Cloud hosting has become an increasingly popular option for companies looking to host their websites and applications. It offers flexibility, scalability, and potential cost savings compared to traditional on-premises hosting solutions. For companies using the Sitecore content management system, Sitecore Managed Cloud provides a turnkey cloud hosting solution specifically optimized for Sitecore.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of Sitecore Managed Cloud and why it may be the ideal hosting choice for Sitecore users.
What is Sitecore Managed Cloud?
Sitecore Managed Cloud is a fully managed cloud hosting service for Sitecore XP and XM. It was launched in 2018 as a partnership between Sitecore and AWS to provide an optimized hosting environment for Sitecore CMS deployments.
With Sitecore Managed Cloud, users do not have to handle any of the infrastructure, ops, or hosting responsibilities that normally come with running Sitecore. Sitecore and AWS handle all the management and maintenance of the servers, upgrades, scaling, security, and more. Users simply sign up, deploy their Sitecore licenses, and can have a production-ready Sitecore environment up and running in just a few hours.
Some key features and benefits of Sitecore Managed Cloud include:
- Fully managed infrastructure and hosting for Sitecore on AWS
- Fast deployment with production environments available in under 5 hours
- Built-in hosting best practices optimized for Sitecore
- 99.95% uptime SLA guarantee
- Daily backups and disaster recovery
- Options for shared or dedicated infrastructure
- Integrated content delivery network (CDN)
- Scales quickly to handle traffic spikes
- Secure hosting environment with built-in defenses
- 24/7 monitoring and customer support
Why Should Businesses Consider Sitecore Managed Cloud?
There are several compelling reasons for Sitecore users to consider hosting their implementation on Sitecore Managed Cloud rather than managing hosting themselves.
Rapid Time to Deployment
One of the biggest advantages of managed cloud hosting is the ability to get up and running extremely quickly. With Sitecore Managed Cloud, users can deploy production-ready environments with the entire Sitecore XP or XM stack fully configured in under 5 hours.
For organizations that need to quickly launch a Sitecore site, cutting down the hosting deployment time from potentially weeks to just hours is a huge benefit. The accelerated time-to-value means you can take advantage of Sitecore’s capabilities faster to power your digital properties.
Reduced Administration and Hosting Burden
Installing, configuring, securing, patching, and maintaining a Sitecore hosting environment can be complex and time-consuming without the right in-house expertise. With Sitecore Managed Cloud, Sitecore handles all the DevOps and administration as part of the service.
Users don’t need to worry about managing IT infrastructure, OS-level security patches, server monitoring, availability and redundancy systems, load balancing, failover configuration, and more. The hosting environment is fully taken care of. This frees up internal resources from devoting time and effort to hosting management.
Optimized for Sitecore Best Practices
Given their deep expertise with Sitecore implementation and hosting, Sitecore Managed Cloud comes preconfigured and optimized for Sitecore best practices. This can improve performance, security, and reliability compared to self-managed hosting setups.
Sitecore Managed Cloud is fine-tuned at the infrastructure level specifically for running Sitecore XP and XM stacks. All the server configuration, caching, security hardening, load balancing, and scaling architecture adhere to Sitecore recommendations. This saves organizations from having to research and implement all the right configurations themselves.
Enterprise-Grade Reliability and Support
Uptime and reliability are critical for any business website or application but can be challenging to achieve with in-house managed hosting. The average uptime for self-managed hosting is around 99.5%.
Sitecore Managed Cloud provides an industry-leading 99.95% uptime SLA. Downtime is minimized through built-in redundancy across availability zones, auto-scaling, robust monitoring, and other redundancies. Sitecore also provides 24/7 monitoring and customer support should any issues arise. For organizations where uptime is important, the enterprise reliability of managed hosting is a key benefit.
Enhanced Security and Compliance
Security is paramount for any hosting environment today. With Sitecore Managed Cloud, organizations get the benefit of baked-in security measures and controls provided by Sitecore and AWS. This includes DDoS mitigation, regular patching, firewalls, intrusion detection, distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, SSL certificates, and more.
