One Drupal to rule them all - Drupalcamp London


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Dries famous sentence ( is becoming a reality for many organisations from small shops to the enterprise space. More and more stakeholders are following the idea of standardising their online presence in Drupal and leverage the same code and infrastructure amongst their different sites. What they are seeking is a drastic reduction in the time needed to create, launch and configure a Drupal site at the same time that they reduce the maintenance effort of the whole sites' network.

To achieve it, a drastic change needs to happen on the standardisation of development processes, more strict control of the overall architecture while supporting new changes and requirements, and repeatable and trustable deployment process to avoid the opposite pitfall of "one site to break them all".

In this session we will look to what needs to be thought when creating such an architecture from the development process to the infrastructure to host the different environments needed. We will look at different solutions that allow maintain these sites factories and walk you through several architectures explaining their advantages and differences.

Finally, we will look in detail to Acquia's Cloud Site Factory, a fully-hosted SaaS solution that allows organisations to quickly deploy and manage websites by the hundreds. Pre-define site templates, create new sites in a single click, manage roles and permissions across sites and connect to existing analytics and data systems.

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  • One Drupal to rule them all - Drupalcamp London

    1. 1. Hernâni Borges de Freitas @hernanibf / One Drupal to Rule them all ! 1
    2. 2. About me • • • • • 2 .PT Technical Team Lead PS Drupal* many things
    3. 3. One Drupal to rule them all 3
    4. 4. This presentation  The challenge to manage a platform in Drupal for sites with common business features. o Common software / common infrastructure. o Launch new sites and introduce new features with minimal downtime allowed per site. o Share content/user data among sites. 4
    5. 5. First challenge “In our university we have old sites for our main departments and projects. We want to start from scratch and rebuild a single experience in Drupal. ” • Similar look and feel. • Similar backend / architecture / editorial experience. • Possible to reuse content / features 5
    6. 6. First question What are several sites and what is a single site? One site == One Drupal site? Many sites == Many Drupal sites? 6
    7. 7. Options Single Drupal site • Same code. • Same database. • Contributed modules will recognize contexts and create sections inside the site. • Same infrastructure. 7 Many Drupal sites • Same code (possibly with some differences). • Different databases. • Same infrastructure / Different infrastructure.
    8. 8. What’s the best? It depends of: - - 8 Sites differences. Shared properties/info. Predicted evolution. Teams responsible for build/maintain/admin .
    9. 9. Single Drupal site Sections Public Website Maths Department Sports Deparment 9
    10. 10. Single Drupal site Solution based:  A single Drupal installation.  Divided in sections managed by different people.  Sections can be created using different modules:  OG  Context … Mostly used for:  Webs/Intranets with different sections / departments.  Sections with different publishing workflow. 10
    11. 11. Single Drupal site Better fit for:  Content shared amongst several sites.  Similar user base / admin workflow.  Small differences between sites in terms of functionality.  Similar look and feel. Mostly used for: 11  Webs/Intranets with different sections / departments.  Sites with sections with different publishing workflow.
    12. 12. Single Drupal site Example: Organic groups (OG)  Groups define sections/sites.  Content and users are associated with groups.  Users have different roles and permissions within the group.  Very good integration with views, panels, rules  Good suite of complementary modules (og_theme, og_menu, workbench_og). 12
    13. 13. Many Drupal sites Public Website Maths Website Same codebase 13 Sports Website
    14. 14. Many Drupal sites • Multisite installation • Deployed separately Solution based:  Same code base.  Different site installations (database). 14
    15. 15. Many Drupal Sites - Multisite Advantages • One codebase to maintain / update. • Easier to reuse infrastructure. • Lower memory utilization (APC). • Simpler at all levels. Drawbacks • Single point of failure. • Common maintenance windows. • Harder to maintain differences in code (multiple versions for same module). 15
