Sitecore as a Service (SAS)

Sitecore is a convenient and reliable platform for website content management and application development. It offers advanced tools for website editing, monitoring and organization. The service is based on Microsoft .NET which allows taking advantage of all features and functionality supported by this development platform.

EPAM Cloud offers Sitecore as a Service in the form of a virtual Sitecore server.

In the current implementation EPAM Cloud supports Sitecore.NET 8.1 (rev. 151207) version.

Auto-configuration is performed by a combination of Chef service and Windows DSC, a native Microsoft application and environment configuration tool. Such combination ensures the required consistency and reliability of auto-configuration processes.

For more details on Sitecore, please visit the Official Sitecore Website.

Have a Question?

The current page gives the general information on the service and the main workflows. However, while working with the services, our users encounter new questions they need assistance with. The most frequently asked questions on EPAM Cloud Services are gathered on the Cloud Services FAQ page.
Visit the page to check whether we have a ready answer for your question.

Related CLI Commands

The table below provides the list of service-related commands and their descriptions:

Command Short Command Description
or2-manage-service...-s sitecore-single -a or2ms Activates the Sitecore Single service in the specified project and region
or2-manage-service...-s sitecore-dev-paas -a -v 8.1 -c cluster_name or2ms Activates the Sitecore Large service in the specified project and region
or2-manage-service...-s sitecore-ci-paas -a -v 8.1 -c cluster_name or2ms Activates the Jenkins service to serve the Sitecore cluster
or2-manage-service...-s sitecore-lb-paas -a -v 8.1 -c cluster_name --customize or2ms Activates the Load Balancer to serve the Sitecore cluster

Further on this page, you can find more details on the Sitecore service manipulation.

Service Architecture

In EPAM Cloud, Sitecore as a Service is supported in two deployment modes - Sitecore Single and Sitecore Large:

Single Mode - one Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine is launched. This VM acts as the Sitecore server and also hosts the MS SQL relational database management system and the MongoDB database

Large Mode - five VMs are launched, each performing its dedicated function

  • Sitecore Server + MongoDB
  • MS SQL
  • Jenkins Master
  • Jenkins Slave
  • Load Balancer

Service Activation and Manipulation

Single Mode

Sitecore in the Single Mode is activated via the Maestro CLI by means of the or2-manage-service (or2ms) command with the -a/--activate flag and the -s/--service-name parameter with sitecore-single value:

or2ms -p project -r region -a -s sitecore-single -k key_name

When you input the command, the command line will prompt for additional parameters:

  • SSH key to be used - skip to use no key
  • Shape - skip to use LARGE as the default shape

By default, Sitecore servers are LARGE-shaped VMs with Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system.

Sitecore service activation takes approximately 1 hour. You can be sure that the service has been properly deployed and configured when the auto-configuration is complete (autoConfigurationState = SUCCESS).

You can start more than one Sitecore server for the same project and region.

You can find the details on the VMs created during the service activation by calling the or2-describe-instances (or2din) or or2-describe-services (or2dser) commands with -S sitecore-single parameter:

or2dser -p project -r region -s sitecore-single

Large Mode

To activate Sitecore Large, use the or2-manage-service (or2ms) command. The value of the -s/--service-name parameter depends on the role of virtual machine started by the command:

or2ms -p project -r region -a -s sitecore-dev-paas -v 8.1 -c cluster_name

This command starts two VMs - a Sitecore server also containing MongoDB and a VM with MS SQL installed. This is the minimum configuration for Sitecore service to function properly.

or2ms -p project -r region -a -s sitecore-ci-paas -v 8.1 -c cluster_name

This command creates two VMs - Jenkins Master and Jenkins Slave to provide CI/CD and adds them to the Sitecore cluster.

or2ms -p project -r region -a -s sitecore-lb-paas -v 8.1 -c cluster_name --customize

This command starts a VM serving as the Load Balancer. This VM may be required for clusters involving several VMs.

Four VMs started under the Sitecore Large service (all except the VM hosting the Load Balancer) have the following configuration:

  • Image: W2012R2Std
  • Shape: MEDIUM

The virtual machine serving as the Load Balancer has the following configuration:

  • Image: Ubuntu14.04_64-bit
  • Shape: SMALL

The command activating the Load Balancer requires custom parameters to be specified. For that purpose, the or2ms command has to include the --customize option:

or2ms -p project -r region -a -s sitecore-lb-paas -v 8.1 -c cluster_name --customize

The following parameters are to be specified during the activation of Sitecore-LB:

Description Type Default Value Required
Stack ID string sitecore_stack_dev Yes
Environment string DEV Yes

The 'Environment' and 'Stack ID' parameters are mandatory for Sitecore-LB activation. They define how the Sitecore cluster components will be linked. The values must be the same as those used in the Sitecore-DEV service. To find the values, use the or2-describe-instance-properteis (or2getp) command and specify the Sitecore server instance ID.

To view the list of the existing Sitecore Large instances and their parameters, run the or2-describe-services (or2dser) command specifying your project and region:

or2dser -p project -r region

To retrieve the list of all instances started under the Sitecore Large service, use the or2-describe-instances (or2din) command:

or2din -p project -r region

If you use the or2din command with the -S sitecore-dev(ci, lb)-paas parameter, the command will not return all VMs started by the corresponding Maestro Stack. To retrieve data on all Sitecore-related VMs, use the or2din command without specifying the -S parameter or use the or2-describe-maestro-stack-resources (or2dmsr) command specifying the ID of the corresponding Maestro Stack.

Web UI

The Sitecore service has a web UI which is automatically available as soon as the service is activated in the cluster.

To access Sitecore Web UI, use the instance name of the VM on which Sitecore is running to create the URL as follows: http://ecs********.epam.com:8080, where ecs******** stands for the instance name.

The first access to Sitecore Web UI is performed with the default credentials which should be changed.

Access to each of the services started under the Sitecore Large service is performed via the URL provided in the response to the or2dser command:

Pricing

Sitecore is available in all EPAM Cloud regions except EPAM-DKR.

The service usage price is defined by the price of the VM on which Sitecore is running.

Single Mode

The default parameters of a Sitecore instance are:

  • Shape: LARGE
  • Image: Windows Server 2012 R2

Therefore, the approximate monthly cost of an instance of 100% and 24/7 load is about $92.04 in EPAM-BY1 region (as of 05/19/2016). The price can vary depending on the region and the usage pattern.

Large Mode

Four VMs started under the Sitecore Large service (all except the VM hosting the Load Balancer) have the following configuration:

  • Shape: MEDIUM
  • Image: Windows Server 2012 R2

The virtual machine serving as the Load Balancer has the following configuration:

  • Shape: SMALL
  • Image: Ubuntu14.04_64-bit

Therefore, the approximate monthly cost of a SItecore cluster of 100% and 24/7 load is about $333.25 in EPAM-BY1 region (as of 05/19/2016). The price can vary depending on the region and the usage pattern.
To get more detailed estimations, please, use our Cost Estimator tool.

References

More information on the Sitecore Service can be found in the EPAM Cloud Services Guide. For detailed description of the Maestro CLI commands used to manage the Sitecore Service, refer to the Maestro CLI User Guide.