The platform also complies with stringent regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOC, enabling coverage for organizations in regulated industries. Integrated security and compliance help reduce risk and satisfy legal requirements.
Scalability to Handle Growth and Traffic Spikes
One benefit of cloud hosting is the ability to scale seamlessly. With Sitecore Managed Cloud’s auto-scaling infrastructure, additional capacity can quickly be spun up to handle surges in traffic or growth. This prevents downtime from overloaded servers and ensures consistent performance.
The platform provides options for shared hosting resources or dedicated servers. Organizations only pay for the hosting capacity needed at a given time. This scalability and flexibility around server requirements can help optimize hosting costs as business needs evolve.
Integrated Content Delivery Network
Sitecore Managed Cloud comes pre-integrated with Fastly, a high-performance content delivery network (CDN). Using the CDN caches static assets and content globally so it can be delivered faster to users no matter where they are located.
CDN significantly improves site performance and page load times. It also reduces server load. By handling CDN as part of the managed service, Sitecore Managed Cloud provides optimized web performance out-of-the-box.
Lower TCO Compared to On-Prem Hosting
For some organizations, the total cost of ownership of managed cloud hosting can be significantly lower versus maintaining on-premises hosting infrastructure and staff. This is attributable to:
- No upfront capital costs for hardware and data centers
- Pay only for the managed hosting capacity needed
- Savings from not having to hire dedicated ops/IT staff to manage hosting
- Increased economies of scale from multi-tenant infrastructure
- Savings from power, cooling, and real estate costs
While the variable billing model of cloud hosting is not ideal for every organization, the potential cost savings are compelling for many.
Use Cases Where Managed Cloud Thrives
In general, Sitecore Managed Cloud is ideal for organizations that want rapid deployment of Sitecore without burdening internal resources for hosting and infrastructure management.
Some specific use cases where it offers advantages include:
Startups and Smaller Organizations
Startups and smaller companies typically lack the capital and IT resources to efficiently host Sitecore themselves. Managed cloud enables getting Sitecore up and running quickly without large upfront infrastructure costs. The OPEX-based billing scales costs according to business growth.
Companies with Seasonal Traffic
For business sites with significant spikes in traffic around holidays, promotions, or campaigns, the managed cloud’s auto-scaling capabilities can cost-effectively accommodate traffic surges. Only pay for added capacity when you need it.
Organizations with Fast Project Timelines
The accelerated speed of spinning up new Sitecore deployments can benefit organizations that need to rapidly launch sites, campaigns, or projects. Internal hosting teams often cannot deploy infrastructure this quickly.
Companies Undergoing Growth
Businesses experiencing rapid organic growth can benefit from the on-demand scalability of managed cloud. No need to constantly provision new hardware to support increasing traffic demands.
Geographic Expansion Initiatives
As organizations expand into new countries and regions, managed cloud and its integrated CDN provide a fast way to deploy local instances of Sitecore. Quickly set up geo-targeted sites and content without establishing hosting infrastructure.
M&A, Divestitures, and Spin-Offs
For businesses undergoing mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, or divestitures of business units, the managed cloud enables rapidly carving out or migrating required Sitecore instances and content.
Temporary Event Sites
For one-off events like conferences, campaigns, product launches, and more, the managed cloud allows quickly standing up Sitecore instances that can be decommissioned post-event.
Testing and Development Environments
Managed cloud provides an easy way to create on-demand dev, test, and QA environments for Sitecore. No need to perpetually maintain non-production environments on-premises.
Key Factors When Considering Managed Cloud
While the managed cloud provides many compelling benefits, it is not the right choice for every Sitecore implementation. Organizations should evaluate certain factors when deciding between managed hosting or internal hosting:
Hosting Costs: At moderate to high traffic volumes, managed cloud is often more cost-effective. But at very low volumes with spare on-prem capacity, internal hosting may be cheaper. Do a true cost comparison.
In-House Expertise: Organizations without Sitecore hosting and ops expertise may benefit more from managed Cloud.