Alfresco Offers Open-Source Management For Amazon's Cloud

By | Jan 2, 2013

Open-source enterprise content management (ECM) vendor Alfresco has become the latest to sign on board with Amazon's cloud services. For the IT community at midsize firms, this marks another step in Amazon's establishment in the enterprise cloud space. It also marks another small step in the growth and mainstreaming of the open-source movement.

For Amazon's rivals in the enterprise cloud space, however, the development marks another competitive challenge. Such firms as Oracle and Microsoft increasingly face an uphill push as Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to build support.

ECM From the Cloud

As Ted Samson reports at InfoWorld, another vendor has jumped onto the Amazon bandwagon. Alfresco is a provider of ECM solutions intended to provide secure collaboration and file sharing within the enterprise.

Three different versions of its solution will be made available on AWS. One is a software as a service (SaaS), which according to the company offers "simple, business-class collaboration with mobile access and file sharing." Another option, Enterprise, offers a private instance with greater control for the user.

The third version, Alfresco One Hybrid ECM, allows deployment behind the AWS firewall, with syncing of files and folders to the company's cloud.

Other service providers have been signing on with AWS of late, including CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and SAP. Amazon's problems with outages have not slowed the movement. For such rivals as Microsoft, Oracle, and Rackspace, Amazon's growing hold poses a serious challenge.

Expanding Cloud

In the long term, it is in the interest of midsize firms to see vigorous competition among cloud vendors. This will ensure a variety of offerings, and prevent market dominance by any one vendor. From the perspective of IT managers at these firms, however, the struggles of rival cloud vendors probably counts for less than the continuing growth in cloud options.

The range of services available from the cloud continues to expand. So does the variety of cloud configurations: public, private, and hybrid. But one thing we have learned is that the cloud is not doing away with IT at midsize firms. Instead, management of cloud services is becoming a major IT function.

Also noteworthy is the continued growth of open-source offerings. This is good news for IT at midsize firms for a couple of reasons. In an immediate practical sense, open-source solutions allow closer and more efficient configuration to meet specific needs. In a broader perspective, moreover, open-source makes it easier to avoid vendor capture. For midsize firms that is a win-win situation.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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