Shedding Light on Cloud BI Options

Which cloud service do you choose? And should you be moving your BI to the cloud in the first place? We shed much needed light on this confusing subject, along with pros, cons, important considerations and answer participant questions.

In this on-demand webinar, we discuss

  • Public vs. private vs. hybrid cloud
  • Cloud vendor
  • BI vendor cloud offerings
  • Cloud challenges


Todd Schuman
Practice Lead – Installations, Upgrades and Performance Tuning
Senturus, Inc.

Todd has a finely-honed understanding of BI platforms, developed in the 17+ years he has been an architect and consultant across a range of industries. He is particularly well versed in platform optimization and installation. Todd heads up the installation, upgrade and performance tuning practice for Senturus.

Questions log

Q: Are all these vendors offering Cognos?
A: The cloud vendors discussed in the webinar, AWS, Azure, Google, allow you to install any software. You can install Cognos or any other BI tool on them. The only vendor that offers Cognos BI server directly is IBM Cloud, it’s IBM’s product.

Q: Is there really a benefit of moving to AWS or Azure cloud with IBM Cognos due to IBM’s licensing model?
A: It depends on several factors, which are covered in detail in the webinar. The quick answer is that data center costs and Cognos admins cost money. If you are able to offset those costs by moving your Cognos infrastructure to the cloud, you could see a cost savings. Licensing also depends on the number of users you have or if you are using PVU. Read more about the cloud pricing policy.

Q: Does Amazon Athena lack functionality compared to Tableau, Cognos or Power BI?
A: Athena is an interactive query service tool for S3 and is not intended to compete with Tableau, Cognos or Power BI. In fact, other tools such as Tableau can connect and use Athena as a data source to provide visualizations on your Athena queries. If you are looking for more of a visualization tool from AWS, check out the AWS QuickSight.

Q: How does cloud impact licensing especially for IBM Cognos if we don’t use their cloud?
A: IBM used to tell clients they were prohibited from using Cognos licensing on third-party cloud platforms, like AWS, Amazon, etc. However, IBM has changed its policy and you can use your licensing on third-party tools now.

Q: Can we set up multi-tenancy on Cognos Cloud?
A: Multi-tenancy is not available for Cognos Cloud.

Q: Does the upgrade of Cognos in the IBM cloud include downtime?
A: There will be a scheduled outage during the upgrade. The IBM Cloud team will work with you and your schedule to find a time that is least disruptive.

Q: We constantly ad new images to our reports. Is this a show stopper for going to the cloud, even if its private cloud?
A: You can still add new images to your cloud environment, but you need to do this through a PMR and the response time can sometimes take more than 24 hours to complete. Depending on the timing, this may or may not be a show stopper for you.

Q: Can we save report outputs through schedules to network drives?
A: This is possible with the dedicated cloud option.

Q: Is there a cost to retrieving data on the cloud? For example, with Google, users pay per amount of data queried.
A: IBM does not impose a fee to retrieve data on the cloud; however, the public cloud providers charge for data transfers, which vary greatly by provider and type of instance. Contact your cloud service provider for billing details.

Q: How does the publication of packages and maintenance of framework models work in the cloud environment?
A: It works the same as your current setup. IBM provides steps on setting up and securing your Framework Manager configuration so that new crypto keys are generated. After the connection is created, you are free to publish and update your models.

Q: How is BI performance with AWS BI tools? Are there any special services provided?
A: This is a large topic to address in a written answer. We plan to do a webinar or blog on this topic in the future.

Q: What are your thoughts on big data vs. the cloud (where storage is cheap)?
A: This is a large topic to address in a written answer. We plan to do a webinar or blog on this topic in the future.

Q: How do the costs of the different BI platforms differ to transfer data from in-house to cloud BI? For example, what are the costs for connecting to an in-house database, 1TB query and transfer of 100 GB of data to a reporting server? Who charges for the network transfer?
A: IBM does not impose a fee to connect to an in-house database or to retrieve data on the cloud; however, the public cloud providers charge for data transfers, which vary greatly by provider and type of instance. There may also be fees from your ISP for data transfers which vary greatly by provider. Please contact your ISP and cloud service provider for billing details.

Q: How should I go about deciding between Tableau Online and Tableau server? I currently manage the AWS cluster.
A: Read a comparison of the Tableau products. We are happy to speak to you about your specific use case as well, please contact Kay Knowles in Client Solutions at Senturus at [email protected] or 303 330 7321 and she can offer some guidance.

Q: How do the cloud BI providers handle automated emailing of reports or alerts? Are there security issues that prevent automation of reporting?
A: Cloud BI providers will work with your network team to connect to your existing SMTP server. After that connection is established, the same emailing/alert capabilities can be used.

Q: What’s the best way to learn about the admin features available on the Cognos Cloud?
A: Most of the cloud-based admin features are a limited subset of what you have today on premise, with the exception of SAML/OpenID namespace connections. If you are familiar with the current admin features, you should be comfortable with what is available in the cloud.

Q: If we move to AWS or Azure cloud are we required to load ILMT to get sub-capacity licensing?
A: You must install and configure reporting tools designated by IBM for reporting use and provide such reports to IBM on request in accordance with IBM’s guidelines. If IBM has not designated reporting tools to support your environment, then you must provide records and system tools output in accordance with the obligations in the IPAA/IPAEA and IPLA. Information you provide needs to include, but is not limited to EPC name, EPC service, software product part numbers, quantity of cloud instances/virtual machines in use, vCPUs/cores for each cloud instance/virtual machine, PVU per vCPU/core. Read the IBM Eligible Public Cloud BYOSL policy for additional details.

Q: IBM currently charges us for CPU use. In a cloud environment, if we peak CPU use to 8 CPU and then drop to 4 CPU, does IBM charge licensing based on the peak?
A: Yes, IBM requires PVU licensing per vCPU/core. Therefore, if 8 vCPUs/cores are required for optimal performance than you will need to acquire adequate PVU licensing for 8 vCPUs/cores (e.g. 70 PVU X Qty 8 vCPU = 560 PVUs required). Read the IBM Eligible Public Cloud BYOSL policy for additional details.

Q: Does the cloud environment support Motio, Netvisn and any other third-party products?
A: Any tool that needs to be integrated into the Cognos BI server is not supported. You can use tools such as Motio PI Pro to help with the integration.

