What is a Digital Integration Hub (DIH) and can I use Utilihive as a DIH?

In a previous post, we answered the question, “How is a data hub different from a data lake?” This time, we want to explain the what, why and advantages of a Digital Integration Hub (DIH). And (spoiler alert) yes, Utilihive can be used as a Digital Integration Hub.

The short definition is that a Digital Integration Hub is a low latency and high performance integration architecture that integrates and aggregates data from multiple dispersed backend systems, legacy applications or data bases and makes those data available through high-performance APIs. These speedy APIs provide a harmonized and unified data access layer across all your data sources and enable agile delivery of new digital services and data driven applications. 

How does it work? A Digital Integration Hub incorporates 3 major capabilities:

  • An event-based integration and data access layer that handles integration with your dispersed legacy applications, backend systems, and data bases.
  • A low latency, high performance, and elastically scalable data store that structures, persists, harmonizes and caches all your scattered data sets.
  • A high-speed API layer that manages and provides unified data access services to make data available to your application and digital services.

You can think of a Digital Integration Hub as an enabler for a "multispeed architecture" that drives digital transformation. The DIH removes the dependencies and limitations (i.e. latency, performance, accessibility, data quality) from legacy and backend systems by introducing a new "speed layer" that provides the infrastructure needed to deliver new data driven and digital services quickly.

Let's look at a real life example. Imagine you are a utility and you want to engage your end-customers in the energy transition. You want to provide energy consumption disaggregation services, send real-time signals or integrate energy data with third party information. Your DIH gathers and aggregates all the relevant data from your HES, MDM, regional data hub, IoT platform and CC&B/CRM system. It structures and pre-processes the data into the high performance data store. Your consumer applications or any third party analytics applications access the low latency data store through high-speed APIs. With this approach:

  • Your consumer applications or third party analytics service would not have any operational impact on your core systems (HES, MDM, CC&B, etc.).
  • You could deliver new data driven services much faster and in an agile way using the modern and unified APIs.

How does Utilihive help you to build your DIH?

Utilihive comes pre-integrated and pre-configured with all the capabilities described in the DIH concept. Utilihive provides the event-driven data integration layer, the low-latency data store and the high performance API layer.

So, Utilihive is a "Digital Integration Hub" that provides some additional advantages when compared to alternative solutions. For example:

  • It’s a cloud native platform: Utilihive can be operated in a public cloud, private cloud or even on "bare metal" / on premise.
  • It’s containerized and microservices based: Utilihive ships all its components and modules containerized. Utilihive is entirely designed and developed as a network of reactive microservices. The containerization and microservices deliver elastic scalability.
  • It enables hybrid integration: Using Utilihive Beatbox, Utilihive provides a solution that enables secure communication between different network domains (i.e. OT / IT security).
  • It offers a distributed low-latency data store: Utilihive leverages the concept of a data mesh or distributed data store to provide the benefits of a DIH even for cases where sections of the data are sensitive and therefore might not be stored in a public cloud.

In addition, Utilihive provides additional benefits for energy companies or utilities such as:

  • Pre-configured connectivity and integration with the most commonly used operational systems, such as HES, MDM, GIS, SCADA, etc.
  • Pre-defined data orchestrations and integrations for energy and utilities
  • Built-in CIM / IEC 61968 support as a pre-built data model
  • Pre-configured high speed APIs for the most commonly used energy and utility use cases

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