New high-volume agent connectors highlight the latest Data Movement Platform update from Fivetran.
Based in Oakland, Calif., Fivetran is a data integration specialist whose connectors enable organizations to automate the extract, transform and load process from their many data sources into their databases, data warehouses and data lakes.
Recent updates to its flagship Data Movement Platform include an integration with DBT Core in January 2022 to better enable data lineage and enhance Fivetran's automated scheduling capabilities and a series of new connectors in January 2021 that includes linkage to IBM DB2 and SAP HANA along with an upgraded connector to Oracle Database.
Initially, Fivetran stood out from its competition -- which includes Informatica and Denodo -- with its automation capabilities, according to Kevin Petrie, an analyst at Eckerson Group. As other vendors, such as Alteryx, have also focused on automation, Fivetran has continued to enhance its tools with acquisitions and partnerships.
In particular, its 2021 acquisition of HVR -- unveiled at the same time Fivetran raised $565 million in venture capital financing -- was significant, Petrie noted.
"Fivetran initially differentiated itself in the market by offering automated data ingestion from SaaS sources to cloud data warehouses," Petrie said. "Then they added to their differentiators by acquiring HVR to replicate data from traditional databases and by partnering closely with DBT to assist transformation for cloud-first enterprises."
Fivetran is now using the capabilities it inherited through its acquisition of HVR to add high-volume agent (HVA) connectors to its suite of tools.
In addition, on March 1 the vendor unveiled a new option for managing its platform called Fivetran Private Deployment to better enable management of sensitive data and support for AWS GovCloud.
HVA Connectors aim to speed the data ingestion process by increasing the amount of data that can be moved at once from its source into databases and other storage repositories.
The HVA connectors use log-based change data capture to read directly from the data source's system logs to reduce replication latency. The result can be access to more data in real time, which leads to increased speed-to-insight.
"Of the three offerings, the HVA Connectors have the biggest market impact," Petrie said. "Fivetran and its acquired HVR unit help enterprises modernize their data environments by synchronizing traditional databases with new, often cloud-based analytics platforms. In these scenarios, high throughput and low latency are the name of the game, along with automated schema updates."
Kevin PetrieAnalyst, Eckerson Group
The development of the HVA connectors is a response to customer need, according to Fraser Harris, vice president of product at Fivetran.
He noted that organizations are ingesting increasing amounts of data, no matter the size of the organization. Meanwhile, Fivetran is attracting more enterprise customers, and those customers have the largest amounts of data to ingest.
"As Fivetran has grown its customer base and attracted more enterprise customers -- especially since the HVR acquisition -- we have seen increasingly higher data volumes," Harris said. "The decision to … add these capabilities enables us to better serve enterprise and production-grade database use cases and meet our customers' needs as they grow."
While the HVA connectors lets Fivetran users ingest data more quickly, Private Deployment enables organizations that handle sensitive data to host the vendor's platform on premises or in their own virtual private cloud rather than a public cloud environment.
The option could prove particularly valuable to organizations in industries such as defense, finance and healthcare in which data security is vital.
It's also a recognition by Fivetran that cloud migration is not the same for every organization, Petrie noted.
While some organizations can move all their data into public clouds and feel secure, other organizations need to keep some of their most sensitive data on premises or in virtual private cloud environments.
"The Private Deployment offering underscores that, despite the industry hoopla about cloud migrations, many enterprises still need to maintain some of their crown jewels on premises," Petrie said. "Fivetran is right to pay close attention to these requirements for private data centers or virtual private clouds."
Finally, support for AWS GovCloud enables government agencies to deploy Fivetran using GovCloud to stay compliant with regulations that dictate how government agencies handle data and ensure their data is not exposed to the public internet. In particular, the integration is designed to allow government agencies get all the benefits of the cloud while remaining Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) compliant.
What's coming up
As Fivetran plots its roadmap, more connectors and added data governance will play prominent roles, according to Harris.
He noted that in February 2023 the vendor launched Lite Connectors, which enables Fivetran to develop connectors more quickly. In addition, Fivetran offers a program through which customers can request new connectors.
Petrie, meanwhile, is curious to see whether Fivetran branches out beyond data ingestion and its focus on connectors to get involved more aspects of data management and analytics.
He noted that Qlik, for example, began as an analytics vendor but has added data ingestion and data transformation tools over the past five years. Similarly, Informatica provides data integration capabilities as part of a platform that focuses heavily on data governance.
"Fivetran's competitors are getting more serious about bundling functions across multiple market segments," Petrie said. "A number of cloud-based startups now offer ingestion, transformation, pipeline orchestration and aspects of DataOps in a single platform. It will be interesting to see how Fivetran addresses adjacent segments like these in coming years."
Eric Avidon is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial and a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He covers analytics and data management.