Over the decades, cloud technologies have been rapidly developed and applied to almost every aspect of the IT industry. To enable their businesses to be more agile and flexible, more and more companies have been moving their application hosting, infrastructure, data storage, website content and more to the cloud. Liferay, as a portal platform to integrate various systems or as a content management system, has evolved its deployment practice from the traditional infrastructure room to the cloud.
Since Liferay DXP (Digital Experience Platform), there have been many nice features added or enhanced to support the simplicity of deployment on cloud. The Liferay service team has suggested some initial architecture, and also offers a specialized Cloud Go Live package for cloud. Why should an enterprise assess its situation and deploy its Liferay based system to the cloud? And what should be taken into consideration when the company is readyto make this decision?
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IT Agility and flexibility. Most organizations are facing fierce competition, and they will adjust their business plan dramatically to fit the external environmental change. This requires the IT system to be evolved to support the business. It’s easy to achieve this with cloud. For instance, if a company has developed their business in a new region, they can purchase needed resources to facilitate that.
Sizing. This is an obvious strength for choosing the cloud option. Basically, we are suggesting the following sizing strategy for your plan.
At the initial phase, the company can purchase minimal resources for their Liferay application by doing the estimation for each region. If the user number increases, the organization can quickly purchase needed resources to scale up in either the vertical or horizontal direction. For example, if we don’t have to add another new instance, we may just add memory, cache or disk. If the company is driving a business plan in a new country or area, we may consider adding a new instance/Load Balance/CDN.
Information Security. Securing the hardware and sensitive information against malicious attacks and intrusions is vital. If you choose a large cloud vendor such as AWS, Azure etc, you have substantially mitigated the risk of information security.
Performance. This point relates to sizing. With the cloud option, the enterprise can monitor the Liferay application or cluster and then detect the bottleneck easily. Therefore, it better supports the desired number of total users, concurrent transactions, etc.
Fault Tolerance. This factor should be considered regardless of the local infrastructure or cloud environment. Maintaining uptime during unexpected failure or scheduled maintenance can be implemented on the AWS Cloud by setting up extra resources and a fail over plan.
Cost Effective. We know the cloud is available by time frames of monthly, hourly or annually. It may not offer a great advantage in the short term when the company begins moving its website or portal system to the cloud. Yet, the company will significantly reduce their maintenance complexity and drop some unnecessary resources due to the cloud flexibility. For example, if the company is going to have a promotion in one region, he or she can purchase the CDN product for a short period of time and release it when the promotion activity is completed.
- Reference Architecture
We know that Liferay supports several application servers such as of Jboss, Tomcat, Weblogic, WebSphere, Wildfly etc and the databases for DB2, MariaDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server and Sybase. If you deploy the Liferay cluster application to Amazon Web Service, the following is the reference architecture.
- 1 Web Server which could be Apache2, Ngnix etc;
- Load Balancer;
- 2 Clustered Liferay Applications; or 1 Lifeary primary server and 1 stand-by server;
- 1 primary RDS and 1 stand-by RDS;
- S3 storage is used for storing attachment, image and video;
- CloudFront which is a CDN product can be used to accelerate the user access for better experience;
Perficient is a partner of both AWS and Liferay, and we have dedicated and extensive experience in both practices. We’re able to help your organization implement the Liferay based portal and CMS solution, and integrate the optimal Amazon Web Services solution.