AEM as a Cloud Service: Moving from Adobe Managed Infrastructure to Cloud Service

By Bhawesh Dandona » 9 min read

What is AEM as a Cloud Service?

AEM as a cloud service is the next-generation platform to build and serve experiences using Adobe Experience Manager. It is designed to leverage the power of cloud technologies to develop and host AEM solutions. Cloud power and new microservice architecture allow it to auto-scale as per the need to serve increased spikes of load (and scale down when the peak/increased load is over), thereby eliminating the need to worry about right-sizing your infrastructure. 

How will businesses benefit from AEM as a Cloud Service?

Highly Available (No downtime)

  • This new offering makes itself highly available as continuous delivery and continuous integration for updates is now provided with zero downtime. Failover strategy is inbuilt as cloud power is providing all the required protection against any disaster or failures.
  • For business, it means improved user experience.


Auto Updates (No more manual upgrades)

  • Cloud Service, along with new supported architecture, allows us to make the latest innovations available as soon as they are ready to be rolled out. Rolling out of product updates is now a continuous process. It will make organizations free from the hard work of planning and executing these upgrades, which sometimes take years.
  • Enable business to start engaging people better by giving them more time for business-centric innovations rather than spending efforts on upgrades.


Auto Scalable (No more infrastructure worries)

  • Cloud power allows you to scale your servers as needed during peak hours of traffic and automatically scales down when the peek is over. The new asset microservices architecture takes out the massive jobs of asset ingestion and processing out of your core AEM server. Even assets are now stored on an external shared datastore, fully eliminating the need to replicate heavy asset binaries. Asset microservice can be scaled separately from the core AEM instance if increased asset processing is needed. Assets serving load is also taken out of the primary AEM instance. Both Author and Publish instances can be scaled as needed to meet the load they are incurring.
  • For business, it means enhanced system performance.


Inbuilt Smartness (Auto learn along with the platform as a whole)

  • The next-generation platform comes with intelligence and machine learning as default features. It also enables us to make it smarter by keeping it up to date with all the performance and security updates, along with the automatic rollout of any corrective updates without impacting normal operations. It is also providing native access to the Adobe AI intelligence platform, Sensei.
  • Reduced concerns about the system's operation and availability, which translates into reduced operational costs for the business.

How is it different from On-Premise and Adobe managed infrastructure?

Architecture

  • Author and Publishers can be scaled up and down based on the actual traffic site is incurring without any downtime.
  • Supports both vertical and horizontal scaling of the infrastructure.
  • Author Logging is now managed by Adobe Identity Management Services (IMS)
  • AEM Assets as a Cloud Service only has an authoring environment.
  • Code and configurations are separated out from the content.
  • Author and Publish instances use Content Repository Service to read and store data.
  • Any code and configuration change now can be pushed only via the Cloud Manager.
  • Usage of Sling Content Distribution feature to publish the approved content instead of Content Replication. This decouples author and publish instances completely, and any publish event will succeed for all the resources in the AEM publish instance or fail for all, thus ensuring publish service always has a consistent state. It works on the principle of the Publish-Subscribe model.
  • A scalable shared data store for storing and serving all the assets. It offloads primary AEM instances from this heavy job.​​

AEM as a Cloud Service: Moving from Adobe Managed Infrastructure to Cloud Service            Image Source: docs.adobe.com

Upgrades

This new architecture platform supports the upgrading of customer projects/environments with the latest offerings available daily using the fully automated CI/CD pipeline without any downtime for the business. This helps in providing the following benefits:

  • Always have all the latest bug-fixes in place.
  • Always keep your environment updated with the latest security updates.
  • New features are made available as soon as they are ready.


Cloud Manager

  • Cloud Manager has been made an integral part of AEM as a Cloud Service. Any code and configuration change can only be pushed using its CI/CD pipeline.
  • It is used both by Adobe to upgrade your environment with the latest offering of the service and by project teams to promote the latest application updates.

AEM as a Cloud Service: Moving from Adobe Managed Infrastructure to Cloud Service

            Image Source: docs.adobe.com

Onboarding

With cloud service offering starting a new project is quick:

  • Baseline AEM images are available to get started.
  • Reduced manual configuration work


Operations and Performance

  • Many of the regular maintenance tasks such as Backup, Indexing have been automated, which results in no downtime of services.
  • With shared datastores now the new normal, Binarayless replication eliminates the need to execute heavy replication tasks.
  • With the new micro-service architecture in place, many heavy jobs have been moved out of AEM and assigned to dedicated micro-services.


Identity Management

  • Users of Cloud Service have to use their Adobe IDs to access the author tier. It has now been integrated with Adobe Identity Management System (IMS) and now provides a single-sign-on feature.


Authoring User Interface

  • Classic UI is completely removed and is now 100% touch UI.


AEM Sites

  • Notable changes are around synchronous functionalities (for example: Move Pages, Rollout Pages), which earlier used to block the UI. These have now been made async and run in the background.
  • The repository has been divided into immutable and mutable content. Immutable content can't be accessed at runtime. For example, going forward, i18n dictionary translations can't be performed at runtime, no developer mode in AEM sites page editor. Any such change needs to be pushed via a configured CI/CD pipeline using Cloud Manager.


AEM Assets

  • This is a next-generation solution to offer DAM and Dynamic Media operations with speed and impact.
  • The platform also offers the use of inbuilt smart AI/ML capabilities to process digital assets.
  • This modern platform now provisions a separate asset microservice to ingest, process, and serve your digital assets.
  • The service can be scaled independently of core AEM instance to serve an increased load of asset ingestion and processing.

How can a business plan for migration to AEM as a Cloud Service?

There are tools available off the shelf to assist you in the journey.

Cloud Readiness Analyzer

  • This tool provides a report for business and technology teams to help them know and understand all potential areas in the applications, which requires change or refactoring in order to move to Cloud Service.
  • It's a great tool that helps accelerate cloud service readiness assessment.


Content Transfer Tool

  • Transfers content from source AEM instance (on-premise or AMS) into Target AEM cloud service instance.


Dispatcher Converter

  • Converts existing AMS dispatcher configurations to AEM cloud service dispatcher configurations.


AEM Modernization Tools

  • Modernizes legacy AEM implementations to the latest features AEM has to offer


Workflow Migration Tool

  • Migrates asset processing workflows to processing profiles for the Asset Computer Service.

What are the different phases of Migration?

Phase-1

  • Planning: Identify what all needs to be converted and create tasks
  • Estimation: Look at conversion items and begin the breakdown


Phase-2

  • Execution: Build conversion scripts, rules & execute tools
  • Testing: Validate all the functionalities and perform full regression testing
  • Performance: Measure application performance against defined performance benchmarks


Phase-3

  • UAT: Business teams perform all the validations and provide a sign-off
  • Go-Live: Go-Live with updates


Phase-4

  • Post-Launch: Train authors on using new AEM features
  • Optimize: Learn from user interaction and system behavior and make changes to optimize it further.

What all it takes to successfully migrate to AEM as a Cloud Service?

  • Good Planning
  • Seamless Execution
  • An Experienced Team who is hands-on with all the tools and technologies
  • A Trusted Adobe Partner

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WRITTEN BY:

Bhawesh Dandona

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