Cloud Connected



"I have been searching for a product like Cloud CMS for over 10 years.

After false starts with some typical content management solutions, we were finally able to design the content repository that our business required."
James Baddiley
James Baddiley, CEO
ChilliSauce

The top 3 features that differentiate Cloud CMS from the competition

You have determined you need a Content Management System (CMS) and have begun the daunting task of reducing the number of CMS products to a manageable number to evaluate in depth.

Having reached this article you are aware of, or interested in, CMSs that can be described as: Headless CMS, API First, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Decoupled CMS, Cloud-First. I am sure there are more beautiful categorizations and terminology provided by the latest analyst buzz. As much as I may not like the catagorizations, they are useful in that without them what would you search for?

But as you will have discovered, there are a number of CMS products catagorized as Headless CMS, or API First, etc. Cloud CMS is just one of many products you will find with a simple search. How to evaluate further: features, cost, trial, openness of information? It is still difficult to compare products.

At Cloud CMS we believe we have the best product as I am sure all our competitors believe in their products. To an extent we are all telling the truth and it really depends what criteria or features are important to you.

Top 3 Features that differentiate Cloud CMS

To help you evaluate further: here are the top 3 features of Cloud CMS that differentiates Cloud CMS from the competition:

1. Cloud CMS is available both On-Premise and SaaS

We are a Cloud based company embracing the SaaS model. We love the SaaS model. What has changed - in a word “Docker”. Docker containers have allowed us to distribute the Cloud CMS product easily for On-Premise/Private Cloud installation. Whilst SaaS may offer many benefits, On-Premise is still a desirable option for some companies for the following reasons:

  • Regional restrictions: ie the content must reside in a particular region. This may be legal or a business restriction.
  • Internal Security. Some organization have security restrictions/policies that either don’t allow applications/content to be hosted externally or the getting through the security procedures make it quicker and easier to go for on-premise options
  • Control: A benefit of SaaS is that updates and bug fixes occur ‘continuously’. Usually the whole process is transparent to the customer. For some organizations and application the constant change is not acceptable. A change could introduce a change of behavior in the application which could adversely affect users. Hence, on-premise can stabilize a release and allow the customer to control the release cycle for their users.
  • White label / customization
  • MicroService: With your own on-premise installation you can scale and fine tune the Cloud CMS components. Not least, reducing network latency by hosting close to your applications and users.

2. Cloud CMS is a headless CMS with powerful ECM features

Some of the basic functions of creating and managing content that you rightfully expect to be in Content management systems are surprisingly not always there – check! Our background is in Enterprise content management systems so we have designed Cloud CMS to include these features for all our offerings:

  1. Workflow
  2. Versioning and audit
  3. Branches / Workspaces
  4. Content model
  5. Roles / groups / teams
  6. And many more (honestly – take a look)

3. Architecture

This is the CMS your architects would build if they had the time and resources (and were in the CMS business). Cloud CMS runs on top of MongoDB, ElasticSearch and Amazon AWS.

Good luck with your CMS evaluation

I hope this article has saved you some time. Either you have found out early that you are looking for a different type of CMS, e.g., a page builder CMS, and Cloud CMS is not for you. Or, this has helped encourage your interest in Cloud CMS and you would like to find out more - please Contact Us to ask a question, request a demo or call, or start a trial.

Security: Grade A

Cloud CMS comes in two flavors - on-premise and hosted. For our hosted customers, we host 100% of Cloud CMS and take care of all of the data backup, migrations, security, load balancing and… well, everything! It’s the whole kit and kaboodle. It’s all of the DevOps and stuff solved for you.

One of the fun aspects of this is keeping up with security requirements around SSL and HTTP Transport. Cloud CMS customers automatically gain the advantage of SSL for all of their communication with the Cloud CMS API, user interface and hosted applications. We run secure HTTPS endpoints for all of customer touchpoints and this guarantees our customers connect and communicate with Cloud CMS over a secure and safe channel. Their data is secure and cannot be tampered with over the wire.

