Acquia CMS

Understanding the scope

This page describes the scope of Remote Administration (RA) and includes the following sections:

Tasks in the scope of Remote Administration services

Subscribers may request Acquia perform website modification tasks, including making minor and occasional functionality adjustments typically needed for an operating website. The following Drupal administration tasks typically fall in the scope of Standard Acquia RA services:

Acquia product support notes

RA has limitations regarding support for Site Factory subscribers. Site Factory supports only standard RA services.

Legacy Premium RA

Legacy Premium RA is available only to existing Premium RA subscribers.

Legacy Premium RA includes the following items:

  • Manual security updates where an automated security update fails or is not possible.

  • Contributed module bug-fix updates (on request), limited to the same major version release (for example: 7.x-3.1 to 7.x-3.3, but not 7.x-2.6 to 7.x-3.3).

  • Contributed module recommendation, installation, and configuration.

  • Creating and modifying views and content types (tasks must be completable in less than one hour).

  • Tuning website performance using the user interface (tasks must be completable in less than one hour).

  • Troubleshooting and manual configuration of a composer.json file only when required to successfully add security updates by automation.

Website modification tasks outside this scope of services can be handled by the subscriber, through Acquia’s Professional Services (for an added cost), or through an Acquia Partner. For any clarification on the scope of services, contact Acquia Support for more help.

Scope and time Legacy Premium

Acquia’s Legacy Premium RA agreement provides for 10 hours of remote administration activity per month, including any time required to deploy security updates. Website modification tasks are limited to those completable in the allotted RA service hours. Hours exceeding the maximum RA services hours may be subject to excess usage fees.

RA subscriber requests can vary considerably. The difference between administrative or maintenance tasks and larger tasks, such as new development or project work, is not always clear. Acquia uses the following guidelines to decide whether any single task is in the scope of services, from a time required perspective:

Estimated time to complete the task

How Acquia will respond

An hour or less

Acquia will complete the task as requested.

Between one and four hours

Acquia will estimate the time required to complete the task, and request subscriber approval to use the estimated RA hours to complete the task.

Greater than four hours

Tasks estimated at greater than four hours are typically out of scope. Acquia will recommend breaking the task into several tasks to be handled over time, or Acquia will decide that the task is out of scope and recommend the subscriber use internal or third-party resources to complete the task.

Limited support areas Legacy Premium

RA offers limited support to both development (dev) and modified contributed (contrib) modules.

  • Dev modules

    If a problem can be traced back to a development module fixed by a later version, the RA team may choose to support only the later version. The RA team may also offer to update to the later version.

    Acquia always recommends, whenever possible, subscribers use stable releases over development versions of contributed modules, unless there is a special feature in a development version not included in later stable releases.

    The subscriber’s development team is responsible for troubleshooting and customizing development versions of modules, or Acquia Professional Services can handle these tasks.

  • Modified contrib modules


    The following applies to known issues only.

    If a module is patched to address a known issue resolved in a later version of the module, the Remote Administration Team can update the module to the later version.

    Contributed modules with code not matching the official release of the identical version are considered custom code. Acquia’s RA services do not cover customizing these types of modules. For more information, see Out-of-scope areas.

Out-of-scope areas

Acquia RA does not support websites, subscriptions, or applications which do not meet our Requirements.

Certain website maintenance activities required to properly maintain a fully functioning website fall outside the scope of RA Services and must be handled by the subscriber. The subscriber is responsible for coordinating their own internal resources, or engaging Acquia Professional Services for an added cost or a third-party vendor to perform these tasks under a separate arrangement. These tasks include, but are not limited to:

Minor version updates

The RA automated update process may update Drupal Core to the next minor version even if there is no security update. This is done to ensure that the core version remains within scope for future automated updates.

If the RA automated update process fails to provide you with an update and your Drupal Core version is older than one version behind the latest one, RA cannot provide you with a manual update branch and may recommend a Professional Services engagement.