Q: Can you recommend other resources to describe the cloud in less technical terms?
A: Please contact Kay Knowles in Client Solutions at Senturus at 303 330 7321 or [email protected], she can provide a less technical overview.

Q: Can we download the presentation and see the recording?
A: Yes. download the presentation now. You can also view the webinar recording from the same page.

Machine transcript

Greetings and welcome to this latest installment of the Senturus webinar series. Today, we’re excited to bring to you shedding light on Cloud BI options.

We’ll talk about pros, cons, and various other considerations.

First, some housekeeping items. Please feel free to use the GoToWebinar control panel to make this session interactive. Generally, we’re able to answer questions while the webinars and progress, if we don’t, however, will cover it in the Q&A section at the end. Which I encourage you to stick around for. Or via written response document that we will post on, along with a recording and of this webinar. And the deck. Understand that we may not answer your question right away in writing. And that’s generally because we’re trying to ask it live on the webinar so be patient. And we will answer it one way or the other. Which brings me logically to the next question of, Can I get the presentation slide deck and the answers?

And unequivocal yes, if you visit send, in addition to our extensive free library of Webinars, demos, and White papers, you can find today’s presentation deck and then after a few weeks we’ll get the recording polished, up, and posted online for you, too.

Review at your leisure.

So today’s agenda, we will go through some quick introductions, and then I’ll hand it over to our speaker today to talk about, really, what is the Cloud? Do some basic definitions here, define some of the differences between public versus private versus hybrid cloud. Discuss some of the major cloud vendors.

Discuss BI vendor, cloud offerings, some challenges. Then we’ll go into Senturus Is Overview, for those of you who may not be familiar with Senturus and what we do, we’ll cover some additional resources, and then, as promised, we’ll come back around with whatever time left to do question and answer.

So our presenters today, I’m pleased to be joined by Todd Shuman, who has a finely honed understanding of Cognizant BI platforms, developed over 17 years, that he’s been an architect and a consultant, and other Loftier titles and analyst across a range of industries. Todd is particularly well versed in platform optimization and installation, and he heads up our installation upgrading performance tuning practice here at CCE and tourists.

I’m your host today. My name is Mike Wine, ours. I’m a practice area Director, Solution, architect, and product manager here at Senturus.

So, before we get in to the meat of the presentation, we’d like to get up, get some feedback from the audience, and get a feel for your plans here.

So, the question today is, what are your current plans for moving BI to the cloud? And the possible answers are, you have no plans to do this, ever. You’re in the progress of doing it, you’re planning on doing it in the next 3 to 6 months, 7 to 12 months, or you’re already there.

So we’ll give people a little time to do this here, and once we hit about a minute, or get about 80% of the vote, and then we’ll close it out and share the results back with you.

All right. Those results are coming in here. Looks like they’ve plateaued a little bit, 80% there. We go. We’ll close that out and share it. So interesting. So a full quarter of, you know, plans to move to the cloud, that’s that. I’d say that’s a little surprising. I’m not sure how you feel about a lot of urine process of evaluating things and then getting other quarter of you are so our plan and undo it in here in the Next, in the next year. Right. Oh, that’s an interesting results That, Thanks for providing your thoughts and input there, we’re going to come back to the presentation now, and with that I’m going to hand it over to Todd. Todd floor is yours.

Great. Thanks, Mike. So, OK, let’s jump right in. I’m going to kind of cover a lot of ground today, so going to, kind of level set here, and beginning, talking about just some terminology, you know? And, first off, what is the cloud? So the cloud is, you know, not really anything new. It’s been around for years now.

You’re most likely using it every day, whether it’s your, your webmail, Netflix, social media, what have you.

It’s basically no fancy way of saying things that aren’t on your computer.

What is new is this concept of moving your applications and possibly your data into the cloud. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

So, just kind of level, setting, again, with, you know, how big is this thing getting? We’re seeing just massive growth year over year, as specifically, the public cloud market is growing. So Gardner’s latest stats here, you know, we saw a 17.5% rise on an already a massive number. That’s expected in 20 19.

So two hundred and fourteen point three billion dollars.

So a lot of money, a lot of research and attention now, being focused on the cloud.

Looking at, you know, some more revenue numbers here.

You can see, we have, you know, year every year, what we’re expecting to see as far as growth.

Couple different terms to be aware of here. There’s, you know, business, processes as a service, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service, and specifically, you know, with the BI, especially with the vendor, the vendor offerings. We’re going to be focused mostly on, you know, the, the SaaS offerings here, which I kind of highlighted in red.

But depending on, you know, how much cloud you know you want to take on and how much of your organization, you want to move into the cloud, you may be looking at, you know, the, the infrastructure or platform, or possibly even business processes as well.

So, all of these areas are expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

And I kind of just put another slide in here, just kind of showing, you know, what they’re expecting for next year.

And you could see, you know, today versus, you know, 2020, we’re going to see, you know, a 10% change between on premise to cloud.

A pretty big uptake as well in public, you know, going for 31 to 41%.

Private and hybrid.

A little bit smaller, but, again, these numbers, like, expect to be, you know, growing and growing year over year, so we’ll continue to monitor it, and probably make this a, you know, yearly, if not more, update, as part of this in terrorist webinars.

So, what are some of the benefits of the clouds, lots of different reasons here? You know, first off, flexible costs. You know, the costs of cloud computing are very flexible. As opposed to traditional methods, you kind of pay for only what you need.

You can scale up and scale down very quickly. You can add more capacity for peak times. So, you know, if you have a month enclosing where your systems are getting hammered. But then the rest of the rest of the month is slow or urine closings. You can scale up just for those times and scale down and keep your costs down. You don’t need it.

So why pay for hardware that you’re only using once a year or once a month? It just makes sense.

Another one is fresh software.

Depending on, you know, how often you’re updating your applications and your software, there’s time involved with that.

With a lot of these offerings, they’re going to be doing that work for you. They’ll all gradate, you’ll be on the latest version.

All the bug fixes and new features enhancements are all going to be kind of done for you automatically.

High availability is going to be another one. The most of these offerings are going to give you 99.9% uptime, you don’t have to be, you know, if you’re the server guy, you don’t have to be getting those calls in the middle of the night. You know, why is the server down? Or, or just dealing with all that mess. So you get to kind of offload that and you can pretty much bank on, you know, having these things available almost all the time.

