Your vendor may be able to spell “cloud,” but can he “speak” it?

cotributed Box


  • Knud Kegel Senior Vice President, Business Development
  • Feb 11, 2013

Most modern Web Applications are designed to reach a global audience. But when the world flocks to a single Web property at the same time, it can easily become overwhelmed. Network communication is inherently afflicted with latencies and bandwidth limitations that can make a bad situation even worse. The result is that many Web applications fail at the worst possible time – turning online success into ignominious failure.

To solve this problem, most smart Web publishers choose to implement a portion or even the entirety of their Web infrastructure in a virtualized, scalable, hosted environment. These “cloud” solutions – which include many CDNs as well as a range of hosted Infrastructure, Platform, and Software solutions – are an increasingly popular way to extend the corporate data center.

Many WCM vendors say that their software is “cloud-ready” but often this means little more than the ability to install portions of the software in a variety of distributed, hosted datacenters. However, the ability to install your software in the cloud is only a bare minimum requirement for a true enterprise cloud solution. There are significant financial, operational and performance issues that must be considered as well. As when measured against these criteria, most vendors fall flat.

Cloud providers have multiple levels of functionality - ranging from basic Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings to more sophisticated Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities, to comprehensive Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. Most SaaS-only WCM offerings are too limited for true enterprise Web projects. However, a WCM solution that only supports the cloud at the infrastructure level is too limited as well. A true enterprise ready WCM will fully support a range of IaaS and PaaS offerings and will be optimized for a range of popular use cases including hybrid, peak delivery, and all-in-cloud.

So, before you choose a WCM vendor for your cloud deployment project, make sure that they can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Start by asking them a few of these simple questions:

  • What measures were taken to design the software for high availability and scalability?
  • Has the software been optimized for high latency and low bandwidth connections?
  • Are all software components prepared for hot failover and load balancing?
  • Are you prepared for the operational impact of moving from a static Web site to a dynamic or contextual Web experience?
  • Does the software allow for the same customizations in the Cloud as on-premise?
  • How secure are the connections to existing backend systems when the software is operated in the Cloud?
  • What tools can I use to operate and monitor the software in the Cloud?
  • Can I distribute each software component across multiple Cloud instances and data centers?
  • How is deployment and operation automation implemented?
  • Which tools exist to control flexibility and elasticity of my Cloud deployment?

If your vendor can’t provide you with detailed answers to these questions, then you need to look elsewhere. Your vendor may be able to spell cloud, but he certainly can’t speak it.

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There is one comment on this article.

  • Cumulo Nimbus
    Cloud providers have multiple levels of functionality. I am excited how CoreMedia deployment deals with it.
    Feb 11, 2013 9:26 AM