Cognos TM1 in the Cloud
Cognos TM1 in the Cloud
SaaS (Software as a Service) is all the rage and Cognos TM1 is no exception. Traditionally Cognos TM1 was only available as an on-premise application where your business had to procure your own servers and perform your own installation of the software. IBM has recently built out a cloud based environment for Cognos TM1 and all other Cognos products and many customers are now choosing this option. When considering this option there are some things to keep in mind.
Integration with Cognos BI
If you are a legacy user of Cognos and want to integrate Cognos TM1 with your on-premise BI application you currently cannot have BI connect directly to Cognos TM1. At the time of this writing you are currently limited to only using Cognos CAFÉ to access your Cognos TM1 data in the cloud. The other option is that you export the data out of TM1, import the flat file into a database or transformer cube, and then connect your on-premise Cognos BI solution to this data.
If you are a new user to Cognos it is suggested that if you purchase Cognos TM1 and Cognos BI you host both of them in the cloud or on-premise. IBM now has a connector that allows your Cognos BI cloud solution to connect directly to your Cognos TM1 cloud solution.
Getting Data into Cognos TM1
Besides your users manually entering data into Cognos TM1 there is currently no functionality to seamlessly upload data from an on-premise database. The currently practice is that data needs to be exported from the database, put onto the TM1 server as a flat file vis SFTP, and then the flat file can be imported into TM1. While this process can be setup to be fairly efficient it is not as seamless as creating an ODBC connection and directly connecting to a database. IBM has suggested that they are currently working on allowing TM1 cloud to create a VPN connection to your network thus allowing TM1 to access local databases; however there is no defined timeline for this solution.
With an on-premise solution you can expand server RAM and server disk space with no additional cost. Whether you decide to host TM1 on the cloud or on-premise you are always going to have to pay for your server PVU Units. The more powerful you want TM1 to be the more you are going to pay. With the cloud you also need to consider how much data volume you are going to use. Make certain you understand how much you will be charged for increases in RAM, increases in disk space, etc so that as your company and interest in TM1 grows there are never any surprises.
The great thing about a cloud solution is that you don’t have to perform your own software upgrades. But what if you don’t want to upgrade to a new version? We have seen many times where upgrading to a new version of Cognos creates issues in previously released solutions and requires code/functionality to be changed. When you host TM1 on-site you have total control on what version you want to be on.
IBM wouldn’t be offering this service if it wasn’t secure, their reputation is riding on keeping this data secure. There are always going to be companies that are uncomfortable with keeping data in the cloud and data security is something your company has to do self-reflection on.
The Good Things
The items called out above are meant to get you thinking about whether a cloud based solution is correct for you. The greatest benefit with a cloud solution is that you don’t have to host the application on-premise and you don’t have to hire people to sustainment your infrastructure. Cloud based solutions are great for many companies but you need to understand what comes along with being in the cloud.
For any additional questions about IBM Cognos TM1 cloud please feel contact us.