Location of Adobe Edge Servers

12 Dec 2021 » MSA

This week I saw a question in an Adobe-internal Slack channel, where an Adobe colleague was asking, on behalf of a customer, how to access the Launch library in case the servers were down. That really surprised me as I had never seen a similar request. To me, it looked like this customer did not trust Adobe’s edge network. This question prompted me to explain in more detail this edge network. The information is sometimes difficult to find in the Adobe documentation, so I will compile it here, both for you and me.

DNS resolution

We, humans, work better with memorable names than with numbers. Remembering the domain name www.pedromonjo.com is way easier than remembering the IP addresses 104.21.5.216 or 2606:4700:3036::6815:5d8, which is what computers need to connect. DNS resolution is the mechanism to convert from a domain name into its IP address.

$ host www.pedromonjo.com
www.pedromonjo.com has address 104.21.5.216
www.pedromonjo.com has address 172.67.133.223
www.pedromonjo.com has IPv6 address 2606:4700:3031::ac43:85df
www.pedromonjo.com has IPv6 address 2606:4700:3036::6815:5d8

In the origins of the Internet, DNS servers would only support a static list of IP addresses. However, nowadays, DNS servers can return an IP address, depending on your location. The goal is, if you have servers in multiple locations around the world, to direct your visitors to the server closer to each of them. Actually, if you try the command above, you will probably get a different list of IP addresses.

Adobe uses this DNS feature to deliver content or collect data. In the rest of this post, you will see different techniques to achieve the same result.

Launch

This is probably the simplest and easiest case of all. Instead of building a Content Delivery Network (CDN), Adobe relies on one of the most well-known providers: Akamai. Depending on when you created your Launch property, your environments will have “Akamai adapter”

Launch configuration with Akamai

or “Managed by Adobe”

Launch configuration with Manged by Adobe

In both cases, the contents under domain assets.adobedtm.com are served through Akamai. This company has edge servers “in over 135 countries within more than 1,450 networks”. This is why I was so surprised by the question I mentioned at the beginning.

Analytics

Adobe Analytics collection servers have the form of *.sc.omtrdc.net. For those of you with a long relationship with Analytics, this domain is quite explicit:

  • sc stands for SiteCatalyst
  • omtrdc stands for Omniture Data Center

According to the RDC documentation, at the moment of writing, there are 9 data collection centers:

  • Oregon (USA)
  • Virginia (USA)
  • Dublin (Ireland)
  • Paris (France)
  • Mumbai (India)
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo (Japan)
  • Sydney (Australia)
  • China

You should not confuse the data collection centers (DCC) with the data processing centers (DPC). The DCC are just convenient locations to send Analytics data to. That is why there are a few scattered around the world, to have locations fairly close to all countries. On the other hand, there are only 3 DPC. These are the places where the data is stored and processed, data coming from the DCC.

Target

Adobe Target domains look like *.tt.omtrdc.net. Again, if you have been using this tool for some time, you will remember when it was called Test & Target, hence, the tt in the domain. The documentation for the edge network states the following locations:

  • Oregon (USA)
  • Virginia (USA)
  • Dublin (Ireland)
  • Mumbai (India)
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo (Japan)
  • Sydney (Australia)

Unsurprisingly, this list is fairly similar to Adobe Analytics.

A special case is the On-Device Decisioning feature. Among its main promises, we have “near-zero latency” and, to achieve, it uses the Akamai CDN, just like Launch.

Audience Manager

The case of Adobe Audience Manager is different, as it comes from a different acquisition. You have probably seen that the domains are *.demdex.net. Audience Manager was built on top of AWS. Therefore, the AAM DCS regions are aligned with this provider:

  • Oregon (USA)
  • Virginia (USA)
  • Dublin (Ireland)
  • India
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo (Japan)
  • Sydney (Australia)
  • São Paulo (Brazil)

Experience Manager

AEM is a completely different beast. To start with, it has various deployment methods.

  • On-premise. In this case, you are responsible for everything, including the hosting and CDN.
  • Adobe Managed Services. Adobe takes care of the hosting, but you still need to add your CDN.
  • Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service. This is the latest offering from Adobe, which includes its own CDN. Currently, the CDN is Fastly, which has edge servers in multiple locations.

Platform

Finally, the last tool that I wanted to mention is the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP). AEP supports multiple data connectors with various data sources. However, there are two that are more or less in line with the topic of this post:

Both are under the domain adobedc.net. I have not been able to find in the documentation the location of the servers. I will update the post once I have more information.

Other tools

For the rest of the tools, there is no concept of an edge network. You basically install the software in your servers or use Adobe Managed Services (like AEM above). In both cases, the software sits in a server or cluster of servers, usually in the same data center.

In the case of Adobe Campaign and Marketo, there is no need to have an edge network to send emails, SMS or push notifications. The only exception is the landing pages, which will be on a dedicated web server. I guess you could put a CDN in front of it, but I have never heard of this configuration.

The last tool is Magento. I have never worked with it, so I cannot tell. However, from the documentation, the situation seems to be the same as with the marketing automation tools (Campaign and Marketo).

 

Image by rawpixel.com



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