January 31 2011
At Lotusphere 2011 today, IBM announced a strategy and solutions for deploying Lotus Domino collaborative applications in the cloud. The announcement recognizes the desire of many organizations today to manage infrastructure through streamlined, predictable costs with pervasive connectivity, high availability, and flexible deployment options.
As we started talking to customers during 2010 about our successful new LotusLive Notes, we were frequently asked, "What about our Domino apps?" There are business and technical challenges to deploying Domino applications in the cloud, and today's announcement addresses both of these directly.
On the technology side, today IBM highlighted availability of production Domino image deployment in the IBM Cloud. This new offering adds to last year's debut of free developer and test images of Lotus Domino on the IBM Cloud. The IBM Cloud approach offers all the benefits of cloud computing, with the bonus of being either a public access server or a private one. From a Domino licensing perspective, you have three choices on the IBM cloud -- free developer or test deployments, and either bring-your-own-license or pay-as-you-go licensing for production deployments. The pay-as-you-go approach is quite innovative, with charges in increments as small as hourly rates. Because it's Domino, any production images on the IBM cloud will seamlessly integrate with your other use of Domino or LotusLive Notes. Once again, this new offering proves how flexible Domino is today -- hybrid is only a word in the IBM language, not so our cloud competitors.
We will also add production images on Amazon's Elasticompute infrastructure later in this quarter; the Amazon AWS approach is all public, but adds the benefit of credit card payments and easy activation.
On the licensing side, today we announced IBM Lotus Domino Utility Server for LotusLive. Based on the same model as the Domino Utility Server, this new license allows customers who are LotusLive Notes subscribers to use the included Notes client for access to Notes/Domino applications. That means that instead of paying per-user software subscription to continue to use Notes/Domino applications, regardless of client/browser access method, these customers can now switch to a server-only based licensing model. Instead of paying for everyone in an organization to continue to use those apps, they can pay for anyone in the organization to use those apps. Customers will now be able to more easily evaluate and value their Domino applications in a separate context from their commodity/cost-focused decisions around messaging, and yet retain all the benefit of existing and future investment in building applications on Domino.
The Domino Utility Server for LotusLive model will also be available in the IBM Cloud and Amazon models, in addition to on-premises deployments. Special pricing is planned for customers to trade up from Domino Enterprise Servers, in conjunction with deployments of LotusLive Notes (or LotusLive Notes + LotusLive Engage).
Other than the existing Domino Utility Server, we have avoided application-only pricing for Notes/Domino for a long time. The thought always was that it was the integration of mail + applications that made Notes/Domino successful in organizations. With email becoming increasingly commoditized, though, many organizations have wanted to separate the mail and applications discussion. This new approach recognizes that trend and addresses it for customers moving to the cloud. It also reflects our decision to move to a CAL model and not sell the Notes client per-se, and that Notes client entitlement already being part of the value (and competitive differentiation) of the US$5/user/month price for LotusLive Notes.
Friday night, when I got to Lotusphere, a chap named Russell came up to me and asked, "do you think it would be possible in the next 12-24 months for there to be a way to deploy Domino applications in the cloud?" My response was, "how about 12-24 hours?" OK, it took 60 hours from that conversation until announcement, but it sure sounded good. I'm very excited about this announcement, and that we have Laurence Guihard-Joly from IBM Cloud Computing here to help announce it (and make a special offer to Lotusphere attendees). This is going to be very buzz-y the next few days. I'm excited to discuss it with you.