Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

Understanding the scope of Remote Administration

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

Tasks in the scope of Remote Administration services

Clients 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 the following products:

Premium RA

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 implement security updates via automation.

Site modification tasks outside this scope of services can be handled by the Client, through Acquia’s Professional Services (at an additional cost), or through an Acquia partner. For any clarification on this scope of services, contact Acquia support for further assistance.

Scope and Time (Premium)

Acquia’s 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 that may be accomplished in the allotted RA Service Hours. Hours in excess of the maximum RA Services Hours may be subject to Excess Usage fees.

RA Client 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 determine 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 Client approval to use the estimated RA hours to complete the task.
Greater than four hours Tasks estimated at greater than four hours are generally out of scope. Acquia will recommend breaking the task into multiple tasks to be handled over time, or Acquia will determine that the task is out of scope and recommend the Client use internal or third-party resources to complete the task.

Limited support areas (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 dev 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, clients use stable releases over dev versions of contributed modules, unless there is a special feature in a dev version that is not included in subsequent stable releases.

    Troubleshooting and customization related to dev versions of modules is the responsibility of the Client’s development team, or something that can be provided by the Acquia Professional Services team.

  • 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 RA team can update the module to the later version.

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

Out-of-scope areas

Acquia RA does not support websites, subscriptions, or docroots which do not meet our Requirements for Remote Administration.

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 Client. The Client is responsible for coordinating with their own internal resources, or engaging either Acquia Professional Services at an additional cost or a third-party vendor to perform these tasks under a separate arrangement. These tasks include, but are not limited to:

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 8.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 of 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. Where this is not possible, Acquia RA will only support modified or patched code entirely at its discretion.

General policies regarding 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 client. 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 recommend .htaccess changes for both Standard and Premium subscribers as required by Drupal core.
  • For RA Premium subscribers, RA can apply a custom fix on our update branch for .htaccess if supplied by the client.
  • For RA Standard subscribers, RA can provide the changes required to .htaccess in the work ticket.

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)