Several announcements show that the Amazon infrastructure-as-a-service model is gaining serious traction, helping today's start-ups/ISVs/SaaS providers quickly create consumer and business services without an IT capital spending budget.
LignUp and rPath are leveraging Amazon's Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) to historically relieve developers of infrastructure worries and infrastructure costs as they try out new products and services.
rPath announced this week that rBuilder, its platform for creating and maintaining software appliances, will support EC2. How it works:
- A developer or ISV uses rBuilder to build an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) that is automatically uploaded to the EC2 as a public AMI.
- Anyone with an EC2 account can find, access, and launch that application in the cloud. rPath says that using EC2, along with software appliance such as rBuilder, will let ISVs provide their customers with a solution without investing in a data center.
Meanwhile, LignUp is sweetening the pot for developers who participate in the CodeLign developer program and use the LignUp Commmunications Applications Server by being able to use Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 to help power their VoIP-enabled applications. They will also now each get a 600-minute Internet phone credit to build and test their VoIP-enabled Web services, application mashups, enterprise wikis, and portals.
LignUp is seeking to become the "WebLogic of voice," a reference to how the WebLogic application server helped define a category and encourage a land-grab by third-party ISVs in the mid-1990s.
LignUp's modular-architected, SIP-based "telephony middleware" platform is designed to help developers and ISVs and enterprises swiftly and agilely bring voice to their applications and services by engaging voice services as Web services, by picking from a library of WSDLs or "voicelets." Look for more event-driven and BPEL-friendly means to add voice and US functions to more business activities.
Here's a separate but illuminating example of a voice-enabled hotel portal that shows the potential for mashing up VOIP, UC, and applications/portals.
These announcements don't constitute a Amazon Web services stampede, by any stretch of the imagination, but they're more hopeful than some of the crepe-hangers who were pooh-poohing Jeff Bezos' virtual computing ideas only a few months ago.
Indeed, the Amazon services are proving a new go-to-market avenue and SaaS proving ground for firms like rPath a LignUp -- create a quick easy way to let developers try the stuff out, with no deployment costs. And that could well help sell more on-premises platforms and appliances.