Again, cost effectiveness talks about flexible cost, but again, you’re not no longer purchasing equipment, and having to, you know, operate these data centers and spending money on facilities. And all these other aspects that kind of go into these costs of, of having your data centers and your server farms, you know, it can get really large.

As far as, you know, you and you grow, and you’re getting more and more servers. So, again, with these cloud offerings, it’s easy to kind of scale up and scale down and keep those costs in check.

Capacity, you kind of touched on again as well. You know, you can, and you can scale these things up and down.

You can also have, you know, disaster recovery is easily setup to avoid crashes if you do lose it.

And, again, collaboration, mobility. And these things are going to be available to a wider group of people outside of your firewalls on you’re able to just distribute groups across the country if you have that type of scenario.

It can also help you reduce time to market. You can quickly scale things up.

Instead of having to wait for servers to be provisioned or waiting for somebody to give you a VM, if you have a cloud offering, you can just login, scale up and spin up a server and start working, you know, within a couple of minutes sometimes.

So, lots of different benefits here and reasons to consider moving to the Cloud.

Another big one is compliance. This has sort of been a hot topic for the last year or so, with all the GD, PR, and stuff going on.

And you know, if you’re struggling to get compliant with these national regional industry is industry specific compliances, a lot of these cloud offerings provide many of these out of the box.

So you can save time and resources just using one of these servers that’s available today, and you can just check that off your list. You don’t have to go through and kind of make sure that you’re covered or worry about getting audited. It’s going to be done for you.

So again, another reason that these, these cloud offers can be very beneficial.

A little bit more of the terminology, we’re going to talk about, you know, what’s, what’s a public cloud versus what’s a private cloud versus what’s a hybrid cloud?

So, lots of different term is being used here.

So, with public, so, public cloud is defined as, you know, computing services, that are offered by sometimes a third party provider over the public Internet, and they’re available to anybody who wants to use or purchase them.

Sometimes they’re free. Sometimes they’re sold on demand.

You can pay for usage, or for CPU, that there’s different ways, though, they’ll price them out, but essentially, it’s going to be, you know, hardware or software that is owned by the provider, you’re going to share this hardware with other users, so you may have heard the term tenants or multi tenancy.

Often, sometimes you’ll be, you know, on the same server with other potential customers. Do this multi tenancy.

You won’t be aware that anybody else on there, again, you’re just sharing resources, but it’s going to kind of help you lower your costs because you’re sharing things with other people, and it keeps the cost down for the vendor as well.

So, typically, these are accessed, you know, the browsers, or if you have, you know, application that’s, you know, custom made to interface with these public clouds, so, things like that.

Like I talked about your Gmail and, you know, whatever, you know, Netflix, all those things are kind of browser based and access those. You’re sharing those resources with other people that are dedicated to you.

Private cloud is essentially computing services offered over the Internet in a private internal network and only select users instead of the general public are able to access those.

So, it has all the benefits of a public cloud. But you have the additional controls and customizations available from a dedicated resources over an infrastructure.

And, in addition, these offer higher levels of security and privacy, through company firewalls. And these can kind of help ensure operations and sensitive data are not access, accessible to third party providers.

You know, these can be either, you know, on-site in your company’s data center or hosted by third party providers as well.

These ones are going to give you, you know, that dedicated hardware and software, so, you know, if you are needing extra resources, you don’t want to share those resources.

This is going to be, sort of the, the option you want to look at, and, again, these, these are going to provide you more flexibility, Obviously, improved security, because you’re going to get going to be behind firewalls, it’s not going to be publicly accessible.

So, typically, this is where, you know, you want to store your data and things that are, you know, valuable and secure to you.

Which brings us to, sort of, the best of both worlds are the hybrid cloud.

This is going to be, you know, where you have some applications in public and some applications in private, and this is sort of, in my opinion, the best place to be.

So, you kind of want to keep your application, so you could have your, your BI tools in the public cloud, but that data that they’re actually going to reference and be, you know, running the reports off of are going to be in your private cloud.

This is going to kind of give you, you know, total control over your environment and your cloud environment. It’s going to give you flexibility to kind of pick and choose, you know, what’s public, what’s private.

It’s going to be cost effective as well. And we talked about some of the benefits, but again, you could scale up scale down.

Sometimes this can be, you know, depending on the various offerings available, you can get good deals on, you know, hosting different applications in the cloud.

And again, just the ease of use is going to be simplified here for adding servers and moving things around, and making sure that you have all the applications you need.

I’m going to talk a little bit about the vendors. So, we talked about, you know, the public private hybrid. So, now, we’re going to talk about, you know, what offerings are out there from the vendors.

We specifically picked just kind of the top four to look at today, which are Microsoft with their Azure.

Amazon Web Services, the IBM Cloud, and Google Cloud Platform, I want to include this chart, because I think it kind of shows the, you know, overall market share, and then some of the growth that’s happening.

So, you can see, Amazon, obviously, is the top overall market share leader here by a pretty significant amount.

But you can also see, you know, the dark blue line is showing the Q 4, 2018 number, and then the light blue line is showing the Q 4, 2017 numbers.

So, big gains by Microsoft, Google, whereas the gains are a little less nominal in the Amazon case. So, Microsoft Google making, you know, significant gains here year every year, in this area. So, we’ll containing continue to monitor this and, you know, keep up to date. But, you can see, you know, there are other shows out there besides Amazon and Microsoft and Google are working hard to kind of get their names out there and, and offer just as many compelling reasons to switch from Amazon to Microsoft if you’re using Amazon today.

So, again, it’s kind of focusing on Amazon and Azure, which are the top two. They both kind of have very similar offerings.

They have their sort of basic offerings as different types of servers. So, for Amazon, they have what they call content, storage and delivery.

And then they have what’s called a computer networking database offering.

Azure has very similar ones, but instead of the content storage and delivery, they have what they call data management and databases. They have the same computer networking and performance offerings, as well.

Where it gets a bit more different is when you get into the security and identity services.

So, start with Microsoft. You know, you’re probably familiar with most of these, especially if you’re Microsoft Shop, Active Directory, and ADFS multi factor authentication role based access for cloud security.

Again, Microsoft’s shops are going to feel right at home in Azure. Cloud environment is. These tools are probably something you’ve been using for years and years. It’s very easy to kind of sync up what you have today.

Since Amazon doesn’t have those, they kind of had to build their own.

