Alfresco have recently announced a cloud-based integrated ECM solution with ParaScale, a startup company developing cloud storage solutions. The Alfresco Content Management solution and ParaScale's Cloud Storage software will be available on the same hardware, and the claim from Alfresco is that, unlike traditional ECM architectures, the combined solution will enable organizations to store and access content without adding management overhead or cost.
John Powell, Alfresco's CEO, stated that, "Managing content effectively has become an indispensable part of running an efficient business. Content growth requires a sophisticated ECM solution that can scale users and content volumes simply and at low cost without massive up-front capital expenditure. Legacy applications may run in the cloud but modern Content-as-a-Service approaches, consuming services resident in the same cloud, are required to inherit the benefits of a Cloud Service Architecture. Only then can users achieve on-demand scalability, fault tolerance, cloud-wide network security and cost efficiency."
Integrating the Alfresco ECM solution with the ParaScale cloud storage platform improves manageability and performance for ECM users, while lowering costs both by eliminating a layer of servers to run Alfresco as well by allowing the usage of commodity priced storage. ParaScale's storage nodes are standard Linux servers and it took very little effort for Alfresco to bring up their application directly on ParaScale's storage servers.
The ParaScale cloud also supports policy-based replication to ensure high availability for content access. Users can set policies to configure the number of copies of a document that are replicated within the cloud. When a new document is created, the ParaScale software propagates the new version within the cloud to another storage node based on the policy.
This announcement provides another boost to the use of the Cloud as means of reducing cost whilst at the same time providing security and speed.