IBM is OEMing our software to Amazon, and Amazon is charging their users for access to it.
Users can now sign up for an account with Amazon Web Services (AWS) then launch virtual images fully configured with our software in their Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2). Users simply pay by the hour for usage of the image, then throw it away when they are done.
Initially, the offering is for free-for-use development images, called Amazon Machine Images, or AMIs, since the largest community of users of EC2 are developers. Later this year we will introduce AMIs for production use which can be used, for instance, by ISVs/BPs to host their applications on.
Besides Lotus (Portal/WCM), IM (Informix and DB2) and AIM (WebSphere Smash) are also participating.
I see this as a huge opportunity to lower cost of ownership of the Portal platform. I can think of several ways to leverage portal 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.
- 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.