So, they have tools such, as, you know, certificate managers, cloud based hardware key storage, infrastructure resource use monitoring, cloud trail, AWS organize for tracking resource inventory and changes.

So, they had their own set of suite of similar tools, but, again, more open source and not part of that Microsoft Suite.

So, it depends, again, what you, your organization is doing today and what you want to go in the future.

But, you can pretty much get the same thing done with either one.

Looking at some of the benefits of Azure. I’m sorry about AWS, again, we talked about market share. You know, if you’re looking for, you know, global coverage and the most data centers available, that’s going to be AWS today. Pretty much no matter where you are, they’re going to have a data center somewhere near you, for the most part.

They also have the most tool sets and open source available libraries.

If you do a lot of development, they have, you know, sort of best in breed. Development tools, such as Code, Commit, Code, Pipeline, Code, Build, Code, deploy.

It makes it very easy to build and deploy your code with all their own tools that they provide.

They also have all their own analytic tools, which we get some terrorists, you know, don’t use.

We typically focus on, you know, the Cognos, Tableau, Power BI tools, but they have their own tools as well.

They have a, they have EMR, quick site, Redshift, glue, data pipeline, all kinds of tools that can get those same jobs done, and also work very well, but sort of limited and tied to the AWS ecosystem.

Whereas Azure is obviously Microsoft. So, you’ll be, again, using all the tools that you’ve probably been using for years and years that you’re familiar with.

They also offer a tool called Azure Migrate, which makes it very easy to move some of your applications and infrastructure to their Azure environment.

They have, you know, it will evaluate your on premise environments, it can inform you if you have on premise apps that are suitable for migration to Azure. It can even estimate size and cost of a virtual environment that you need to build that out.

It also integrates with your databases and potentially help you, you know, pump data into some of these Azure SQL instances or other cloud versions of SQL server.

And unlike AWS, they specifically built for this hybrid cloud. They knew that people wanted to keep, you know, a lot of their data and data is secure data in there. You know, private clouds are on on premise.

So they make it very easy to integrate that with their, um, there is your environments by using a tool called Azure and Azure Stack. And it kind of allows you to kind of pull that in and access things in, sync up your Active Directory, and sync up your data. And access that in your, is your network.

So, having, you know, at Senturus, we get asked, you know, so what? What’s the best one?

And the answer is, you know, it depends.

So there’s lots of different variations and variables here that can kind of make you lean one way or the other, You know, not, know, there’s not really one size fits all here. You know, there’s various costs, and depending on your licenses and things that you need, it can also, you know, drive you to save money using one or the other.

Um, no migration complexity is other big one and even being a Microsoft shop. There are different complexities, inversions and things that can prevent you from being able to migrate, so those challenges are going to exist and exist on a case by case basis. So it’s difficult to say, this is the best or this one’s the best. It’s going to depend on, you know what you’re doing today. What your plans are for the future and how, how the migration paths going to look for you?

You know, typically if you are a 100% Microsoft shop today, you know, everything is running Active Directory. Use all the Microsoft Office tools, you’re using Power BI. It probably wouldn’t make sense to go with, you know, the Microsoft Azure network. But if you’re using, you know, multi-platform, open source, and you need, you know, the, the, the scalability and the availability of Amazon and all these data centers, then maybe that’s the right choice for you. So, again, not really a one size fits all here.

No, you need to kind of evaluate both and see, you know, what the best option is for your organization, and how the best plan it would be to migrate and move to that, that platform.

So, talking about, you know, the cloud vendors. Now, we’re going to talk about the BI vendors and what their cloud offerings are. Excuse me.

So, IBM and Cognos, they offer what’s called the IBM Cognos Cloud.

Um, this came out, I want to say, about 3 or 4 years ago, and they currently are offering two different versions of it.

They have what’s called a multi-tenant and this one is sort of the one that’s been around for a while, again, they’re going to set up tenancy.

And, depending on, you know, when you set up your sizing and how many users you’re going to have, they may have availability on an existing server and they’ll just add you as a tenant.

And you’ll be sharing as a server or multiple servers that are set up, you know, a multi-server fashion in Cognos And you’ll be just using that with someone else.

And, sharing those resources.

There is an option for obviously additional costs to go to a single tenant, where you’ll have 100% dedicated resources.

And, you don’t have to share them at all. So, there’s kind of two offerings are the second one, the single tenant being a newer one.

And unlike the, other vendors, we talked about, you know, they use a soft layer data centers, so they’re not going to be using Azure or AWS. They kind of have their own technology and offering around that.

The benefits of this are upgrades, specifically, an installation.

So, if you go through costly upgrades, and installations, and having to maintain your servers every couple of years, or if you’re doing the, you know, rapid releases, now that Cognos 11 is providing, it’s going to take time to, you know, apply those patches and in those releases, and then, do regression testing.

And, depending on how many servers you have, you might upgrade, you know, dozens and dozens of servers. So, they’re going to kind of take that on for you and do that for you, so you can free up time and resources on your end.

Again, we’re going to talk about renting in paying, you know, a subscription fee versus having to buy these servers and power them and maintain those data centers. So you’re going to save money there.

And the content store, that, you know, you have to maintain, and you have to run a SQL server instance, they’re going to do that for you, It’s going to be in the cloud, they’re going to use their DB two, and they’ll just kind of take yours and import it into theirs.

There are challenges.

However, IBM’s product is somewhat more limited than the on premise version today.

Big features that are going to potentially cause challenges is, you know, the cloud is currently dynamic query mode only.

So, if you’re a longtime customer, you probably in order we started with, you know, CQL, 32 bit mode.

And you’re going to have to kind of convert everything over to TQM which can be time consuming.

Based on the amount of testing and making sure that you know all the reports are able to function in that TQM mode.

So, um, if you don’t have 100% TQM, you’re either going to have to give up that content, or just hold off on moving to the cloud.

Talk about the Reduce feature sets, there’s things like dynamic cubes, and the standard Active Directory, the single sign on, and several other features. I have a slide on the next page here, I’ll show you but won’t get into the details just for the sake of time, but there are features that are missing.

Access to the server. So obviously with a cloud offering, they’re not going to let you remote desktop into the servers and change things around, customize them, you know, grab log files. Lots of these things are going to be off limits.

So, if you’re in the habit of, you know, constantly moving images or you know, tweaking things, that’s going to be a no-go for you. You’re not going to touch those anymore.

