Sunday, April 17, 2011

CEP - CPU of an Enterprise ?

Can CEP can become a CPU of an Enterprise ?

Let us see first what is CEP


With the increasing competitiveness and changing market dynamics, Enterprises are looking for more innovative ways to do business. Lots of emerging capabilities are available for an Enterprise that could help it to keep an edge over its competitor through efficient operation of its business. One such capability is Complex Event Processing.

Even though “Agility” capability will help an Enterprise to drive its business in accordance with the changing market demands, “Real-time Analytics “will help an Enterprise to plan its business more accurately.

Complex Event Processing (CEP) helps an Enterprise to have the real-time analysis capability. CEP is suitable in the scenarios where there is a need to capture a very high volume of events in real-time to perform some analysis and take proactive measures / to make informed decisions. It include capturing more than one event, correlate them and extracting a “meaning” out of it.

Let’s look at this with an example from a lay man point of view. When a plane starts its flight from a source to destination, lots of its parameters such as latitude and longitude, altitude, speed, etc. will start changing continuously at a rapid rate

Here assume that it is configured to emit an event when it’s ground speed change from X miles / hour to X+ 200 miles / hour within a time period of 1 second; Also it is configured to emit an event when it’s altitude drops from some X meters to X-100 meters . These are 2 separate events. When you are able to co-relate these 2 events and extract a “meaning” out of it, it can be used to make a decision.

Say for example, when the altitude drops from 100 meters to 0 meters and its speed shoots up from X to X+200 miles / hour you can co-relate these 2 events and make a meaning out of it – something wrong. A plane’s speed may not shoot up when its altitude drops to zero and hence accordingly a “red alert” alarm can be triggered; Pilot can be warned. A CEP capability is required here to perform such type of processing.

This same type scenario can be applicable for the business / operational data of an Enterprise. As an Enterprise moves through days, weeks, months and quarters of its business, lots of it’s parameters will change and lots of events can be published; Co-relating a no. of individual, isolated events published across an Enterprise will help in understanding on what is actually happening in the system and plan accordingly.

Similar to what an ESB was having a place in Enterprise IT ecosystem; CEP could also find an equal position. When it comes to enabling an Enterprise with a CEP capability, multiple options are available from the platform / product vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle etc.

Let's see more on technology option for implementing CEP in an Enterprise in the coming posts.