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.

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  1. 1  Paul Benwell  |

    This is big great news. Just a shame we had to wait nearly 2 hours to get it.

  1. 2  Russell Maher  |

    Ed,

    EXCELLENT!

    Six months would have beat what I was asking for so having to wait a few more hours was no problem.

    This is huge. Great job IBM and everyone who made it happen.

    Signed - the "chap named Russell"

  1. 3  GarryL  |

    @1 Yep. Really thought they'd go with some big news, not all the yawning panel stuff.

    I would imagine that they will not go with this format again.

  1. 4  Ian Gillett http://www.slrsoft.com/ |

    Hi Ed,

    Are there any plans to have a Lotus Notes / Domino Appstore?

    Where customers can easily add third party Notes apps to their cloud installation.

  1. 5  Robert Mahowald http://www.idc.com |

    This is indeed big news - now will there be self-service tools to build new apps, versus just to maintain/modernize the old ones?

    Also, what's Lotus's strategy around whether to revitalize Domino/X-Pages as a developer focus, versus channeling custoemrs and 3rd party developers to the IBM test/dev cloud, or building out that capability on LotusLive?

  1. 6  Nick Halliwell  |

    Well I am afraid that I am going against the crowd here.

    So far I see nothing of any interest. The cloud works if you live in New York, LA, London, Berlin and other large western conurbations. But move outside those areas and the Internet is not powerful enough or stable enough for the cloud to work. I have not had 1 customer say to me what about the "Cloud". In Asia with the exception of HK, Singapore and urban Korea. The Internet is too slow and just not available 24 x 7 to allow you to have cloud connections. Its also too expensive.

    For example in Australia, they charge by the Mb for Internet connections, not by speed. That will prevent large scale cloud systems. In other countries you can pay $US 250 for a 1 Mb connection, that is a business rate, not domestic. How can business afford the cloud with charges like that?

    I hope that there are some more announcements about things that are not cloud based, else this marks a very low point in Lotus-sphere announcements.

    So far I have not seen anything new or even vaguely exciting.

  1. 7  Alan  |

    Agree partly with #6 here but these are necessary and exciting strategic changes. Mobile bandwidth will continue to get faster & cheaper and once that happens we will move on to complaining about the next roadblock - battery life. I don't know what pricing is like in other countries but here in the UK you can get truly unlimited fast mobile data connections for £25 per month.

  1. 8  Ed Brill http://www.edbrill.com |

    @5

    The tool to build applications is still Domino Designer, but

    1) We decided to give away Domino Designer for free starting in October, 2009. Anyone can download it from developer.lotus.com, along with access to all sorts of developer resources.

    2) On both IBM Cloud and Amazon cloud, there is a Domino image available for free for development and test purposes. So a developer can download the free Designer and use the free server image...all they pay are usage charges.

    3) Domino Designer now has XPages, a new application meta-model that is based on Javascript and Dojo. We asked some of those college students who were here yesterday to try to build XPages apps with no other Domino experience and they were really successful

    4) We have worked with the community to truly invigorate OpenNTF.org as an ecosystem around Notes/Domino application development. We have shipped libraries'-worth of code to OpenNTF.org, an "un-release" vehicle for stuff that we can't yet or won't formally ship as part of the product. The community themselves are building tons of great solutions on OpenNTF as well.

    5) We ran 28 seminars and additional virtual seminars on XPages around the world. IBM Press just published its first XPages book. We are looking to do more in 2011 to energize the XPages message as a mainstream social application development platform.

    @6 no it's not for everyone. That's why we continue to build an on-premises product. We discussed the next Notes yesterday -- see my latest posting for more on that.

  1. 9  David Jolliffe http://www.360-systems.com |

    Ed

    Domino Apps in the Cloud sounds great, about time too.

    But who do I talk to, to work out a detailed pricing model for our Domino Web Apps? The web apps we build on SQL Server are easy (and cheap) to license. I would like to understand if this offering will give me a platform to sell apps to Non Domino install base customers?

    I have tried distributor Avnet and spoken to an IBM TA but did not get very far...I guess because this is a fresh announcement.

    Thanks DJ

  1. 10  Ed Brill http://www.edbrill.com |

    start with http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/igs/cloud-development/

  1. 11  Kam Cheung http://Avnet.com |

    @9

    David, the LotusLive Domino Utility Server offering is not available yet. It is scheduled for first half of 2011.

    Mark King and I are trying to get hold of Richard to give him details.

    There was confusion at the IBM end, happy to discuss. I believe you have my contact details.

    Kam

  1. 12  Sudhish Jayaswal  |

    Hi Ed,

    I was looking for a Domino Application Cloud services. Are they available by any service provider. Looking for where I could develop xPages + DOJO application for our own business, and hosted on a cloud service, which could be both design aswell as data updated / replicated from a Local Notes Databases to the cloud


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