Sitecore Cloud Services overview

Abstract

View all the Sitecore Cloud offerings to best target campaigns, scale your solution, and develop a disaster recovery plan that is custom-made for your organization and requirements.

This overview, and the following Sitecore Cloud Services overview diagram, takes you through all the Sitecore Cloud offerings, what their functionality is, what you can use them for, and how the different modules integrate with each other and the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP).

Refer to the Module versions section to understand how all of the different Cloud modules relate to the various versions of the Sitecore platform, and use the Sitecore Cloud Status page to check how the various Cloud services are operating.

SitecoreCloudModules.png

Some of the Sitecore Cloud modules use a different versioning system to the Sitecore platform. Refer to the Sitecore compatibility guide to learn about:

  • All of the Sitecore compatibility tables.

  • The xDB and Managed Cloud compatibility tables.

  • The Azure compatibility tables.

  • Many compatibility articles for the different Sitecore topologies and tiers.

Refer to the following table to avoid confusion and understand which offerings are available for the Sitecore solution that you are currently running:

Sitecore Cloud module/service

Compatible with Sitecore platform version

Azure Monitoring and Alerts

9.3, 9.2, 9.1

Azure Search and indexing

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.2

Azure Session State

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.2

Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) and App Service Environment (ASE)

9.3, 9.2, 9.1

Blob Storage

9.3

The Content Delivery Network (CDN)

9.3, 9.2, 9.1

Device Detection

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.2, 8.1, 8.0

High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR)

9.1

IP Geolocation

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.2, 8.1, 8.0

Managed Cloud (version 1.0)

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0

Sitecore App Center

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.2, 8.1

Sitecore Azure

8.1, 8.0

Sitecore Azure Toolkit (version 2.4)

9.3

Sitecore Azure Toolkit (version 2.3)

9.2

Sitecore Azure Toolkit (version 2.2)

9.1

Sitecore Azure Toolkit (version 2.1)

9.1, 9.0, 8.2

Sitecore Azure Toolkit (version 2.0)

9.0, 8.2

Sitecore Azure Toolkit (version 1.1)

8.2

Sitecore Email Cloud

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 3.5, 3.4

Sitecore on Azure

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.2

SolrCloud on Sitecore

9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0

xDB Cloud (version 2.0)

8.2

xDB Cloud (version 1.0)

8.1, 8.0

Sitecore modules in the Cloud

The following Sitecore modules interact with Sitecore Cloud Services:

  • Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA).

  • Sitecore Experience Commerce.

  • XConnect (Salesforce and Sitecore Experience Platform (XP)).

  • Web Forms For Marketers (WFFM) - versions 8.2 and 8.1.

  • Email Experience Manager (EXM), by way of Sitecore Email Cloud - versions 9.1, 9.2 and later.

  • Experience Explorer.

What is Azure Monitoring and Alerts?

The Azure Monitoring and Alerts Basic module uses Azure Monitor to track whether specific resources are performing within acceptable boundaries.

What would I use Azure Monitoring and alerts for?

A part of the Contingency planning complement, use Azure Monitoring and Alerts to allow Managed Cloud to monitor your system, to provide HADR-based abilities, and enable troubleshooting. You can customize the tiles, dashboards, and alerts that you receive when you install Sitecore Application Level Monitoring.

Use the Azure Monitoring and Alerts module with High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR).

What is Azure Search and indexing?

Azure Search (now known as Azure Cognitive Search), is a search-as-a-service in the cloud that includes standard or AI enriched indexing solutions.

What would I use Azure Cognitive Search and indexing for?

A part of the Search and scalability complement, use the Switch On Rebuild feature of Azure Cognitive Search and indexing to avoid Search functionality downtime during a full rebuild of the Sitecore Search index.

An alternative to Azure Cognitive Search for indexing is SolrCloud.

What is Azure Session State?

When contacts browse a website, data about their interactions with Sitecore is stored in session state, (private or shared). A private session state contains contact visit information, such as pages viewed, goals converted, or campaigns triggered. A shared session state contains information that can be shared across multiple active sessions.

What would I use Azure Session State for?

A part of the Marketing tools complement, use a session state server to share all of your contact sessions across different browsers and devices. Use Azure Session State with IP Geolocation and Device Detection.

What are Azure WAF and ASE?

A centralized inbound protection of your web applications from common exploits and vulnerabilities using a web traffic load balancer that includes a Web Application Firewall.

What would I use them for?

A part of the Azure complement, use the Microsoft Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) and the App Service Environment (ASE) to ensure a secure environment for your Sitecore solution and associated infrastructure to run in. Your WAF sits between your Content Delivery (CD) server and your Content Management (CM) server.

Both Azure WAF and ASE are installed by Managed Cloud.

What is Blob Storage?

A way to manage your media files (images, videos, audios, PDFs, and text documents), in your Sitecore media library with SQL Database or Microsoft Azure Blob Storage.

What would I use Blob Storage for?