And then storage limits, depending on how much stuff. If you’re taking advantage of these new, you know, file uploads, and data modules and datasets, they’re going to put limits on how much data you can actually upload.

And once you get to a certain threshold, you’re going to be charged additional cost to use those to get more, more disk space. And another one is the additional servers.

So, again, if you have a traditional, you know, dev QA production type hierarchy in your environment, where you, you know, work your way up through the environment and publish things to production, with a standard, you know, cloud offering, You’re just going to get one box. So, if you do on national box, they come additional costs.

So, something to be aware of.

And then, finally, when you are in the IBM Cloud, they are going to make you basically upgrade at least twice a year or so.

They’re kind of on what’s hopefully a quarterly release cadence right now, and they’re going to.

Yeah, so if you’re on the version, 11.1.1 today, we’re expecting 11.1.2 to come out in next week or two.

Once that comes out, they would send you an e-mail saying it’s out now, and do you want to upgrade? Yes or no. You can defer. But once that next version, 11.1, 1.3 comes out, you’re going to have to upgrade at that point.

So, depending on, you know, how flexible you are with upgrades that may or may not be an issue for you.

If you’d like to say cutting edge, probably not a big deal, but if you’d like to stay a couple versions behind and stick with what you have, that might be an issue. So, it’s something to consider, and, you know, one of the challenges, I would say, of, you know, going to the IBM Cloud.

This is the slide I talked about just a few seconds ago, just kind of highlighting, you know, what features are available on premise, in the multi-tenant cloud, and then ones that are available in the dedicated cloud.

So you can see here, there’s some, some clear things that are missing, and if these are things that you use, you may want to consider.

Different options are a hybrid approach, and let’s talk about a little bit, oh, this isn’t a slide deck, and so if you want to, if you wanted to know more about this, you can just grab the deck after the presentation and use it for your own reference.

Next, is Tableau Clouds? So, again, sort of two options here. They have what’s called Tableau Public and its surface, the wide open place, where you can publish visualizations. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to put anything secure out there, because it’s open to the public.

But if it’s something that’s just, you know, general information or you know, a public dataset, it’s kind of a fun way to share your stuff on the cloud with other users.

Then it was called the wrong kind of private Cloud Tableau Online. Whereas it’s just the URL you login and you kind of do all the work through Tableau Online.

About a year or so ago, they decided to stop hosting it themselves and just moved everything to AWS.

So, everything now in Tableau Online is going to be running, essentially, AWS, although you won’t really know it. You won’t see you have access to anything in the Amazon, but that’s, that’s what they’re using.

And, that’s going to kind of just be, you know, invisible to you, but that was a change. They made, I think, about a year, maybe, 18 months ago.

Again, some of the benefits similar to Cognos, you know, they’re going to be upgrading you and installing it for you, unlike Cognos. They don’t let you linger back on old versions. You’re going to get the new version as soon as it’s available.

So, again, that may or may not be an issue for you if you’d like to be cutting-edge and get the latest and greatest, you’ll do that.

But, again, if you, you know, like to hang around and not upgrade for, you know, a year or two, it could be a potential issue for you.

And again, which I’m renting, I need to buy servers. So, cost savings there.

Challenges with the Tableau Cloud are, you know, the on perm data requires Tableau Bridge, so you’ll need to install Tableau Bridge, Make sure that it can communicate with your on premise data servers and pull that data in.

Obviously, you know, using data extracts and hyper, those things will all be kind of, you know, available. And in the cloud.

They’re already kind of built ahead of time and published to the cloud, so those aren’t an issue.

But if you do need live on premise data, you’ll have to set up Tableau Bridge.

Now actually, the server again, you know, so things like tab, command, and tab admin, which is dead now with the DSM. But things like that, you know, are no not available.

So if you do any type of scripting, things like that in Tableau, you’re going to lose a lot of that functionality. You have to kind of build, you know, rest APIs and things like that, if you can even check with that.

And then additional servers come at a cost. Dev, QA, a sandbox environments, that’s an up cost there.

And then local authentication only.

So, if you’ve been in Tableau install, you know, one of the first questions you get prompted with that tool, the installation process is, you know, do you want to do Active Directory or local?

And once you make that change, it’s very difficult to kind of reverse, it’s a lot of work, and remapping and complete reinstallation.

So, with the cloud, as soon as you know, they’re not going to be on your domain and have access to Active Directory in your domain.

It’s local authentication only, so, if you need single sign on, you’re going to have to go and use sample and kind of connected to, you know, some type of ADFS or you can use one of the third party tools like Actor.

But lots of different complexities, and can be a bit challenging sometimes to kind of get those working, so, a little more complex, but nothing impossible.

And then, finally, storage limits. We’ve talked about this for Cognos. Same deal for Tableau.

You know, if you’re cranking out tons and tons of extracts and uploading them, at some point, you’re going to hit your storage limit and then you’re going to need to kind of figure out, you know, what needs to stay or go? Or do you want to pay more for traditional data storage?

Microsoft, their Power BI service is a bit.

Almost 180 from what Cognos and Tableau are doing. Whereas, those tools are going to be stripped down subsets of the total on premise tool.

Microsoft Power BI Service is actually going to give you more updates and features in their cloud than you would get on premise, which is sort of a complete set, a complete change from what we’ve seen in the past. So, again, obviously, it’s part of their Azure network.

Um, benefits are, you know, if you like getting these Microsoft updates, which they are doing monthly now, and pretty significant features coming, you know, every month, you’ll have to be in their cloud service. You get them monthly, otherwise, you’re going to be kind of on a quarterly or so, or sometimes, you know, every four months, you’ll have to be waiting for updates for, on premise, Power BI Reporting Service.

So, again, pretty significant amount of updates, and things kind of drive you to have to kind of want to use their Power BI service here.

It’s talked about, you know, the renting versus buying.

They actually do have built-in capabilities against Microsoft injuries and Microsoft Windows servers to access cloud and on perm out of the box. So, that’s another nice feature here as well.

Talk about how they were there.

It was kind of built for the hybrid approach, so it kind of pays off here, Challenges, you know, what the on perm are gaining. You’re kind of limited updates, so instead of getting 12 updates a year, you’re going to get just 2 to 3. And these aren’t minor updates. They’re pretty significant, as I mentioned.

The tool itself is also very limited when on perm, so.

Nice features, like being able to create the Power BI reports in your browser, even building a dashboard are not available, or you’re using dashboards are not available with the on premise version.

