feedback to help you decide whether you’d enjoy it as your daily driver. You instantly know at the end of a test drive whether you’re going to move the car buying process forward or if you’re going to pass and look at something else. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could apply this logic to the enterprise software? Well, I’m happy to say you can. Today we’re launching the Attunity Replicate Test Drive! A cloud-hosted evaluation experience that will have you kicking the tires in minutes. Well, I’m happy to say you can. Today we’re launching the Attunity Replicate Test Drive! A cloud-hosted evaluation experience that will have you kicking the tires in minutes.
Beep, Beep! Vroom, Vroom! Crash!
Let’s be honest. Evaluating numerous data ingestion, replication, and streaming solutions is a difficult task at the best of times. You’re investing precious time and effort researching dozens of solutions that in all likelihood, you’ll never buy or put into production. You’re trying to strike the right balance of investing time to gather enough information for a decision, versus overinvesting time that’s going to be wasted.
Software evaluation is complicated from the vendor’s perspective too. Virtually every prospect is unique because each IT environment is different, although they share very similar business problems. Each prospect has different data volumes, with numerous combinations of data sources and targets. Not to mention that every prospect has varying skills, technical resources, and project timelines. I don’t want to harp on about vendor woes, but it turns out that proving a solution can solve a prospect’s problems is extremely hard. OK, OK. I know your heart bleeds for the poor software vendor.
To summarize. You don’t want to invest too much time evaluating products you’ll never implement and we want to provide an experience to help you with your decision making. Therefore the evaluation process has to change.
Introducing The Attunity Replicate Test Drive
We’re trying something pretty radical in the industry. We’ve taken our years of data integration expertise and coupled it with your evaluation needs. The result is a completely self-contained, on-demand Attunity Replicate evaluation experience that is free to use for 4 hours. In addition, there’s no software to download or configure and it all runs from within your Internet browser. Not to mention that the trial includes a comprehensive tutorial with dynamic sample data. In other words, you should have everything you need to get a feel for what Attunity Replicate can do for you without the hassles typically associated with a traditional 30-day trial.
I know what you’re going to ask next.
“How do I know it’s going to work for me? My problems are unique and my IT environment is pretty complicated.”
My answer is simple. Let’s take a step back and determine if your class of problems are even applicable before you invest more time. We collected data from thousands of prior trial evaluations and discovered that there are generally 3 data patterns that most people are trying to evaluate in a data replication solution. They are as follows:
- Data Source to Data Target Replication: This pattern is generally used for data ingestion or update that powers initiatives such as cloud migration, cloud data warehousing, and mainframe modernization. Typically the data source is an on-premise relational database and the data target is a relational database in the cloud. Consequently, the first pattern in the test drive is a database-to-database tutorial. The source database is MySQL and the target is PostgreSQL. I encourage you to try the tutorial with the sample data to quickly gain an understanding of how you could use Attunity Replicate in your data migration initiatives. It’s important to realize that pattern remains the same even if your own production data sources and targets are likely different. The Attunity test drive is just a taste. An amuse-bouche, if you will.
- Data Source to Stream Target: The second pattern is generally used for initiatives such as “real-time analytics” or “re-platforming”. Typically the prospect is considering rearchitecting their infrastructure to take advantage of new data streaming platforms such as Apache Kafka. In many instances, data is required in near real-time to feed data warehouses or enable new AI/ML or IoT initiatives. Again your real production streaming platform may differ, but the second test drive tutorial should provide you enough hands-on experience to demonstrate the principle.
- Data Source to Hadoop/DataLake Target: The last pattern focuses on ingesting data into a data lake. Evaluations of this type typically proved to be challenging, largely due to the complexities of “standing up” a single node Apache Hadoop cluster. This often involved building a large virtual image, configuring target HDFS tables, and hoping you had enough CPU power. Once again the test drive comes to the rescue. All the hard configuration work has been done for you. You just follow the tutorial steps and witness the result. It couldn’t be simpler.
On balance, the Attunity test drive is the perfect playground to begin your evaluation as the following picture illustrates:
Under the Hood of the Test Drive
We’ve taken advantage of the latest cloud technologies to make this all work. At the core is a public cloud provider who shall remain nameless (it rhymes with “Smoogle”), Docker containers, Linux and Kubernetes. Each time you complete a registration form, a compute instance powers on and instantiates a container that dynamically starts all of the necessary software components. This includes Attunity Replicate, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Hadoop, Kafka, and various utility services including the tutorial infrastructure. See below:
This self-contained environment has numerous advantages including that you don’t have to build and configure all of this for yourself. In addition, we don’t store any of your personal or company data and the whole environment “self-destructs” in 4 hours. Incidentally, early beta testing demonstrated that many people finished the entire tutorial in under 90 minutes. Finally, if you don’t complete the test drive in the allotted time, then re-register and start another instance. One caveat your work to that point won’t have been saved since it’s a new instance however each tutorial pattern is independent and you don’t have to complete them all in a linear manner. So if you want to start an instance just to test Kafka, you can.
Adding to the Fleet – The Evaluation Spectrum
Before we go any further, let’s look at the traditional evaluation options and see where a test drive fits in. The diagram below is a typical spectrum or continuum of configurability that ranges from “Not Hands-on” on the far left, to “Very Hands-on” on the far right. On the left, you are just watching a recording, while on the far right you are configuring and testing a project in an environment that essentially mirrors your production setup.
The various evaluation options are as follows:
- Demo Video: A demo video is a recorded demonstration or presentation of the software being used. There are no hands-on testing because it’s like watching someone else test drive a car on TV. We offer many demos on our resources section or YouTube
- Live Demo: A live demo is like being in the car while the salesperson drives it. In reality, you’re watching a live trainer, typically a sales engineer, use the software while you sit back and enjoy the ride. A live demo affords the opportunity to ask questions, Unlike the demo video. If you’d like us to demo Attunity Replicate for you then follow this link here.
- Test Drive: A test drive allows you a hands-on evaluation experience in a controlled manner. The goal is to provide enough information for a sense of how to use the software but without the barriers associated with traditional evaluations. Suffice to say, you can start your Attnity Replicate test drive here.
- 30-Day Trial: A 30-day trial has been the defacto method of software evaluation for many years. It’s often self-service, self-paced, with little to no support. A 30-day trial can be successful however the outcome has more to do with tenacity and experience of the evaluator than the efficacy of the software. Although we no longer offer a 30-day trial directly from our website, contact us here if you still feel you need a downloadable trial.
- Proof of Concept (PoC): A proof of concept evaluation is the most complex type of evaluation. Typically it’s performed in partnership with the vendor, requires scoping and adheres to strict success criteria. If you’ve completed the Attunity Replicate test drive and feel you’d like to move forward with a PoC, then contact us here.
With all of those options, there should be something for everyone.
“It’s a Lovely Motor, Guv’nor!”
Let’s return to where we began. If you’re looking to buy a car then you’re not going to test drive each one you look at. You only try the ones you are really serious about. Similarly, you don’t need to test drive every integration product you consider either, but it would be a serious mistake not to try out your top contenders. If you’re in the market for a data integration and replication solution and have a couple of hours to spare, then take an Attunity Replicate test drive today. I promise it’ll be worth your time.