Systems hardware is getting faster and technologies such as ETL (extract, transform and load), EAI (enterprise application integration), message-oriented middleware and Web services offer many new data access options. Despite the advancements in the underlying technology, data integration is an increasingly daunting task. There are some obvious reasons that fuel this trend: data volumes are growing very rapidly, enterprise infrastructures comprise an increasing number of complex systems and the business value of integrated data for competitive advantage is on the rise.

The relationship between data volumes and the data integration challenge seems straightforward. There are more bytes and bits that need to be stored, read, manipulated and delivered to a target. Data volume impacts the fundamental integration concerns - task frequency, latency, physical location, storage, network and systems topology.

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