It’s only available in the, the Power BI Service, which is in their cloud.

Other features, like, you know, being able to analyze on Excel or e-mail subscriptions, all kind of limited.

So, again, it’s, it’s sort of a strange way and something we’re not used to seeing, But if you are looking for cloud and you want the newest features, then this is going to be the way to go.

Talking about challenges. So, obviously, you know, the cloud has a lot of benefits, but there are also a lot of challenges.

No, data access is a big one. So, you know, we talked about, you know, creating connections to your private clouds, or how do you access data in your, in your domain, or you’re on your network. You’re going to spend a lot of time working on this most like with a cloud implementation.

So, do you decide to, you know, load your data into the cloud or build a cloud based ETL infrastructure that’s going to take a lot of time? It’s going to be something new and what you’ve been doing in the past, you also to address issues for, you know, connectivity for hybrid scenarios.

Excuse me, and how you want archived data.

Because you’re paying for amount of data you’re storing. So, you want to archive things in and kind of keep those older piece of data that you still need, but not as frequently somewhere else for a cheaper cost.

It’s much different than the classic, you know, on premise sand approach that we’ve used, you know for, for years and years.

Um, you also need to kind of have your DBAs involved in the process, making sure ports are open, and you can kind of get these VPNs to connect to on premise data connections. Again, depending on your security, that may or may not be a trivial thing.

You know, we’ve seen certain organizations where to get those ports open takes weeks and weeks in all kinds of red tape, so, not easy by any means to kind of get these, these different servers talking outside of your domain, Security is obviously another big one.

You know, moving your data to the cloud is potentially risky as far as, you know, that exposing it to the public, even if it’s security, it’s no longer, you know, behind your firewalls.

Companies need to choose, you know, cloud providers that offer network segmentation, password protection, encryption, other management services, to kind of achieve a similar level of protection, as you would get, you know, with on premise.

You know, again, you’re going to kind of lose access to you know the on premise Active Directory or l-dap.

And there are obviously options out there. We don’t we talked about ADFS open ID sample. But obviously, you know, Sam all especially of using tools and there’s a ton of tools for sambal now, but they come in an extra costs.

I kind of put a dollar sign there, so there’s going to be additional costs potentially using those.

Then finally, you know, when you do make that change year, looking at a potential namespace, authentication, migration, which can be difficult if you’ve had to do one of those in the past and changing in AD to something else or moving from Yelp, access manager to l-dap.

You know, lots of connections between users, content can get lost.

So you have to kind of make sure you’re mapping everything and going through a possibly messy namespace migration.

Um, automation, again, since we’re losing access to the servers, you know, things like PowerShell scripts, and Linux scripts. You’re not going to have access to the server to kind of run those anymore, so you’re going to lose that.

How do you kind of manage that and do all the tasks that we were able to automate in the past without actually having your hands on the server? So that’s obviously a big challenge.

Data latency is another one, depending on, you know, where your data centers are and where your users are.

You may see latency, especially if you know your people in, you know, the, center of the country and the cost data centers, you know, on the west to east coast. You may have to deal with that and, you know, sitting in an office with hundreds of other users. The bandwidth could also be in play if people are having the download and interact with data very far away in large amounts of data. That could also be slowed things down.

So, things to consider, And, obviously, the costs we’ve talked about, you know, cost benefits, but, you know, moving to 100% cloud are taking on a lot of complications, can, have significant cost.

Talked about a bunch of them today, you know, you know, third party things like sample. The cost structures can be very confusing. When you look at, then, there’s so many different offerings, but you can kind of flex them, you know, up and down, as needed, which I think is a great feature.

But, again, just be aware of the costs that can kind of sneak up on you, and, no, it’s, it’s something that definitely keep an eye on as you continue to grow, and, and moving more and more of your applications into the cloud.

So that’s the end of the presentation. Going to hand it back over to Mike, and I will finish. Finish up with some Q and A in a few minutes.

Great. Yeah, everybody, please do stick around, and if you have questions, please put them in the questions pane, and we are reviewing them as we speak, and we’ll get to some of those. Todd, you might want to jump over there while I run through these slides here.

So, if you’re listening to this, or you’ve been thinking about this going into it and you’re kind of scratching your head, you want to, you want, you want to migrate your BI system, and you’re trying to decide if you want to do that on premise, or cloud, or hybrid. We hope that you’ll consider Giving Senturus. It’s a call to help you with that, so from, whether it’s the backend architecture, to the front end tools, the choice of those tools, and then actually implementing. Those.

Are migration specialists, like Todd have a very deep understanding of not only the infrastructure and the, all the trends in, in this area, but the Enterprise BI platforms, the visual analytics tools, And by implementing a structured process and using some of our proprietary technology accelerator tools and whatnot, we can help ensure rapid optimized cross-platform migrations.

We take our best practices and our business value and we take business value into consideration and work on models in the areas that give you the most business value. To reduce the, the amount of time that’s caused substantial, provide substantial cost, savings eliminate, manual errors, maintain data, consistency minimize, end, user downtime. And, again, we have some proprietary migration acceleration tools that can help you, with that process. So, give us a call, if that sounds to be of interest to view. So, again, stick around for the questions here. I’m going to run through a few slides on Senturus, and who we are Senturus is a nationwide business analytics consulting firm. All we do is analytics all day every day. And, our clients know us for providing clarity from the chaos of complex business requirements, disparate, data sources, and constantly moving targets. We’ve made a name for ourselves because of our strength, that bridging that gap between IT and the business users, we deliver solutions.

That gives you access to reliable, analysis, ready data across your organization, so you can quickly and easily get answers at the point of impact and the decisions you make, and the actions you take.

Our consultants are leading experts in the field of analytics. They have years of Pragmatic, real-world expertise, and experience advancing the state-of-the-art. In fact, we’re so confident in our team and the Senturus methodologies that we uniquely back our projects with a 100% money back guarantee. Again, unique in the industry.

Our client breadth here that you’ll see on the next slide gives you a great idea of the range of industries in which we have worked.

We’ve delivered thousands of successful projects for hundreds of different clients ranging from the largest to mid-market clients. We’ve solved business problems across virtually every industry, and many functional areas, including the Office of Finance, sales, and marketing, manufacturing, operations, HR, and IT. So if you need someone to help you with your next analytics project, we’d love the opportunity to leverage our significant experience for you.

