Dec 08, 2022

AEM as a Cloud Service: Moving from Adobe Managed Infrastructure to Cloud Service

Balaji Canjapalli Shivakumar

Balaji Canjapalli Shivakumar

AEM as a Cloud Service: Moving from Adobe Managed Infrastructure to Cloud Service

What is AEM as a Cloud Service?

AEM as a cloud service is the next-generation platform to build and serve experiences using Adobe Experience Manager. It is designed to leverage the power of cloud technologies to develop and host AEM solutions.

Cloud power and new microservice architecture allow it to auto-scale to serve increased spikes of load (and scale down when the peak/increased load is over), eliminating the need to worry about right-sizing your infrastructure. Content is delivered quickly and efficiently on a global scale using a built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN) 

How Can Businesses Benefit from AEM as a Cloud Service?

Highly Available (No downtime, improved user experience)

This new offering makes itself highly available, as continuous delivery and continuous integration for updates is now provided with zero downtime. Failover strategy is built-in, as cloud power provides all the required protection against any disaster or failures.

Auto-Updates (No more manual upgrades, more time for business-centric innovations)

Cloud service, along with new supported architecture, allows us to make the latest innovations available as soon as they are ready to be rolled out. Rolling out product updates is now a continuous process, eliminating the hard work of planning and executing upgrades, which sometimes take years.

Auto-Scalable (Enhanced system performance, no more infrastructure worries)

Cloud power allows you to scale your servers as needed during peak hours of traffic and automatically scale down when the peek is over. The new asset microservices architecture takes the massive jobs of asset ingestion and processing out of your core AEM server. Assets are now stored on an external shared datastore, fully eliminating the need to replicate heavy asset binaries.

Asset microservice can be scaled separately from the core AEM instance if increased asset processing is needed. Assets serving load is also taken out of the primary AEM instance. Both Author and Publish instances can be scaled as needed to meet the load they are incurring. 

Built-In Smartness (Auto-learn along with the platform as a whole)

The next-generation platform comes with intelligence and machine learning as default features. It enables us to make it smarter by keeping it up to date with all the performance and security updates, along with the automatic rollout of any corrective updates, without impacting normal operations. It also provides native access to the Adobe AI intelligence platform, Sensei.

This reduces concerns about the system's operation and availability, which translates into reduced operational costs.

How Is It Different from On-Premise and Adobe Managed Infrastructure?


  • Author and Publisher instances can be scaled up and down based on the actual traffic site is incurring without any downtime. 

  • Supports both vertical and horizontal scaling of the infrastructure. 

  • Login to AEM Author is controlled by Adobe Identity Management Services (IMS) and managed through the Adobe Admin Console. 

  • AEM Assets as a Cloud Service only has an authoring environment. 

  • Code and configurations are separated out from the content. 

  • Author and Publish instances use Content Repository Service to read and store data. 

  • Any code and configuration change now can be pushed by checking in to GIT repositories only via the Cloud Manager. The code and configuration are deployed through production or non-production pipelines available in Cloud Manager. APIs are available in Cloud Manager to trigger and monitor the pipelines. 

  • Usage of Sling Content Distribution feature to publish the approved content instead of Content Replication. This decouples Author and Publish instances completely, and any publish event will succeed because all the resources in the AEM publish instance are fail for all, thus ensuring publish service always has a consistent state. It works on the principle of the Publish-Subscribe model. 

  • A scalable shared data store for storing and serving all the assets. It offloads primary AEM instances from this heavy job.​​ 

  • Several types of advanced networking capabilities like setting up Flexible and Dedicated egress IP, Virtual Private Network (VPN) are available through Cloud Manager APIs

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Custom New Relic One monitoring suite is provided as a part of the standard product offering  for monitoring Cloud Service system and environment performance metrics. DNS for the customer domain names is updated by pointing the CName to and uploading the SSL certificates for the custom domain into the Cloud Manager. 


