Web CMS vendor Ektron is attempting to meet cloud users’ desire for maximum speed and flexibility with version 8.6 of its Cloud Manager solution. In addition to enhanced support for Microsoft Cloud Services (formerly known as Azure) and the public cloud offering of Amazon Web Services, Cloud Manager 8.6 is designed to enable faster solution deployment and provide enhanced scalability and flexibility.
Papa’s Got a Brand New Cloud
New features of Cloud Manager 8.6 include built-in network load balancing and fault tolerance, bi-directional content replication and differential deployment capabilities, scheduled usage of cloud instances, website scalability beyond the servers at a user’s physical location, scalability of capacity with changing user requirements, and “elastic” use of additional cloud resources during peak traffic and activity times.
According to Ektron, the benefits these new features and functions will deliver include enhanced time-to-market and reduced entry cost for new solutions, distribution of high-bandwidth content through CDN (content delivery network) distribution, and maximum website uptime.
Cloud Drives Business
While the decision to move to the cloud has traditionally been about operational efficiency, by touting benefits such as reduced time-to-market and cost of entry for applications, Ektron is targeting the growing class of cloud users motivated by business initiatives. As indicated in an IBM report released earlier this year, although many organizations focus cloud initiatives on operational efficiency, that percentage will slowly decrease during the next few years (from 55% to 31%) in favor of innovative business plans, like new lines of business/industries, new pricing models and better partner collaboration.
The report cited six "game-changing" business enablers that will transform how organizations leverage the cloud for business innovation, including cost flexibility, business scalability, market adaptability, masked complexity, context-driven variability and ecosystem connectivity.
Although the enhancements included in Cloud Manager 8.6 are mostly of the operational efficiency variety, Ektron is hyping how the results of this enhanced operational efficiency can positively impact business innovation efforts. In particular, Ektron is positioning Cloud Manager 8.6 as a tool to aid cost flexibility, business scalability and market adaptability.
Given these projections, it’s no big surprise that a March 2012 Microsoft-commissioned IDC report estimates cloud computing will create almost 14 million new jobs worldwide by 2015, with revenues projected to reach US$ 1.1 trillion per year. "IDC estimates that last year alone, IT cloud services helped organizations of all sizes and all vertical sectors around the world generate more than [US] $400 billion in revenue and 1.5 million new jobs," the report says.
Clearly Ektron is targeting cloud computing users who are seeking to transform their organizations and create new revenues, rather than cloud computing users who simply want a cheaper way to store more data.