Quickly, before we get into the Q&A, we have a few additional resources to share with you, first of all, upcoming events if you enjoyed this one.

Well, you can hear the sweet sounds of Todd’s voice again and just a few weeks here on Thursday, April 25th where he’ll be covering tips for installing Cognos Analytics 11,11.1. So go to

39:39 to register for that while you’re over there you might want to jump over to where you can see all of our upcoming events. You can view our extensive resource library, again, where you’ll find a recording, the presentation, and the question log. The answered question log posted along with all of our past webinars, tips, and tricks, and some great resources, and then, lastly, our blog is some nice bite size reading in terms of what’s top of mind here at …, and all that is, they’re free for the taking. And then, finally, we have some great training options if you head over to

40:17 in the form of both regularly scheduled courses that are live, instructor led, and found for the breadth of skill sets required for Cognos analytics, as well as, Tableau. And we even have guides there that help you pick out. You know, which classes suited to your, your skill level, so going over, take a look at that? We also do offer large group and private instruction. So, if that’s more cost effective, oftentimes, for large groups or more effective in your organization, we offer that Cognos Tableau and Power BI training for large groups and private instructions.

And then, of course, we have recently introduced self-paced learning, which is a very cost effective approach to learning basic concepts and light technical skills that you can pursue and consume at your own pace.

So, with that, we’ll jump over here and get into some of the Q and A So, Todd, I didn’t think measure, you’ve had a chance to take a look at this, and do you have a few that you kind of want to tee up here? Or, I do? Right, so, I’ll go ahead, just got a question from Richard. Here are all these vendors offering Cognos.

I’m assuming you’re talking about the, the four Cloud vendors, which was, you know, Azure, Amazon, Google, and IBM. And, the answer is, yes.

So, essentially, you’re basically getting just a Windows server VM that’s hosted by one of those vendors, so, as long as it’s a supported version of OS that can handle Cognos, then you can install Cognos on that.

They’re not specifically offering Cognos, but they’re offering a server that you can run it on. The other one that’s actually offering Cognos is, obviously IBM, so, if you want it to be, you know, turnkey and just say, Hey, setup Cognos for me and here’s my content. Then, you’re going to go with the IBM Cloud offering, but, if you wanted to, kind of, do it, yourself, and you have a cloud offering and just install it, then, you can use any one of those.

Let’s see, the other one I saw was asking, Can you set up multi tenancy on Cognos being a tenant as well? I believe the answer is no.

When you log into a Gaggle Cloud environment, you’ll notice that I talked about stripped down feature set.

Know, if you if you go to the admin console, you’re going to be missing a bunch of tabs. And let’s just change.

This could be possible with the newer single tenant, you know dedicated offering, But in the in the previous one, which you were, you were yourself a tenant, you had no access to the tenant screen, you couldn’t kind of set of tenants yourself.

So I can check on that and get back, I’ll post it in the Q&A document that we’ll post with the presentation in a couple of days.

But I believe that the answer is going to be no, they don’t want you creating tenancy when you’re already a tenant yourself.

Another question from Richard is, you know, do, does the upgrade of Cognos in the IAM Cloud include downtime?

Answer is, yes, they will work with you, and, kind of give you different options and time slots as to when you want to do the upgrade. There’ll be, typically, an hour, two hours, or more, depending on, you know, the, The version, and what, how many servers, you know, are being used. But, they are pretty flexible, you know, they’ll give you, you, know, option.

So, if you have, you know, a month end close, or something, you know, significant going on, that you need to have, you know, high risk and uptime, they’ll work with you to figure out, you know, when’s a time when we can upgrade this?

And from my experience working with clients who have been on the cloud now for a while, you know, you can pretty much get them to do, you know, whatever works for your organization. So, yes, there will be downtime, but it’s very flexible.

And you can kind of, you know, work with them to figure out when you want to do that.

Another question for Richard is, you know, we constantly add new images for our reports is going to be a showstopper for going to the Cloud, even private cloud.

So images can be sense, you know, so if you’ve ever had open a ticket with IBM, that’s sort of a dedicated one for cloud requests. They will move your images into the cloud, but there is sometimes a lag.

Depending on availability, you know it’s going to take over a day.

So depending on you know, how much of a you know, showstopper that is up to you. But you know you can’t get your images are out there. They’ll put them in the directory that you know your default browser goes to.

But if you’re, you know, if you need it to be available, you know, instantaneously, as you can do today on premise, it’s going to be a bit of a waiting period, I’d say. Plan on at least 24 hours for those to show up.

So, just something to consider you know, again, one of the limitations of not having access to the server itself.

Another question here from for Wad, can we save report outputs through schedules to Network Drives and that one is going to be No. So, yeah, one of my favorite features of Cognos is the Save the File system.

And then, having that file system in place be a network drive where people can just go on to, you know, the, the workgroup and browse to a folder and get the reports they need without even having to login and run a report. And Cognos, it’s already been scheduled in pull down into a PDF or an Excel, so, obviously, you know, with it being in the cloud and not having access to a shared drives anymore, that feature is going to be gone.

I don’t really see them ever being able to replicate that in the cloud, unfortunately, but, maybe they’ll surprise us.

Let’s see, what else do we have here?

I think there were some questions around, you know, that, this gentleman was asking about the cost of retrieving your data paying for the data? We typically see that more with the transactional systems, like if you have net suite or you mentioned Google Analytics. So, if they’re the source of the data, and a lot of times, they’ll charge you for retrieving the data, in terms of the cost of that query. And, yes, that can get expensive. I think with the solutions we’re talking about here, we’re talking about Cognos or Tableau.

It’s really once you’re paying for the infrastructure and then obviously you’re paying for network bandwidth three or your ISP. Those are your, those are your big driving costs, right? Exactly.

Here’s a question from Room, how does the publication of package and maintenance of primary models work in the cloud environment?

So, you can and will still be able to publish frameworks and manage your models into the cloud, what the onboarding of the Cloud. You kind of go through a bunch of network drills, and there’s documentation. They’re going to give you on how to set up your friend, Rick Manager configuration.

And it can be a bit more involved than, you know, the standard, you know, on premise one, where basically you just have to set the Gateway dispatcher.

You’re going to be installing SSL certs and changing a lot of the security settings of the standard framework manager configuration.

