Yesterday I attended the latest Documentum webex from Opentext. It was a review of last year, with some use cases explained by customers and partners, and a review of the roadmap (It seems that they aren’t delaying the new Documentum version, and that it will be released by the end of this month).
Some of the topics/questions covered webtop (of course :D), new features such as iHub (a kind of Jasper Reports for Documentum, including an eclipse-based report designer), a D2 mobile application, and news regarding integration with the cloud.
It looks like the original idea EMC had of connectnig LEAP/cloud with Documentum through services is being pushed with a “common layer” of access in the form of services.
My idea of cloud may be completely wrong, but I don’t consider cloud a “remote datacenter”. Cloud is related to the concept of elasticity: elastic resources, usage and pricing. This means that you could dinamycally increase/decrease available resources according to your needs in a particular moment in time. In order to do this, you don’t just need to “go to the cloud”, you need your software to be able to do that (and Documentum is not able to).
I’m not going to discuss about microservices or containers, but a quick, clear example could be this one: Imagine you have a web application. You allocate one server on the cloud. In the cloud, you could, by defining threshold and behaviours, deal with peak workloads by automatically deploying additional server instances, that will automatically balance the load between them and then return to the “normal” usage without interaction. And this would be extremely complex with Documentum (I guess you’ll need to configure a certain number of Documentum servers in HA, then stop them, and you could only deploy as many servers as you have previously configured in order to deal with high demand).
So, having discarded the viability of a “pure” cloud Documentum solution (note that I’m not including LEAP here, just the traditional Documentum server), we have two “offers” available:
IAAS: As far as I know, Opentext/Ondemand doesn’t have an IAAS offering available, so the alternative is to go to your favourite cloud provider, buy resources and then deploy Documentum there. However, you won’t get support (I guess this is something to be expected, as Opentext has its own cloud offering). Depending on your case, it might be worth “losing” support if figures make sense (same happened when VM were becoming popular, EMC didn’t support Documentum virtualized, but almost everyone was running it on virtual machines)
SAAS: Rather than cloud, this is a “remote datacenter” offering. Ondemand has fixed prices for this model, and the rest of competitors (if there are others left offering Documentum as a service) follow the same pricing model. This cloud offering, on paper, has the following advantages:
- Lower TCO
- Expert administration
- Quicker startup (what?)
- Better security (lol)
- Disaster recovery with SLA response time
But you should have in mind also the following situations:
- No specific ticketing application. Any operation that needs to be performed has to go through the support page (this includes, but it’s not limited to: creating a registered table, deploying a dar file, accesing dictionary information in d2, issuing SQL queries, running jobs, etc.). In my experience, agile and rapid development cycles are not compatible with this way of working. Also note that the current Documentum SLAs always use “first response time” and not “time to solve the ticket” as metrics.
- Better security: Well, if your product has security holes, the hole is there, no matter if it is on premise or on the cloud.
- Disaster recovery: This is something I always say to clients: If you invest on a cloud environment, first thing to do is destroying the environment as soon as possible and request a recovery. This way you can have an accurate idea of how the provider works.