Sitecore and Cloud
Sitecore extensively looking to offer the cloud offering after joining the party with Microsoft in 2016. In an effort to that, Sitecore now available as an App Service on Azure. Have a look at it https://azuremarketplace.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/apps/Microsoft.AppSvc_SiteCore_xp?tab=Overview/ Along with this, Sitecore also supports xDB service completely on the cloud (xDB Cloud) if you are running Sitecore 8.0 or higher.
What is included in Sitecore xDB Cloud?
Sitecore xDB Cloud Edition is a managed service that enables you to run Sitecore xDB entirely in the Cloud. This service includes dedicated Sitecore application servers for processing, aggregation, and reporting.
- Microsoft SQL Server reporting database
- MongoDB collection database
- Contact segmentation index
That means, When using xDB Cloud offerings, you do not need to take care of reporting, aggregation, and processing server. Your CM and CD environments will be limited to their job of serving site only rather than acting as processing server too which will make them healthy.
Why it is important?
The Sitecore xDB Cloud service provides the following benefits over an on-premise installation:
- A simpler infrastructure
- Reduced upfront costs
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Increased reliability, provided by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and the MongoLab (mlab) service for MongoDB databases.
- A fully managed service that includes Sitecore updates and monitoring. Sitecore continuously monitors the xDB Cloud Sets to minimize system downtime.
Also refer to the fine blog post, which helps you define what solution fits your requirements, either on-premise or on the cloud.
Let’s also understand some of the things which are not supported by xDB cloud:
- The downside is that you don’t have direct access to the various collections. So, you can’t connect using a tool like Robomongo or MongoVUE. However, you can request a full export of the xDB Collection database through support.sitecore.net
- It’s important to note that the reporting SQL databases are hosted in the cloud. This includes both the primary and secondary.
There is currently no way to successfully rebuild the reporting databases from the /sitecore/admin/rebuildreportingdb.aspx page.It looks like we have a Rest API for this purpose.
- You cannot add custom facets to contacts.
- You cannot create reports based on custom aggregations.
- You cannot create custom database and collections, hence you have to opt for stand alone database set for different purpose (For ex: Development, QA, Stag, Prod etc.).
- For more information on what is possible and what not, refer: https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/042722/
Though there are several limitations using xDB Cloud listed above still it’s winning the game. While Sitecore continued to expand its wings on the cloud with the help of Azure, Sitecore is saying that it’s just a beginning and you can expect a lot of things in that direction.
We will see what are the prerequisite and how to configure it for local, CM, and CD in upcoming blog posts.