And then, once you go through all those steps, and Senturus crypto keys is going to be able to speak to and published to the cloud. So, you’ll be able to publish and, you know, and modify and overwrite the existing packages. So, that’s not going to be an issue.

That was something they, they thought about and made sure it was available, NMT early version of the Q of the Cloud.

There was no support for Transfer of Power Cubes. That was, that was added in, I want to say, almost two years ago.

It’s a bit wonky.

They, you know, you had to build the cubes on premise, and then use kind of secure FTP them over to, like, a drop zone that that IBM provides for you. If you do decide, you need to, it’s actually, you know, request power cube support, and they’ll kind of give you a place to put them. And then once that places there, you can go in and create data source connections and use that path to expose and publish the packages. So it’s a bit more work with the queues. But product manager works very well once you get that initial setup going.

Let’s see.

Smith said, how should I go about deciding between capitals online versus Tableau server that I manage myself on AWS cluster, that’s already available to me?

So, it’s going to, I mean, it’s going to depend on lots of factors.

I had to, you know, see what your environment looks like today, So I don’t necessarily have a specific answer to give you today, but, I mean, if there’s features that are limited that you need are available in the online version, then, you know, On premise. Seems to be sure reason why, but, you know, if you’re fine with the features and online, and you don’t want to manage the server yourself, and, you know, Tableau Online. Could be the way to go. So, I’d say, maybe reach out offline and kind of talk about that.

See, what else do we have here?

If you move to AWS or Azure cloud, are you required to load the LMT tool to get self-capacity licensing?

I believe the answer is, yes, and it is specific PV.

You count that you have to use, that sort of a generic, cloud based CPU indicators, since, you know, the PV, that the CPUs on clouds are, necessarily a 1 to 1 comparison with an actual physical server or so.

I’d say, reach out offline, and we can definitely talk about that. But I think the answer is yes, but it’s a little bit more complicated than a standard disk virtual machine.

Let’s see.

I think that’s pretty much it.

Yeah. I think that, I mean, it, it looks like most of the questions there.

David asked about, about the cost of transfer of data. And, you know, I tried to kind of loop that into that other response around them.

The cost of retrieving the data and that’s really a function I think most of your ISP. And you got to move that data. And we’re even kind of joking.

How we were thinking is saying its AWS. And most of these guys, if you need to move a bunch of data, they, they still offer the ability to, they’ll ship you hard drives or you can ship hard drives to them. So you’re not moving all that data over the wire.

Exactly, yeah. Yeah, definitely.

I mean, so, if you’re going to be transferring lots of data, that’s going to be something you really need to look at, because they’re going to charge you for that. So there’s ways to kind of limit that. You know, as I said, you can do physical copies, but if you’re going to be sending everything over the Internet, definitely want to make sure, well, you know what you’re getting yourself into there.

Another question from Dave. is, you know, how does the Cloud BI providers handle automated e-mailing or reports, or alerts, or the security issues that prevent automation of reporting?

So, the standard schedules and subscriptions should work. They’ll be able to e-mail you things as long as, you know, your incoming mail server is allowed to receive, you know, external e-mail, so, there shouldn’t be any issue there, like, I think e-mail is something that’s still fully supported in the cloud.

Cynthia asks, what’s the best way to understand what admin features you have for Cognos on the cloud?


Best way to understand I’d say Ameen you use the slide in my deck to kind of see the features that are there If you’re if you’re a new cargos customer, most likely, you’re probably not using a lot of the older technologies.

And that may be fine, you know, for the cloud instance, for you, that you don’t need to concern yourself with being able to, you know, use Queries Studio or, you know, compatible query mode. If you’re, you know, a longtime client and there’s going to be things that you’ve probably been leveraging and using for years now that have become, you know, part of your day to day.

Activities and not being able to use it anymore is going to be a challenge. So, I’d say, you know, look at, look at the dock the deck here and that slide, there’s also several resources online. You can kind of find that information. And best what’s there.

It’s also if you Google ARTIK Cloud trial, you can login to the, the free version of Cognos Cloud and just, kind of check out what’s there and what’s not and to see yourself. Here’s what I use every day. Is it there? Is it not? How can I get around this limitation?

And obviously, if you can’t find your answer, you can reach out to us and terrorists, and we can hopefully there answer it or track it down for you if you have specific questions.

Let’s see.

Does Cognos Environment support Mood Net Vision and, any other third party products?

I know it’s not going to support like Modi OCI or anything that gets embedded into Cognos.

Any kind of third party integration is not going to be supported here Aye.

Think you can use, since that’s sort of just a, a connection into your, um, the front end. It’s actually integrating. It’s just sort of, you know, interacting almost like a browser would.

I haven’t tried it with a Cloud instance, but I, I’m guessing that it might work, and maybe it’s a little bit tricky to configure.

But I can definitely try to look at that and respond with the definitive answer in the Q&A that will posted a couple of days here.

That sounds like a, like a reasonable statement across all these platforms is when you have the one that’s hosted by them, you know, whether it’s IBM or Tableau or Power BI.

You can interface with the underlying server, for the most part, except via APIs or URL kind of integration. And you can’t do any sort of tweaking or configuration of, of the product does aside from some settings that are offered in the, in the browser so that that logically makes a lot of sense.


So, you can do something in the browser is a tool or just simulate stat, which kind of module PI does. And you should be able to when someone June just responded. Cognos and Cloud can use the…

Error products, which I I’m not aware of, so, I’ll have to look into that and see, you know, I can find some good details. I’ll, I’ll share that information.

As you can see, there’s a, there’s a lot of considerations. Clouds are about as big a topic as as you can get. So Todd’s covered a lot, a lot of great material here. And those have been some great questions that we have here online. Since we’re coming up to the top of the hour I think well we’ll close it off here. And we’ve covered most of the questions here. We will, as you said, answer the questions in the question, login, post those along with the recording. And if you do have other questions or needs around this, we’re happy to start facilitating those conversations for you, and we’d be happy to help you on your journey to the cloud. So thank you, Todd, for a great presentation, and thank all of you for joining us today, and we look forward to seeing you on the next installment of the Senturus as Knowledge Series.

Thanks. If you want to tell if you’re an advanced to the last slide, sorry. You can always reach us on our website at You can reach us at We have an AAA number, and we encourage you to connect with us on all these various social media friends like LinkedIn and Slide share, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. So, thanks again, everybody, for joining us today, and, again, we’ll see it down the road by now.

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