To guarantee this, we keep our infrastructure up to date on all of the latest security recommendations with respect to SSL, including recommendations around cipher strength, certificate authorities, protocol support and key exchange algorithms. Every few months, some news hits the security realm about potential or demonstrated weaknesses in these algorithms and strategies. As weaknesses are understood, new workarounds are recommended and we implement those recommendations right away.

As such, our transport security received top marks:

We’re proud of the “A” that we’ve earned for our transport security configuration. This is excellent security. And something that we’re very glad to be able to guarantee our family of customers.

More Ways to Run Cloud CMS On-Premise

We just released Cloud CMS version 3.1.315 which includes more sample configurations to help customers and prospects get started with on-premise Docker deployments. Our Docker distribution includes several “kits” that contain pre-built Docker Compose configurations that help customers to get up and running right away. These configurations can either be used as is or they may serve as a reference for building out new configurations that meet a customer’s exact needs.

Cloud CMS offers Docker as an option for customers who wish to run Cloud CMS on-premise on within their own data center. Customers often want to do this for security reasons - for example, they may wish to take advantage of custom volume encryption, custom port or DNS settings or transport configuration. Customers also may wish to run Cloud CMS via Docker so as to introduce custom extensions to the back end server or front-end user interface that run “in-process”. In-process code can include things like custom actions, rules, workflow triggers, mimetype transformers and more.

In most cases, the trick to getting things up and running lies not so much in the configuration of Cloud CMS, but much more in the inner workings and configuration of Docker. Docker is a very powerful container technology that makes it easy to orchestrate the different tiers that compose the Cloud CMS infrastructure. Cloud CMS is inherently multi-tiered and scalable, making use of a completely decoupled architecture that is flexible for the needs of high content demand.

Docker makes it easy to orchestrate all these containers. It makes everything easy to run. We love Docker and so do our customers.

With Cloud CMS version 3.1.315, we now ship with sample Docker configurations for the following scenarios:

Quick Start

The basic quickstart kit is still offered and has been updated to utilize local, container volumes instead of named volumes. This is a good kit to run for folks who are getting started with Cloud CMS as it launches the full infrastructure on a single host. You can run the Docker host on your laptop or in Amazon EC2. Instructions are provided with the kit so that you can get going quickly (hence the name “quick start”).

API Cluster

This configuration shows you how to launch Cloud CMS and cluster the API tier. Clustering the API tier allows you to scale out the request handling for your content API across many handlers and job workers. A load balancer runs ahead of the API containers, distributing requests across the cluster members. Cloud CMS maintains a distributed object cache and job queue so that runtime state is spread out evenly across the cluster. As new members join, runtime state rebalances automatically. This allows you to calibrate for performance, adjusting the number of API servers based on request throughput and job processing throughput.

OEM/Development

This configuration is provided primarily for our developer community and partners (OEM relationships, consultancy partners and integrators). It offers a sample configuration that lets you connect locally-developed Cloud CMS API and UI customizations. It is intended for scenarios where you run Cloud CMS locally and compile code changes that are then hot-linked into the running Docker infrastructure. Changes are picked up automatically so that you can connect your IDE debugger and walk through your code as it executes.

Roadmap

We have exciting plans for our Docker support in the near future. Among them is a plan to package Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) configuration files so that folks can work with ECS directly and independently of either Docker Machine or Docker Swarm. We would also like to provide sample configurations for Elastic Beanstalk as we’ve found that to be very effective. Finally, we’ve had requests for IBM BlueMix configurations and would like to provide a sample of that as well.

Customers have also asked for best practices around volume management (i.e. auto-mounting of EC2 volumes for persistent containers). This turns out to be an interesting area in the Docker world with all sorts of new innovations happening to address it. We will be provide sample configurations about how to do this as well.

Definitely watch this space as many exciting things are happening. If you’re an existing customer or a prospective customer who is interested in trying out Docker, please contact our sales team at sales@cloudcms.com.