A part of the Content and media items complement, use blob storage to reduce the cost of storing large media and improve the performance of your Sitecore solution at scale. Blob storage has no performance drawback, it has easy-to-use geo-redundancy, and is easy to scale with storage tiers.

Sitecore Blob Storage is a Cloud-based CMS offering that is hosted on Azure Cloud by way of your Managed Cloud solution.

What is CDN?

CDN is a distributed network platform with servers distributed across different physical locations. The network is optimized to deliver web contents efficiently to clients.

What would I use CDN for?

A part of the Content and media items complement, use CDN to increase performance and availability for your solution by using a Content Delivery Network with the Sitecore Media Library.

What is Device Detection?

Device Detection detects the specific type of device that a visitor to your site is using to view and use your site. This is an important tool to ensure your site renders correctly across all devices.

What would I use Device Detection for?

A part of the Marketing tools complement, use Device Detection to personalize visitors' experience and target campaigns for different devices. Use Device Detection with IP Geolocation.

What is HADR?

The Sitecore HADR service is a plan that you have in place in the event of an outage. There are three recovery options including: Basic, Hot-warm, and Hot-hot.

What would I use HADR for?

A part of the Contingency planning complement, use HADR to ensure that in the event of an outage, you can recover your data and Sitecore website with minimal downtime. HADR depends on Azure Monitoring and Alerts.

What is IP Geolocation?

Sitecore IP Geolocation is a service that provides information about the location and owner of an IP address. It is available from the Sitecore App Center.

What would I use Sitecore IP Geolocation for?

A part of the Marketing tools complement, IP Geolocation is a great tool to use for targeting marketing campaigns on a localized level.

Use IP Geolocation with Device Detection and Azure Session State.

What is Sitecore Managed Cloud?

Sitecore Managed Cloud is a hosting service for your deployments on Microsoft Azure. The service is available as a Standard or a Premium service.

What would I use the Managed Cloud service for?

Use Sitecore Managed Cloud to deploy your Sitecore solution on Azure and access all of the features in the Microsoft Azure portal. Sitecore Managed Cloud is a subscription-based service. You can view your Managed Cloud consumption in the Sitecore App Center.

Sitecore Managed Cloud is compatible with all of the Sitecore Cloud Services modules. The following list itemizes the different aspects of a complete Cloud solution. Each complement includes the modules to use for that particular aspect of your Cloud solution:

  • Your contingency planning:

    • HADR

    • Azure Monitoring and Alerts

  • Content and media items:

    • Blob storage

    • CDN

  • Your marketing tools:

    • Azure Session State

    • IP Geolocation

    • Device Detection

  • Search and scalability:

    • Azure Cognitive Search

    • SolrCloud

  • Azure Cloud and security:

    • Sitecore Azure Toolkit

    • Azure WAF and ASE

    • Sitecore on Azure

What is the Sitecore Azure Toolkit?

The Sitecore Azure Toolkit is comprised of the deployment tools, Microsoft Azure integrations, and deployment methodologies that allow simple and flexible deployment of Sitecore on Microsoft Azure.

What would I use the Sitecore Azure Toolkit for?

A part of the Azure complement, use the Sitecore Azure Toolkit to simplify the task of preparing and deploying a Sitecore solution.

Use Sitecore Azure Toolkit with Sitecore on Azure and Azure WAF and ASE.

What is Sitecore Email Cloud?

Sitecore Email Cloud is an enterprise-ready email delivery service.

What would I use Sitecore Email Cloud for?

Use Sitecore Email Cloud to handle your email campaigns and ensure that you are not blocked by the Junk, SPAM, and Clutter folders of your recipients.

What is Sitecore on Azure?

Sitecore on Azure uses the analytics features of Azure resources, application services, and the Azure Marketplace. It also incorporates HADR.

What would I use Sitecore on Azure for?

A part of the Azure complement. For a truly scalable and robust Cloud solution, use Sitecore on Azure to deploy, manage, and maintain Sitecore on Microsoft Azure. You can also install Web Forms for Marketers on Sitecore Azure.

Use Sitecore on Azure with Sitecore Azure Toolkit, Azure WAF and ASE, and HADR.

What is SolrCloud?

SolrCloud is a cluster of Solr servers that form the Solr scaled environment with distributed indexing and search.

Why would I use SolrCloud with Sitecore?

A part of the Search and scalability complement, use SolrCloud for high-speed real-time searching. SolrCloud is fault tolerant, very stable, and enables Solr to be highly scalable.

An alternative to SolrCloud is Azure Cognitive Search.

What is xDB Cloud?

xDB Cloud is the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) scaled up and in the Cloud. xDB Cloud collects online and offline customer interactions from all channel sources in a real-time big data repository.

What would I use the xDB Cloud service for?

Use the xDB Cloud service to connect interaction data so you can create a comprehensive unified view of each individual customer, and enable your marketers to manage customer experience in real time.