Managing your environment

  Written by The Jahia Team
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Creating an environment

Environment creation is automated and takes only a couple of minutes. You can deploy the following environments:

  • Digital Experience Manager (DX Manager)
  • Digital Experience Manager and Marketing Factory (November 2018)

Any Jahia DX module can be deployed on these environments.

When you create an environment, you only need to provide the following parameters:

  • Environment name
    The main name in Jahia Cloud. The environment name does not display to end visitors of your sites. The name can contain any kind of characters.
  • Environment subdomain
    An environment key that is used only for internal purpose. This parameter makes your environment available through <subdomain>.cloud.jahia.com and does not display to your site visitors. You cannot change the subdomain name after defining it.
  • The number of DX browsing nodes
    Browsing nodes are the servers that respond to the user page and API requests. The number of nodes that you should deploy depends on your overall traffic and how well your code is optimized. Environments can be resized easily after they have been created.
  • Jahia DX root password
    The root password for DX Manager. You can change this password later in DX Manager. This is a sensitive password and should not be shared.
  • Tools password
    The password required to access the Tools section in DX Manager.
  • Is this a production platform?
    Whether this is a development platform or production platform. Production platforms are very similar to development platforms on DX Manager. Both can scale at will, run your websites and deploy your modules. Additionally, production platforms are monitored using Datadog and have the automatic backup and restore service enabled. You cannot convert a development platform into a production platform, but you can copy it into a new production platform and then discard it.

Creating a new environment takes between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on the complexity and size of the platform. When you start creating the environment, Jahia Cloud displays a loading screen until the environment is ready for use.

Upgrading an environment

Environment upgrades are fully automated and follow the typical Jahia upgrade path, meaning that an environment can only be upgraded to the next immediate version.

The upgrade service upgrades environments without generating any downtime for the end visitor. The service also changes the content-contribution mode to read-only mode for a few minutes.

For an environment that is not in production, the upgrade service:

  1. Stops all environment nodes.
  2. Upgrades the Jahia DX Processing node.
  3. Upgrades all Jahia DX Browsing nodes.
  4. Updates the environment metadata to reflect changes such as new configuration entries.

To perform a zero-downtime environment upgrade in production:

  1. Change the production platform to read-only mode.
  2. Duplicate the production environment.
  3. Upgrade the duplicate environment.
  4. Validate that the platform works as expected and check the Datadog dashboards.
  5. Switch the production traffic to the duplicated environment.
    Note: This duplicated environment is already in read/write mode.
  6. Delete the old production environment.

As a best practice, before upgrading your production environment Jahia recommends:

  • Creating a backup of your environment.
  • Performing the upgrade on copies of your production environment to ensure that your environment and custom modules run as expected.

For each software upgrade that contains significant changes (indicated by the first two digits in Jahia version numbers), we release code migration guides to make the code upgrade process as easy as possible. If in doubt, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team for guidance.

Backing up an environment

You can use the backup service in two different ways:

  • Scheduled
    By default, the environment is backed up once a day at midnight in the region where the environment is deployed. You can also specify the frequency and time of backups. For example, you can schedule several backups a day or schedule backups every other day.
  • On-demand
    You can trigger snapshots as needed.

All backups are stored in secure storage, protected by credentials that are only available to you through your Jahia Cloud account or to our support teams. The environment backups contain everything related to code (modules) and content and ensure that the restored environment will behave exactly as the original one. Backups are stored for an unlimited amount of time and are deleted when your backup quota is reached. The default quota is set to 30 environment snapshots and can be increased for a fee.

A scheduled or on-demand snapshot does not generate downtime for end visitors to your site. However, the platform will change to read-only mode while the snapshots occurs to ensure data consistency.

Restoring an environment

The backup and restore service displays a list of all backups available for a specific environment. Restoring a backup installs a new platform following the same process as for creating an environment.

About dynamic load balancers

Load balancers are automatically installed for each new environment. These load balancers are composed on nginx servers and a layer of automation ensures that we do not redirect traffic to a server that is not available. Load balancers enable you to restart any node on a cluster without generating downtime and to deploy configuration to a cluster one server after another.

If no nodes are available to answer visitors page and API requests, a Jahia page indicates that the requested website is in maintenance.

Managing nodes

Even though cluster features and environment creation are managed automatically by Jahia Cloud, you can perform actions on specific Jahia DX Manager servers. Available actions for each node include:

  • Direct URL access to the node
  • Live logs
  • Restart

About code deployment

Jahia DX Manager comes with great built-in code deployment capabilities and allows for cluster module deployment from APIs or file upload. To learn more, see Jahia module deployment explained.

There is no restriction whatsoever on the type of modules, and built-in and custom integrations that you can deploy on Jahia Cloud.

Configuring an environment

Jahia Cloud offers a fully dedicated environment. This means that you get as much liberty to configure your cloud environment as if it were hosted on-premise. You configure your environment in a user interface that provides  explanations about configuration options, and insights about the right configuration for specific use cases.

After validating the environment configuration, you must restart application nodes to apply the configuration changes. Nodes can be restarted one-by-one without generating any downtime as dynamic load balancers stop sending traffic to nodes that are restarting.