Sitecore Managed Cloud Standard – service aspects and embedded operations

  • This article describes the scope of services and support available for Sitecore Managed Cloud Standard. Being aware of these service aspects helps to ensure that you have the right expectations about the service and can take the appropriate steps to configure a Sitecore solution for your production needs.

  • Scope of services

  • Sitecore manages access to customer resources. Sitecore can provide enhanced access to the whole infrastructure or to specific items for an entrusted customer representative person, according to the Get Access item in the Sitecore Managed Cloud – Service Catalog. The standard scope of access is defined as the following:

    • Azure – a user with the Contributor role on the Resource Group level.
    • Azure – Service Principal with the Contributor role on the Resource Group level.
    • MongoDB Connection strings – a user with the Admin role.
    • SQL Server – a user with the Admin role.
    • Solr Server – a user with the Admin role.

    Please note that Sitecore can only provide standard access for valid email addresses of the partner or customer representative. Certain access items (for example, an Azure user with the Contributor role) cannot be provided to non-corporate email addresses (for example, GMail, Hotmail, and so on).

    Additionally, Sitecore keeps its own co-admin entries within the customer subscription. Having these entries is a requirement to enable all Sitecore monitoring operations and to execute the service catalog items described in this article and in the Service Catalog. These entries are highly protected in the Sitecore organization and only a limited set of Sitecore Support employees can access them.

    Sitecore co-admin entries are represented as the following (customers can see these entries in the Azure Portal):

    • cloudspoc@sitecore.net
    • pssazrautomation-svc@sitecore.com
    • GRP – PSS Access Cloud Systems
    • Sitecore Support Access (service principal)

    Note: If a customer stops Sitecore's access, Sitecore is no longer responsible for any kind of monitoring or maintenance of customer resources.

  • Sitecore Managed Cloud has responsibility for infrastructure availability. The customer remains responsible for configuring and customizing the Sitecore solution to ensure its availability.

    Scope of monitoring:

    Entity Description Proactive notification Proactive fix Availability Performance Logic
    General Azure Platform General Azure monitoring (for example, status.azure.com).
    Azure Web App Availability of Web App that hosts Sitecore XP site. - -
    Azure SQL Availability of SQL server and databases used for Sitecore solution (Core, Master, Web, reporting only). - -
    Azure Search Availability of Search services required for standard Sitecore indexes such as  sitecore_master_index, sitecore_web_index, and so on. - -
    Solr Alternative to Azure Search service, also required for standard Sitecore indexes such as  sitecore_master_index, sitecore_web_index, and so on.


    -
    Redis Cache Availability of the Redis cache instance used by Sitecore solution for session state. - -
    MongoDB Availability of the MongoDB servers. -
    Sitecore Instance Health state of Sitecore instance inside Azure Web Apps. - - - - -

    Legend: "-" – not supported; "✓" – supported.

    In addition, Sitecore Managed Cloud provides full monitoring of the backing system required to execute Service Catalog items.

    Levels of monitoring include:

    • Availability - ensures that a particular entity is available and reachable from different locations (for example, North Europe or West US).
    • Performance - ensures that resources are running with an acceptable level of performance and not reaching specific thresholds for Disk Size, Disk IO, RAM consumed, CPU, and so on.
    • Logic - ensures that a specific entity operates logically and correctly, for example, that no changed items remain un-updated after a Smart Publishing execution.

    There are additional Sitecore Managed Cloud Standard - monitoring metrics that might be relevant to your Sitecore Managed Cloud solution.

    In case of any alert related to monitored resources, Sitecore Support team contacts the customer according to the common Sitecore Cloud monitoring manifiest.

  • Sitecore Managed Cloud provides the following backup options for the covered resources:

    Entity Backup option(s) Frequency Enabled by default
    Azure Web App Manual and automatic backups available. Custom -
    Azure SQL Manual and automatic backups available. Weekly (full)
    Azure Search Not provided, index rebuild recommended.
    Read more.
    - -
    Solr  Not provided, index rebuild recommended.  -
     -
    Redis Cache Data Persistence (Premium Only). Read more.
    (To be triggered by customer only.)
    Custom -
    MongoDB Daily block storage snapshot. Daily

    Legend: "-" – not supported; "✓" – supported.

    Note: Sitecore Managed Cloud does not provide any automatic backup recovery. Any backup recovery operation can only be triggered either by the customer or Sitecore by submitting a service request on Sitecore Support Portal (see Sitecore-covered options availability in the service catalog). After the backup recovery is done, the customer is responsible to do any post-configurations and/or cleanups. Therefore, the customer must ensure the integrity of restored data. We recommend that customers regularly test restoration as a part of normal business continuity planning. See the Notes section here for more information.

  • Azure Infrastructure

    Aspects such as Antivirus, OS patching, and OS configuration are handled by Azure as a part of the services offered (Azure App Service for application hosting, AzureSQL for SQL Server databases, and so on).

    Azure maintains low-level aspects of its services by ensuring proper performance, protection, and availability on an OS level. For any issues to do with this, Sitecore engages with Microsoft Azure to get a resolution.

    Supported Azure services

    Sitecore Support provides operational support for infrastructure, and technical support for Sitecore XP instances hosted using only the Azure services listed within supported topologies and tiers (for XP 8.2 and for XP 9.x). The list of supported infrastructure items includes:

    • Azure App Service
    • Azure SQL
    • Azure Search
    • Redis Cache
    • App Insights
    • MongoDB (for XP 8.2 only)
    • Solr (starting from XP 9.1)

    Other Azure resources can be used with a Sitecore XP solution but fall out of the service and support scope. Unsupported Azure resources cannot be created in a Sitecore Managed Cloud subscription; customers can use a personal Azure subscription for this purpose.

    Supported Azure region

    Sitecore defines the regions that are fully supported in the compatibility tables.

    Note: The use of resources in other locations is possible within Sitecore Managed Cloud subscriptions, but they effectively fall out of the Sitecore Managed Cloud service scope of support.

  • Sitecore Software Change Management

    Sitecore XP upgrades

    The customer is fully responsible for scheduling and performing upgrades of the Sitecore XP platform hosted in Sitecore Managed Cloud.

    A customer can contact Sitecore Support regarding any issues occurring during the execution of an upgrade as per the scope of support.

    Custom code deployment

    Hosted Sitecore XP environments running on Microsoft Azure App Service are compatible with the Sitecore Azure Toolkit. A customer can use Microsoft Visual Studio and Sitecore Azure Toolkit to develop and publish customizations to a Sitecore Managed Cloud environment.

    Sitecore hotfixes and patches

    Sitecore Support is responsible for supplying patches or hotfixes for Sitecore product bugs reported by a customer according to the scope of services.

    The customer is ultimately responsible for deploying patches or hotfixes to a production solution using any Azure Web Apps deployment process.

    You can find more information about Sitecore patches and hotfixes here.

Applies to:

CMS 8.2 Update-1+, Managed Cloud 1+

January 31, 2017
April 11, 2019

Keywords: 

  • Azure,
  • Managed Cloud