Major version upgrades

  • Acquia RA does not support the updates of modules that include version jumps (such as upgrading the Services module from 7.x-3.18 to 9.x-4.0). Major version upgrades are a development effort that is not in the scope of RA. If such modules require updates, a Support Engineer will recommend a discussion with the Account Management Team, who can discuss a Partner developer or Professional Services agreement.

  • Acquia RA does not support core upgrades that include major version jumps. This is a major development effort.

Modified code

  • Customizations and modifications are considered custom code, which is out of the scope for RA. In addition, the Acquia update automation uses Drush which overwrites customizations.

  • Acquia recognizes that, at times, patches to core and contributed modules are necessary. Ideally, such customizations and alterations should reside in custom modules. While the RA team can provide limited troubleshooting assistance, verification of patches and patched files are the responsibility of the subscriber’s development team.

General policies about modifications:

  • Modifications recommended by Acquia Support Engineers will be given limited support, but must be correctly documented and patched.

  • Modifications that are not correctly documented and patched will not be supported.

  • Modifications to address bugs which have a solution other than a patch will not be supported.

Modified core

  • Core code which does not match the official release of the identical version is considered custom code and is only supported at the discretion of the Acquia RA team.

  • Core modifications may be a part of various Drupal distributions, and as a result, security update services and general RA services may be limited or unavailable for websites built on these distributions.

Modified contributed modules

Contributed modules whose code does not match the official release of the identical version are considered custom code. The RA team only applies updates to such modules at its discretion. Updating customized code may require a significant development effort to be handled by your internal development resources, through a separately contracted Acquia Partner, or through an Acquia Professional Services engagement. If you would like to update a modified module, a Support Engineer will recommend a discussion with the Account Management team, who can discuss a Partner developer or Professional Services agreement.

Custom modules

Custom modules are solely the responsibility of the subscriber. Acquia RA can help troubleshoot issues that may arise from custom modules, and conflicts between custom modules and core or contributed module updates. However, in these instances, Acquia RA does not modify or fix custom code. If requested, a Support Engineer will recommend a discussion with the Account Management team, who can discuss a Partner developer or Professional Services agreement.

.htaccess changes

  • Acquia RA may not apply .htaccess changes as part of a Drupal Core update.

  • Subscribers are free to apply a custom fix on our update branch for .htaccess.

Entity updates

Some module updates require that corresponding entity updates be made. You’ll need developer assistance for Entity updates that cannot be applied by any of the following methods:

  • by Drush

  • by updating a module to a newer version

  • by applying a patch

Additional out-of-scope areas

  • Significant changes to the design or architecture of the website(s)

  • New website creation

  • Data migration from other websites, systems, or versions of Drupal to the website(s)

  • In-depth performance or security analysis

  • Content management, creation, or translation

  • Graphic design

  • Usability or accessibility testing

  • Website load testing unless expressly included in an order


Acquia will not configure, diagnose, administer, or repair:

  • DNS or domain names

  • Software not directly related to running Drupal

  • Integrations (will diagnose up to the Drupal integration point)

Large or problematic website updates

The RA update process may not complete as expected due to the size of your Git repository, databases, number of multisites or PHP memory requirements. In each case, the Remote Administration Team will respond in one of the following ways:

  • Large number of multisites

    • RA will request a list of websites to update against.

  • Memory limit errors

    • For Composer websites, the Remote Administration Team will review your composer.json and composer.lock files. RA will recommend reducing the scope of your project versions.

    • For drush-updated websites, RA will request a list of websites to update against.

  • Large Git repositories

    • The Remote Administration Team will send documentation on reducing your repository size.

    • For Legacy Premium RA subscribers, the Remote Administration Team will assist with reducing repository size with the understanding that the repository history may not be saved.

  • Large databases

    • The Remote Administration Team will request a multisite with a smaller database to update against.

    • If possible, the RA Team will copy the database from another environment to update against, and will request you set your preferences to not copy the database during this process. Alternately, your team can manually copy the database to the non-production environments.

    • The Remote Administration Team can clear or truncate cache tables on the production environment.