Bloomreach Cloud FAQ - BloomReach Experience - Open Source CMS

Bloomreach Cloud FAQ

This documentation applies to Bloomreach Cloud 2 only

Questions

Answers

Is there anything I need to know before starting my Bloomreach Experience Manager project on Bloomreach Cloud?

Yes, definitely! Please read through all Bloomreach Cloud documentation and pay special attention to Restrictions and Limitations,  Best Practices and different deployment models.

 

When uploading my distribution, I get an error. How can I fix this?

The distribution needs to contains the Enterprise Repository and Lucene export jars. See Configure Experience project page for more information. Also make sure below files are present:

{project_root_folder}/webapps/site.war
{project_root_folder}/webapps/cms.war
{project_root_folder}/webapps/cms/WEB-INF/lib/hippo-enterprise-repository-engine-{version}.jar
{project_root_folder}/webapps/cms/WEB-INF/lib/hippo-addon-lucene-export-{version}.jar

 

Deploying my distribution in an environment takes forever or results in an error. How can I fix this?

If you encounter a failed or stuck deployment in an environment, delete that environment and create a new one. The failed/stuck deployment may have corrupted the database. Deleting the existing environment and creating a new one ensures a clean database. If needed, you can restore last (night) backup of the old environment into the new one. To do so, navigate in the left menu to Backups and select the label "Deleted environments".

 

Can my site be available at an apex domain (without the www. subdomain)?

Yes, with some caveats.

The AWS load balancers, which pass traffic to the site, don't have static IP addresses and need to be referenced by their domain names, rather than IP addresses.

While for subdomains, such as "www", that just means using a CNAME record, instead of an A record, for apex domains that is not possible, due to limitations of the DNS standard going back to 1987.

The best solution to this problem is called "CNAME flattening", which is a feature offered by some DNS providers, including AWS and Cloudflare. Users of those DNS providers can simply create an "alias record" (ANAME, instead of CNAME) in their apex zone and that's all that's needed. 

If that is not possible, BRC offers a workaround that will have to be requested ahead of time and a static IP will be provided, to be referenced with an A record.

Currently the ANAME solution is highly recommended, since the workaround does have some downsides.

Further reading on the subject: Wikipedia; Cloudflare blog #1, #2Cloudflare support; AWS documentation.

 

My website does not respond or gives an error when using plain HTTP.

HTTP is not supported since it is not secure. Nowadays browsers give a warning when using http. So please use HTTPS. Make sure your HST virtual hosts configuration is set up properly and configured for HTTPS.

 

Are there regular maintenance windows that could impact a stack (i.e. the environments)?

Every two weeks Bloomreach might update the customer stack. In most cases this will not impact the environments.
In some special cases we might need to update the CMS containers, for example for a new Java or Tomcat version. In this case, we will use so-called session draining to move traffic from old to new CMS containers. This transition will not cause downtime but since it is a special operation it is advised to schedule this during low traffic periods. The operation can take up to 8 hours. We will announce this upfront and the customer should escalate if they prefer another time period.

 

How about unexpected maintenance?

In case of for example a highly severe security issue that needs immediate fixing, Bloomreach will use the process as described above in the regular maintenance windows question.

 

Will a stack experience an outage when it goes into maintenance?

No, our processes and software are designed to prevent this from happening.

 

What is the IP address of Bloomreach Cloud?

Due to the nature of Amazon's ELB, we cannot provide a static IP address for the load balancer. As such it is not possible to configure your naked / root / apex domain in the DNS. See: Can my site be available at an apex domain (without the www. subdomain)?. However, Bloomreach Cloud has the ability to configure static IP's for egress traffic. This means that all of the traffic going from the cluster towards external services will come from a preset IP range. Reach out to Bloomreach if you want this to be configured. 
Note that you can use the CMS's IP filter plugin to whitelist IP addresses accessing the CMS.

 

Is there a DDoS solution offered in Bloomreach Cloud?

Bloomreach Cloud comes with Cloudflare where customers can have one primary domain with no additional costs.

 

Is there a CDN solution offered in Bloomreach Cloud?

Yes, Bloomreach Cloud has integration with Cloudflare, where customers can have one primary domain. For more than one, it incurs additional costs. Please reach out to your Bloomreach if you are an existing customer on Bloomreach Cloud or start with Bloomreach Cloud .

 

What is the response/connection timeout for a request going to CMS/Site?

See Bloomreach Cloud Restrictions and Limitations.

 

Does Bloomreach Cloud have any restrictions or limitations?

Yes, see Bloomreach Cloud Restrictions and Limitations.

 

What are the different user groups & their privileges?

In Bloomreach Cloud there are two user groups: User and Admin. Below are the corresponding privileges:

  • User
    • Cannot view or edit users with admin or root access, 
    • Cannot mark an environment as production
    • Read only access to domains view
  • Admin
    • Cannot view or edit users with root access. 
    • Can mark an environment as production
    • Read and write access to domains view
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