Hopefully by now you've seen the announcements about WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management joining the ranks of several other IBM software products with offerings out on Amazon Web Services. Here's the IBM press release: http://www-304.ibm.com/jct03001c/press/us/en/pressrelease/26673.wss.
In February of this year, we released free for use, "development only" versions of our product as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that you can use free of charge from an IBM licensing perspective. You only pay Amazon for the time and space used. These images are small in size and are meant for use in eduction, trials, development and test of portal and content management solutions. Later, in June, we released production AMIs that are larger (64-bit, giving access to larger machine instance types) and are licensed for use in production environments in the cloud. See the complete AWS IBM AMI catalog for more details.
We are very excited about the benefits cloud computing, and particular Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud, brings to the portal and content management platform. In about 20 minutes, you have a fully-functional WebSphere Portal and Web Content Management instance running, with several features preconfigured out of the box:
- HTTP Server enabled: A local IBM HTTP Server is configured to provide port 80 access.
- External DB2 database: An instance IBM DB2 Enterprise Edition is installed and configured locally as WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management's external database and user repository. This provides an enterprise class and high performing database environment.
- New Site Wizard: WebSphere Portal is preconfigured with the New Site Wizard,available from the Portal Catalog, which aids in the creation of micro sites within the portal. For more information, refer to the Portal Catalog entry .
- Default content sites: WebSphere Portal is preconfigured with two sample virtual portals: a sample intranet content site, and a sample Internet content site. Both sites are accessible through the virtual portal URIs /wps/portal/intranet and /wps/portal/internet, respectively.
- Developer mode enabled: Developer mode speeds up the start time for WebSphere Portal by deferring the start of individual web applications and portlets until they are first requested by the end user. For more information on developer mode, refer to the WebSphere Portal Information Center.
Leveraging a product like WebSphere Portal and WCM in the cloud allows the user to get past those initial setup and configuration costs and down to business much faster than using traditional bare-metal installations. You can either use our AMIs as a starting point (see the catalog link above), or build your own AMIs based on product licenses you've already purchased.
I can think of several ways to leverage Portal/WCM in a cloud:
- Host a demo portal that everyone externally can have access to with the appropriate user id/password.
- Augment your development environment with additional portal test instances.
- Provide customers with a customized portal instance for a trial period, then download the configuration for use in house if they decide to run Portal in house.
- Host your own Portal/WCM-based applications and sites in a Software as a Service delivery model.
Additionally, we've started posting Portal/WCM Beta AMIs on EC2. You can now run our beta programs from within the cloud. Go to our Portal.Next beta page for more details.
With the introduction of our AWS support, we have started on the cloud computing journey, rich with exciting technical advancements and total cost of ownership savings. Look for new announcements coming that expand on our cloud computing support and commitments.