Today, Alfresco published an interview with TSG on the work we’ve done with the Alfresco Connector for Salesforce. Given our expertise with both the Alfresco and Salesforce.com platforms, developing the integration has been a great intersection of both TSG practices.
Given all of the “buzz” around Cloud Computing, TSG has had the opportunity to deploy Alfresco Cloud solutions on Amazon EC2 for a number of clients, as well as a chance to experiment with the flexibility of using Amazon EC2 for development purposes. Amazon EC2 fits under the Infrastructure-as-a-Services (IaaS) model, which provides virtual servers on demand.
Overall, the primary benefit of deploying to an IaaS such as Amazon EC2 is the ease in deployment and configuration, as well as the ability to scale your infrastructure on demand. Over time, your typical document management solution would mostly likely have a slow and steady increase of content and usage. However, for scenarios which require a large ingestion of content initially or a huge increase in users, Amazon EC2 provides the flexibility to scale up or down as needed.
If deploying to a single server, deploying an ECM repository to Amazon EC2 should be a relatively straight forward process. As ECM vendors market their Cloud offerings, the key will be how easy they are able to scale from one to many nodes in a Cloud environment.
Developing in the Cloud
In regards to internal development, utilizing Amazon EC2 On Demand Instances has been an easy way to quickly bring up instances of Alfresco. In further enhancing our OpenMigrate Alfresco Target offering, we were able to perform benchmarking utilizing EC2. Need to compare migration performance on Alfresco on a 32-bit vs. 64-bit OS? No problem, start up a medium instance (32-bit) and large instance (64-bit) and go to town. Maybe we want to see how we can increase migration performance in a clustered Alfresco environment? No problem again..start up another instance and setup a cluster against the existing repository. The benefit is once development tasks are complete, the instance can be shut down and brought up at a later time.
Amazon EC2 Lessons Learned
If deploying a production implementation into cloud, the following are best practices when deploying to the Amazon EC2.