From Drop to Tidal Wave: The Aegir Hosting System

The Aegir Hosting System is the only fully free and open source hosting system for Drupal. It allows you to manage anywhere from a few sites for a single organization, to thousands of sites across as many concurrent instances of Drupal, on as many servers, and for as many clients, as you need. Since it's all built on Drupal and Drush, it can be customized and extended using all the tools we're already familiar with.

The most common use-case is supporting a web development practice. Aegir provides scalability and flexibility, as well as enabling streamlined development-staging-production workflows. It also allows for hosting and maintaining hundreds of production sites, including frequent regular updates to custom Drupal platforms. We'll explore both of these solutions to common pain-points that challenge many Drupal dev shops. These tools and workflows work equally well for organizations wanting better automation of internal Drupal sites as well.

Aegir itself is a fairly complex system, so a number of companies offer Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) based around Aegir. That is, hosting dedicated VPSs running Aegir systems, whether for large consulting clients, or smaller development shops. Aegir and Drush Puppet modules help to maintain standardized configurations and ease deployment.This model presents some interesting challenges and benefits, which we'll explore in more detail by presenting a case-study of recent work in this field.

Finally, we'll touch on how leveraging e-commerce integration and other contrib modules, we're seeing an increasing number of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models spring up. This allows clients to purchase subscriptions to pre-built sites, which are then transparently provisioned and maintained for them by an Aegir system.

Aside from the business and operating models that Aegir supports, in this session we'll also explore:

  • The Aegir API and other development resources
  • Contrib modules that extend Aegir in interesting ways
  • Examples of best-practice workflows for efficient, rock-solid Drupal development and hosting
Experience level: