For many software application vendors, the cloud ecosystem has been a bit like baseball: no matter how you're planning to play, you're often forced to pick a team and stick with your bench.
But in the world of containers, the promise of a multi-cloud strategy is creating a new market of free agency – and letting organizations choose the infrastructure that best meets their needs.
While few CMS platforms can claim to be truly "cloud-first," most are providing hosting and infrastructure services that leverage one of the major public clouds. Because of the complexity and variability in service architectures, most vendors have picked either Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure as their "home team."
But Contentstack believes you shouldn't have to compromise on which cloud you launch in. Last week, the headless CMS provider announced that it will now offer its platform on Microsoft Azure – right alongside AWS. This makes Contentstack the first multi-cloud SaaS CMS on the market, giving customers the freedom to run their omnichannel content operations on the cloud of their choice.
Here's the real power play: whether a customer spins up on Azure or AWS, they'll receive the same functionality, pricing, and packaging structure. This gives buyers greater predictability around costs while eliminating any price-based or functional preference for a specific cloud to run their Contentstack workload.
From the beginning, AWS has owned the lion's share of the cloud market. But Microsoft Azure has been steadily gaining ground – and is now the second-largest provider of cloud infrastructure services. According to Contentstack's press release, 85% of the Fortune 100 and 63% of enterprises overall are running applications on Azure.
Until now, no agile CMS has offered Azure as an option for its customers. While many organizations are managing multi-cloud strategies, one of the most compelling reasons for offering an alternative to AWS is the "Amazon Effect" and its dominance in digital commerce. Many online retailers and e-commerce brands have deeply-held competitive concerns with Amazon – and as a result, Azure has become the preferred choice for running their cloud workloads.
“Azure is continuing to grow market share as a leading cloud provider and businesses are increasingly looking for CMS solutions that run on the platform,” said Nishant Patel, chief technology officer for Contentstack. “Contentstack already has the highest flexibility of cloud infrastructure options on AWS, offering public, dedicated, and private Cloud options in both North American and European instances."
Contentstack also says that a lack of cloud choice has limited many organizations from realizing the benefits of a MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless) architecture. With the addition of Azure, those companies will now have access to a MACH approach, allowing them to choose the cloud provider that best suits their business needs.
"Now with added support for Azure public cloud in North America, we are meeting the high demand from retailers and consumer brands who ask for an alternative to Amazon, and large enterprises with strategic connections to Microsoft who want to replace their old-school CMS with an agile option," said Patel. "Any company looking for a future-fit CMS that allows you to run on Azure or AWS should consider Contentstack.”
Unlike many monolithic CMS platforms, Contentstack is a SaaS offering that enables users to run in a cloud-agnostic manner. The company says this validates their internal architecture as being highly sophisticated and modern.
Being cloud-agnostic also means that customers are "inoculated" against vendor lock-in, allowing them to mitigate the risk of costly replatforming. This composable nature aligns perfectly with the core values of the MACH Alliance, of which Contentstack is a founding member. Contentstack’s platform is built on API-first principles that are developer-friendly and support a variety of content and delivery models.
From a technical perspective, Contentstack’s Azure offering falls under ISO27001 certification and the company is working to achieve SOC2 Type II certification by mid-2022.
CMS Critic had an opportunity to connect with Nishant Patel, CTO of Contentstack. He shared some of his views on the CMS market, the value of being headless, and what his company is excited about.
CMS Critic (CC): How are customers able to deploy in Azure? Is this similar to an AWS Marketplace listing?
Nishant Patel (NP): There is no deployment needed. AWS and Azure is a multi-tenant cloud so when customers sign up with us they select the cloud provider and the account is auto-provisioned.
CMS Critic (CC): You mention that there are no differences in price or functionality from AWS to Azure. Can you speak to any DevOps advantages that Azure might offer for running Contentstack? What services stand out?
Nishant Patel (NP): We have made all our micro-services cloud-agnostic by writing adapters for AWS and Azure. We were able to find comparable services on Azure so migration wasn’t much of a challenge. Azure has Kubernetes as well so our containers are ported very easily from AWS to Azure.
CMS Critic (CC): Are there plans to expand to any other specific public, private, or autonomous cloud providers?
Nishant Patel (NP): We will consider setting up Contentstack on Azure in the Europe data center as well, similar to how we have two regions currently for AWS (Europe and North America). We are not considering any other cloud provider at the moment.
CMS Critic (CC): AWS has joined the MACH Alliance as an Enabler. How do you see Microsoft supporting the tenants of MACH now and in the future?
Nishant Patel (NP): Azure is fully capable of hosting SaaS services so I am sure there are a few vendors already in the MACH that probably are fully deployed on Azure. If a MACH vendor is selling into retail companies then they probably will get requests to deploy on non-AWS cloud. Microsoft would be a good alternative solution here.
Contentstack – the pioneering Agile Content Management System (CMS) – empowers marketers and developers to collaborate around content like never before. Together, they can orchestrate superior customer journeys and deliver dynamic digital experiences across channels, audiences, brands and regions. Companies such as Chase, Express, Holiday Inn, Icelandair, Mattel, McDonald’s, Mitsubishi, Riot Games, Sephora and Shell trust Contentstack to power their most critical content experiences. Famous for its Care Without Compromise™, Contentstack has the industry’s highest customer satisfaction. As a founder of the MACH Alliance, Contentstack advocates for open and composable technology that is Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless. Learn more at http://www.contentstack.com.