In last week’s article, we discussed the benefits of migrating away from Oracle WebCenter Sites (OWCS) and choosing Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as an option for your organization’s next Enterprise Content Management System. In this article, we’ll discuss the various options of AEM, including the latest Platform as a Service (PaaS) model – AEM as a Cloud Service.
AEM Offering Models:
Customers planning to move to AEM will have three potential options to choose from: AEM on a self-hosted on-premises environment, AEM on Adobe’s Managed Services (AMS) Cloud, or the new AEM as a cloud service.
While it needs no explanation for the self-hosted on-premises AEM, the AMS model offers to provision clients with the Infrastructure (VMs, etc) from any of the leading cloud services Vendor (IaaS) and uses it to install and maintain their AEM environments (with the help of a designated Adobe engineer). In this model, AMS will still use the on-prem version of the software for AEM Installation, as it’s useful for customers who want infrastructure scalability based on site traffic and with less capital investment.
The Dusk of On-prem and Dawn of Cloud service:
Adobe’s general trend of the AEM release schedule involves generating a new version of AEM in April/May every year, since version 6.0 in 2014 through v.6.5 in 2019. Each version’s core support is valid for three years from release and an extra two years beyond, opting for an extended support program. More recently, Adobe has decided to release service packs (SPs) instead of releases beyond 6.5, which offers quick adaptability by clients. These SPs are released every quarter to fix any security, performance, or stability issues and provides general or client-specific enhancements to the product. Just to note, the current latest Service Pack for AEM is SP5 (184.108.40.206).
Adobe has made AEM available as a cloud service since summer 2020, straying from its conventional on-premise software release.
Making a choice:
For clients who do not want to use the cloud for data security concerns, on-prem is the best option. However, you would need to invest in upgrading your AEM instances to a new SP every quarter and retrofit your application code accordingly.
For clients who are ready to move to the cloud, especially those with binary storage and processing needs, Inspired ECM recommends opting for AEM as a cloud service over AMS, specifically for its high performance and versionless architecture. It can auto-upgrade itself, ensuring that your production is always running on the latest available stable version. Also, the latest JCR architecture ensures that the product’s library is not tweakable by developers, avoiding redundant effort in code retrofit.
Benefits with AEM as a Cloud service:
Besides the general advantages of using the cloud versus high availability and scalability options, listed below are additional benefits:
Authoring – For clients already using AEM on-premise, the UI remains unchanged in the cloud service, except that the classic UI will be no longer available, and authors need to only interact with the touch-enabled UI.
For clients currently on OWCS, AEM can provide some very exciting features, which are outlined in our previous article: “Migrate from Oracle WebCenter Sites (WCS) to Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) today!”
Performance – Assets Microservices – In AEM, asset’s upload performance is impacted primarily due to metadata processing, generating renditions, and storage. In on-prem, these operations happen on authoring instance, taking most of the CPU, memory, and I/O resources. However, in the cloud service, asset upload processes are executed outside AEM authoring; in asset microservice and assets are stored in binary cloud storage.
Road to Migration to AEM as a Cloud service:
Cloud Readiness Analyzer (CRA) – A tool built using the output of AEM Pattern Detector to generate a report that is helpful in assessing the readiness of on-prem Instance to migrate to AEM as a cloud service. The generated report provides our team with an understanding on the gaps where code refactoring is needed for compatibility with cloud service. CRA is supported on 6.1 and above versions.
Content Transfer Tool – A tool provided by Adobe to support content transfer from on-prem AEM to the cloud service, including users and group. Content transfer is a two-step process: content is first extracted and uploaded to Adobe’s temporary cloud storage (called migration set) and then ingests it to the targeted cloud service. This tool is supported on AEM on-prem versions 6.3 and above.
Currently, AEM as a cloud service pricing will be based on consumption as opposed to per-CPU license cost (with FUP terms on number of users in the on-prem model). AEM Sites will be charged based on delivery site’s page views/API calls, and AEM assets pricing is based on number of users with storage limitations.
How can Inspired ECM help your organization?
If your organization is already on an earlier version of AEM, we can do the impact analysis for you and discover the code retrofit areas to help use Adobe Tools such as CRA and CTT and move them to the cloud service.
If your organization is on OWCS, unfortunately Adobe does not provide any connectors/tools to help migrate the content from OWCS to AEM. However, the good news is that it won’t be necessary to migrate alone through the manual procedures – we can help! Inspired ECM can design the AEM information architecture for you, helping minimize human intervention and migrating various contents and digital assets based on your legacy OWCS system’s asset modelling and site plan structures.
We have built an accelerator to automate this migration process for quick and error-free results, saving significant time and money for your organization. Contact us to learn more!