I decided to write this article because recently customers have been asking if they should move to the cloud and the steps for migrating their On-Premise Architecture to Cloud Scale. If you have ever worked on a Sitecore Project or any software project with multiple team members, then you are well aware of the pitfalls of On-Premise management. Scaling your platform in the cloud not only gives your team development and design benefits but also allows them to make strong cost-saving arguments to corporate management.
Below are the key reasons your team should scale Sitecore in the Cloud:
The following points are key start items that our teams have identified across multiple Fortune 500 on-premise to cloud projects. These items should be defined or applied before moving to a Cloud Provider.
The following principles will allow your development teams to scale features across sites with less pain and effort. Your team does not just want to build things faster, they also want to make sure they scale long into your client’s future.
Azure or AWS or Your Choice: Your team must decide which cloud vendor is the best fit for their ecosystem. Professionally, and as you can probably tell from this article, our firm prefers Azure for its ease of use and understanding of Sitecore. However, we have done deployments on AWS and other clouds that customers have been quite happy with. The choice is up to you and your budget.
Analyze your Sitecore License: Convert into a cloud consumption license and reduce the number of CD/CM licenses as this can be scaled in the cloud. This action will greatly reduce your Sitecore License cost, especially when combined with JSS.
Plan your Cloud Instance Options for Deployment :
Solr Cloud Options: Solr, Solr, Solr. The default best practice is to scale Solr in Zookeeper Cloud mode. However, this means the team must invest more time when creating search features and also maintain a Solr Cloud (which is usually its own job or team). Our firm recommends using Search Stax if you are using Solr. The company takes care of many common Solr tasks and has many deployment options. They also have solid support!
Azure Search: Sitecore now supports the use of Azure Search which is starting to become a popular alternative to Solr in the cloud. Your team must still manage development but not as much because instances are as a service and easier to maintain. Also, you have quality azure support backing you should anything go wrong.
Coveo Search for Sitecore: From our experience, Development is the fastest and easiest to manage when using Coveo. The product includes powerful feature examples that require almost no code to conduct complex search operations. They also feature quality support and powerful search analytics.
SQL Server in the Cloud: The default option for Sitecore 9.1 installation is to use SQL Server in the Cloud as the data store for the experience database. This used to be MongoDB but that involved installing and maintaining another product with limited scale options. SQL Server in a cloud, particularly at Azure, offers a quick and easy way to store Analytics. It, however, does not offer the same plant scale SLA’s as the other products below. It also does not have too many real-time stream and graph options.
Azure CosmosDB: This new Microsoft cloud product is defined in the Sitecore Road-map for adoption soon allowing customers to take advantage of true planet-scale analytics data collection. Azure has more than 26 regions around the globe allowing customers to obtain near real-time insights from Sitecore Experience Database in the areas their customers live.
DataStax: Enterprise Cassandra gives customers the flexibility of being in a Hybrid Cloud World consisting of their own installation and other (commercial) clouds. Analytical Data storage can take place at the clients’ location and then quickly be made available in your user’s region or vice-versa. Insights are gathered in near real-time whether the system is deployed on-premise or at a third party cloud (AWS, Azure, etc). Our firm is working to release a public production Sitecore to DataStax connection in 2019.
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