Alfresco (news, site) is one of the most well known open source enterprise content management providers. With over 1.4 million downloads of their solution already and a number of marque clients for the Alfresco Enterprise, they should be happy to continue business as usual.
But, as usual, they aren't. This week they have announced a partnership with ParaScale, a cloud storage software provider, to offer Alfresco "Content as a Service".
The ParaScale Platform
In enterprise deployments of ECM solutions, the traditional model is separate hardware for front-end and back-end (multiple this model based on usage requirements). It's the model that Alfresco would typically recommend to its clients.
ParaScale looks to change that model.
ParaScale is a startup company that offers cloud storage storage solutions. Earlier this year, they launched a new software solution called ParaScale Cloud Storage (PCS) software. This software, when loaded on to any Linux-based platform, clusters together servers to act as a single file repository providing massive capacity and parallel throughput.
The ParaScale Platform consists of one or two control nodes (servers that manage the configuration and administration of storage nodes) and a number of Storage Nodes (physical servers which provide cloud storage). Client requests are serviced directly by the Storage Nodes.
One implementation of this software brings together the PCS software and Enterprise Content Management Systems into a single environment for deployment.
ParaScale ECM Cloud Deployment
Alfresco in the Cloud
The Alfresco, ParaScale partnership enables the Alfresco Enterprise CMS to reside on the same servers that support the cloud infrastructure. This includes all aspects of the Alfresco platform (front-end and content repositories). What does this mean?
- Removes the need to set up and manage separate servers for the ECM software
- Supports a global namespace that allows Alfresco to run on PCS and access the cloud storage
- Elimination of network issues such as latency, packet loss and bandwidth
- Simplified administration management
- Reduced operating expenses
Alfresco ParaScale Cloud Storage Solution
The Alfresco software can be installed on one or more of the Storage Nodes on the ParaScale Platform. You can start your cloud storage solution small and grow it as required without a great deal of changes. You simply add a new Storage Node and make the required clustering configuration changes in Alfresco (okay, there's a little more than that, but it's not complicated).
Not An Actual Hosted Solution of Alfresco
It's important to clarify here that this is not a hosted offering for Alfresco enterprise content management. ParaScale offers the cloud software, not an actual cloud service.
What this integrated offering provides is an inexpensive way to implement Alfresco as a "Content As a Service" solution. It's an approach to install and run Alfresco in a cloud service model.
It's also not a SaaS model in that although it could be a hosted solution approach, it would not be true multi-tenancy SaaS.
What this offer appears to be is another way for Alfresco to sell their open source ECM platform as a less expensive alternative to proprietary, on-premise solutions.
Want to Learn More?
CMO Ian Howells will be a speaker at CloudWorld in August. So if you are interested in hearing more about this new Alfresco service, you might consider attending.