This new architecture platform supports the upgrading of customer projects/environments with the latest offerings available daily using the fully automated CI/CD pipeline without any downtime for the business. This provides the following benefits: 

  • Always have the latest bug-fixes in place 

  • Your environment is always updated with the latest security updates 

  • New features are made available as soon as they are ready 

Cloud Manager

Cloud Manager has been made an integral part of AEM as a Cloud Service. Any code and configuration change can only be pushed using its CI/CD pipeline. It is used both by Adobe to upgrade your environment with the latest offering of the service and by project teams to promote the latest application updates.

Environments can be created or removed with requisite permissions. A single Production/Stage environment as a pair and one or more development environments can be created (within the available bounds of the tenant). 

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With cloud service, starting a new project is quick: 

  • Baseline AEM images are available to get started. 

  • Reduced manual configuration work

Operations and Performance

Many of the regular maintenance tasks such as Backup, Indexing have been automated, which results in no downtime of services. With shared datastores now the new normal, Binarayless replication eliminates the need to execute heavy replication tasks.

With the new micro-service architecture in place, many heavy jobs have been moved out of AEM and assigned to dedicated micro-services. 

Identity Management

Users of Cloud Service have to use their Adobe IDs to access the author tier. It has now been integrated with Adobe Identity Management System (IMS) and now provides a single-sign-on feature.

Authoring User Interface

Classic UI is completely removed and is now 100% touch UI. 

AEM Sites

Notable changes have been made around synchronous functionalities (for example: Move Pages, Rollout Pages), which earlier used to block the UI. These have now been made async and run in the background.

The repository has been divided into immutable and mutable content. Immutable content can't be accessed at runtime. For example, going forward, i18n dictionary translations can't be performed at runtime, no developer mode in AEM sites page editor. Any such change needs to be pushed via a configured CI/CD pipeline using Cloud Manager.

AEM Assets

This is a next-generation solution to offer DAM and Dynamic Media operations with speed and impact. The platform also offers the use of inbuilt smart AI/ML capabilities to process digital assets.

This modern platform now provisions a separate asset microservice to ingest, process, and serve your digital assets. The service can be scaled independently of core AEM instance to serve an increased load of asset ingestion and processing. 

AEM Forms 

The service provides a local and a cloud-native development environment. Other notable changes from AEM 6.5 Forms include: 

AEM Screens 

AEM Screens as a Cloud Service is a digital signage solution that allows marketers to create and manage dynamic digital experiences at scale.

How Can a Business Plan for Migration to AEM as a Cloud Service?

Tools are available off the shelf to assist you in the journey:

Cloud Readiness Analyzer

This tool provides a report for business and technology teams to help them understand all potential areas in the applications that require changes or refactoring to move to Cloud Service. It helps accelerate your cloud service readiness assessment. 

Content Transfer Tool

This tool transfers content from source AEM instance (on-premise or AMS) into Target AEM cloud service instance.

Dispatcher Converter

This converts existing AMS dispatcher configurations to AEM cloud service dispatcher configurations.

AEM Modernization Tools

These tools modernize legacy AEM implementations to the latest features AEM has to offer.

Workflow Migration Tool

This migrates asset processing workflows to processing profiles for the Asset Computer Service.

What are the different phases of Migration?


  • Planning

    : Identify what needs to be converted and create tasks. 

  • Estimation

    : Look at conversion items and begin the breakdown.


  • Execution

    : Build conversion scripts and rules and execute tools. 

  • Testing

    : Validate all the functionalities and perform full regression testing. 

  • Performance

    : Measure application performance against defined performance benchmarks.


  • UAT

    : Business teams perform all the validations and provide a sign-off. 

  • Go-Live

    : Go live with updates.


  • Post-Launch

    : Train authors on using new AEM features. 

  • Optimize

    : Learn from user interaction and system behavior and make changes to optimize.

What does it take to successfully migrate to AEM as a Cloud Service?

  • Good planning 

  • Seamless execution 

  • An experienced team who is hands-on with all the tools and technologies 

  • A trusted Adobe partner

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