Where to position FME Server, FME Cloud en FME BYOL/Azure on the IAAS, PAAS, SAAS scale?

  • 19 August 2020
  • 2 replies

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Hi, we are in the process of considering FME Server in some sort of Cloud solutions. We formed a group to discuss the issue, and ran into the question where FME Server and related implementations 'fits' in the diagram below:


Is FME Server Middleware, in which case it would be part of the environment to be delivered by the serviceprovider in case of a PAAS solution? Or is it 'just' an application, in which case one should turn to a SAAS solution to have it delivered by a serviceprovider? And what is the relation with FME Cloud? And the BYOL constructs that are available on Azure or Google? And the 'documents' (workspaces, automations?)that are contained on the FME Server server, how do they fit in? Anyone having any ideas on this?


Best answer by stewartatsafe 25 August 2020, 05:32

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I'll try help out here. On the cloud FME Server can be deployed in two ways: FME Server self-hosted or FME Cloud.


FME Cloud

FME Cloud is the hosted version of FME Server that runs on the public cloud, in your diagram above it would be categorized as a PaaS. You can see the shared responsibility model here (scroll down), you'll see a large amount of the management of FME Server is taken off your hands (Hardware, OS, VM). However, you are still responsible for ensuring the uptime of the FME Server application. To enable you to do this we have built a series of tools in FME Cloud that let you monitor and configure alerts (e.g. monitor CPU, memory, server load).


FME Cloud is on a different pricing model to FME Server, it is pay per use and defined here.


FME Cloud - SaaS

If you wish to use FME Cloud but you don't want to have anything to do with the management of the FME Server then you can engage with one of our partners. We have a Managed Server Provider (MSP) Program that effectively turns FME Cloud from a PaaS to a SaaS. The partner will handle the management of the FME Server in collaboration with Safe. The result, you don't have to worry about any management of hardware, OS, network or the FME Server application. The partner will devise a pricing structure based upon the FME Cloud pricing and it will vary depending on the SLA you define with them.


FME Server - Self Hosted on an IaaS provider

FME Cloud has two main limitations:

  1. It doesn't support ESRI Geodatabases.
  2. All FME Servers running on FME Cloud are on the public cloud. That is, they are hosted in Safe Software's cloud account and open to the public internet.


If you wish to install the FME Server application in your own cloud environment (e.g. in your own VPC on AWS or Virtual Network on Azure) then you will need to install and host FME Server yourself. To install FME Server in your own cloud you can use the standard Windows and Linux installers. You can also use Kubernetes. In Google and Azure Clouds you will also find FME Server in their marketplaces. These marketplace offerings are really just the same as installing FME Server yourself, they just mean you don't have to run the installer.


For the self-hosted FME Server on the cloud the standard FME Server pricing models apply. The BYOL mentioned on the marketplaces refer to these pricing models.


When you deploy the FME Server application it includes Automations and the ability to schedule and automate Workspaces. To author workspaces for any of the solutions above, you will also need FME Desktop which is a standard desktop application (Windows, Mac, Linux).

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Hi Stewart, your answer is greatly appriciated. I'll discuss it in the group. Thanks.