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Adobe Experience Manager to Cloud: Technical Implications for Migration

 Adobe has moved to the cloud with its Enterprise CMS, Adobe Experience Manager. With content management systems in the cloud likely to become the standard in years to come, are you ready to make the switch? If so, why is now the time to do it?

Technical Implications for Migration

In the first blog post of this series, we looked at the advantages of moving to the cloud, why clients are considering this a “no brainer,”, and what to do if you are considering the move. In this blog post, we will explore the technical implications and common questions we hear from our clients as well as the strategic direction from Adobe.

Adobe Experience Manager was not initially architected for the cloud. How has Adobe made this possible?

Adobe has done its homework. Through a new architecture based on proven solutions such as Kubernetes, a solid platform has been developed that is "cloud native by heart" and offered at competitive rates. Adobe also provides a Cloud Manager tool that serves as a central point of contact and simplifies the complexity of the cloud architecture for users.

There are now three options for AEM deployments:

  • On-Premise – hosted by the license holder or a partner in their own cloud or data center.
  • Adobe Managed Service – hosted by Adobe with various management options, including Cloud Manager capabilities which help to improve deployment times and spikes in website traffic.
  • As a Cloud Service – Software as a Service, fully managed by Adobe, always up to date, and secure.

How is Adobe further developing the product?

All three variants are based on the same code base, but Adobe's focus is on AEM as a Cloud Service. This is "version-less" and is automatically updated, primarily for maintenance and security reasons, on a daily basis. New functions are released on a pre-defined schedule, with the changes available first for AEM as a Cloud Service and then published for the other variants via feature packs.

While the current feature set is not the same for all versions, Sites and Assets - the most used features – are already available in the Cloud Service. This means that AEM as a Cloud Service is ready to go for most customers.

What are the technical limitations that need to be considered?

There are many technical considerations when planning a move of this scale. Some are listed below, but this list is not exhaustive. Identifying and weighing the changes is part of the preparation phase.

  • There are content areas in the repository (/apps and /libs) that are unchangeable at runtime. If an attempt is made to write to these areas in the custom code, the process will fail.
  • OSGi bundles and settings can no longer be customized via the Web Console. They must be committed via code.
  • Direct changes in the repository of the publish instances are no longer possible.
  • Classic UI is no longer available.

Ensuring compatibility with AEM as a Cloud Service can be quite a challenge to audit manually, so Adobe has created a Cloud Readiness Analyzer (CRA) that does the hard work for you. This report can take a few hours to scan all your code, however it is quite detailed in its output. CRA works on AEM instance versions 6.1 and above and will specify:

  • Areas of code that will need to be refactored
  • Functions currently in use that will be deprecated
  • Repository items that will need to move to another area
  • Best practice recommendations

How secure are cloud solutions?

This question is inevitable, especially in the context of cloud computing. Through proactive development, the latest industry and Adobe standards are always incorporated into the product and are available immediately. These standards greatly minimize the risk of security threats or downtime. AEM as a Cloud Service is also SOC 2 certified and ISO compliant with further certifications planned for this year.

In summary, an AEM cloud migration project may seem daunting, but with the right support, both from internal stakeholders and your AEM partner, it doesn’t have to be.

Moving your AEM instance to the Adobe cloud will reduce the dependency on your internal IT teams and improve the scalability of your services. Not only will you get the scale you need during periods of increased demand, but you can also be confident that your websites are always up to date with the latest security patches.

Want to learn more? Read our other AEM blog posts here.

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