    16. 16. Many Drupal sites - Different codebases Advantages • Can be deployed in different locations. • No single point of failure in infrastructure. • Easier to support differences. Drawbacks • Harder to manage pushes of code to all sites. • Need for a consistent process to manage updates of code. • As there can be more differences, harder to test. 16
    17. 17. Assuming you select the multiple site route “Marketing is demanding us to be able to spin up new sites that are limited in functionality but require minimal development time”. “Operations is asking us for a standard deployment/maintenance process for all of our sites. 17
    18. 18. Meet the idea of factory of sites 18
    19. 19. Meet the idea of factory of sites • Single codebase/distribution with enough modules/features allowing customize sites without touching code. • Limited functionality (less is good). • Easy to spin a new site in few minutes. • Easy to update sites in the factory without impacting full network. • Easy to grow infrastructure by adding server nodes where different sites are hosted. 19
    20. 20. Solutions working in this space • • • • Custom solutions Aegir – Started in 2007 Drupal Gardens – Launched in 2011 Acquia Cloud Site Factory – Launched in 2013 • Pantheon One – Launched in 2013 20
    21. 21. Custom solutions – All the work from scratch • Software (Drupal) – Custom Drupal distribution with your modules/themes – Installation profile to configure your new sites. • Infrastructure – CM tool to provision new servers in your platform easily. Similar configuration between servers. – Several environments ready (Dev->Staging->Prod) • Management service – Provision new sites and maintain existing ones. – Deployment tools to deploy code from a central location. 21
    22. 22. Custom solutions Users/Visitors Platform Admin Management Server Load Balancer Deploy process Apache/PHP Memcache Web1 Web2 Half size Shared Storage Staging MySql Active/Passive Production 22
    23. 23. Custom solutions • Everything should be created automatically: 24 – Sites components - Databases, disk directories and virtual hosts: – Server configuration - Config management (CM) tools to provision and configure services (puppet/chef..) – Site installation - Drush site-install can install new (multi)sites. – Code Deployment - Capistrano / Drush deploy / Custom scripts – Management server – Controlling all the sites (Custom)
    24. 24. Aegir • Community project to control Drupal hosting. • Open source, Self Hosted. • Hostmaster controls the websites in the network. • Aegir is responsible for controlling code deployment, database creation, vhost changes. 25
    25. 25. Aegir Good • Simple networks / small sites. • It can be self hosted. Drawbacks • Using a Drupal site to manage infrastructure is tricky. • Install and configure Aegir is not straightforward. • Deploy code to several servers is challenging. • Migrating sites involves copy all the database, files and code and swap the vhost (Hard to scale for larger sites). • Hard to support the concept of several environments. 29
    26. 26. • Software as a Service (SaaS). Freely available ! • One distribution (gardens) provides a rich editing experience (D7). – Rich field types (Link, Date, Field Collection), Wysiwyg, Media, Theme editor, WebForms – Create content through the Drupal Gardens iPhone app. • Multisite installation. • Hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS), easy to grow and allocate more machines to the cluster. 30
    27. 27. • SSO using OpenId. Accounts controlled in the gardener site. • Not possible to add any code. • No vendor lock-in. Possible to export code/db/files. • Pricing depending on features enabled and bandwith consumed. 31
    28. 28. 32
    29. 29. Acquia Cloud Site Factory • Several distributions are available (gardens, commons, commerce). New ones can be created. • Control Panel (Site Factory) controls all sites in the network. • Code is controlled from a GIT repository. • Two environments are created (production/sandboxes). • Sites are created directly in production. Sites can be cloned in sandbox for testing. 33
    30. 30. Acquia Cloud Site Factory • SaaS – Support and SLA on the software. Several distributions available • SaaS+ – Support and SLA on the software. Client can add code audited by us. • PaaS – Support on the platform. Client can add any code to the platform. 34
    31. 31. Acquia Site Factory • Freedom to customize it to your needs with your code. • All features associated with Acquia Cloud – Scalable with suupport included. • Powering the largest networks of Drupal websites in the world. 35
    32. 32. Demo 36
    33. 33. We are hiring! • • • • 37 Consultants Support Sales Engineering
    34. 34. Questions? @hernanibf / 38