We have an HP MSA 500 as a storage array connected to windows fileserver, the VCM, and the Oracle Database server via SCSI. The VCM is also connected to the fileserver and the database via a gigabit ethernet connection. A cluster of Java application servers sit connected to the VCM and fileserver. In front of the App Servers are the Windows 2003 web servers. We have the ability to add more web or application servers as needed to increase performance. The network these servers is on is gigabit and they are protected from the Internet by a Cisco firewall.
We have completed the Vignette infrastructure plan and the Vignette v7 VCM (Vignette Content Management) installation. I am fairly pleased with the infrastructure so far, but the VCM installation doesn’t look as good as it initially did. As we’ve been designing the CDA (Content Delivery Application) system, we’ve noticed that the consulting company was not as careful in their design as they should have been. Especially considering our lack of experience with the product and our reliance on their recommendations. There were some indicators as we were proceeding through the project, but we had to forge on since we didn’t have the time to learn how to do the project ourselves. The most glaring problem is the lack of robustness in the content types they set up – they don’t even allow the basic functionality we had under v6.
Not long after I started working for this company, we had a consulting company come in and take a look at our Vignette v6 implementation. The implementation was largely the deep, dark, black hole where editors entered content and it miraculously appeared on our websites. The web designers knew enough about the system to display content on the sites, but not much more. There was an overpaid consultant already in-house, but all he did was sit around and run his consulting business from one of our desks. No one knew how to properly support the monstrosity (including the in-house consultant it seems in hindsight).
I knew the consulting company previously, as I had worked with them on a previous project at a different company. They suggested that we could save money by purchasing single processor servers because Vignette chargers per processor. While Vignette may be well-meaning by charging per processor, in today’s marketplace of dual processor servers, it seems like this is a severe limitation on their software.
After purchasing the new servers and looking at planning an infrastructure migration project, we learned the Vignette was going to stop supporting v6 after December 2005. Now we were looking at not only migrating our software to new servers, but also migrating our content to a completely new implementation of Vignette (after seriously looking at Vignette replacements). Add to the mix the ever changing requirements of the publishers to sell new types of content, and you have a network change and a separate infrastructure change on top of an already complex V7 migration.
Details to come…