Adaptive Web Limited, 4, Ascot Business Park, Longbridge Lane, Derby, DE24 8UJ
Fax : 01332 639880
Open Source solutions offer great value but due to the “best of breed” nature of how the various technologies are applied, there is a level of maintenance required to ensure all of these technologies interoperate securely, efficiently and reliably.
As part of this service we review all patches and updates each month and apply them in a way that does not compromise the delivery of service in any way. A regular hosting company will not be familiar enough with the applications provided by Adaptive to be able to offer this service.
Our Open Source servers use the following key technologies:
Known as a “LAMP” install, this is a fairly standard hosting configuration for Open Source technologies.
Within each key technology there are a high number of options, modules and dependencies.
Linux is the operating system that manages the entire environment. There are many flavours of Linux and many tools available. We typically use CentOS as we have found it to be reliable and perform very well. We are comfortable with most flavours of Linux and the differences between the key versions are fairly minor for this type of application.
For the management of these components we use a variety of tools for the LAMP configuration such as Cpanel, PHPMyadmin and MySQLManager.
Apache (which powers over 55% of websites available on the internet) can be configured to run in a number of states depending on the requirements – Multi Processing Modules (MPM) and/or compiled modules.
A standard Adaptive Apache configuration for a Drupal site may use up to 80 compiled modules – for example, PHP and Perl. There are 500+ approved, core modules available for Apache.
Apache integrates closely with PHP via a compiled module. PHP is a object-orientated scripting language that is used by many significant websites including Facebook, Wikipedia and Drupal.
MySQL is a powerful RDBMS similar to Microsoft SQL server. Again, this technology is used by many website/corporations such as Google, Facebook and Drupal.
MySQL also uses extensions to allow features such as clustering and storage engines such as Memcache. Memcache enables the entire database (or parts of it) to be stored in RAM to massively improve performance.
PHP can be extended by libraries and extensions. A standard Adaptive PHP configuration for Drupal may have up to 100 PHP libraries and extension depending on the requirements.
As described above, there are a number of technologies used and it is essential that any software updates are applied with a deep understanding of the configuration and dependencies.
For example, a relatively minor change in Apache to the way it handles PHP execution may cause any code that uses PHP to fail. This would mean any application that uses PHP, for example the website/Intranet will fail, resulting in a complete service failure.
In a LAMP configuration, as detailed in section 1, there are many of these dependencies.
Drupal makes extensive use of PHP and in some cases, other programming languages such as Perl and Java.
For a stable, reliable and scalable service delivery we believe that careful application of any software updates, be they in the LAMP area or Drupal, need careful consideration and application. Typically, hosting companies will not be familiar enough with the application running on the server to be able to apply these updates as safely as we, the authors and supporters/developers, of the application are able to.
The exact server specification will depend on the requirements of the business.
Because LAMP typically scales better than Microsoft-based servers then there are cost savings to be had as servers can be of a lower specification than they would need to be in a Microsoft/IIS/MS SQL environment to support a similar number of users. Also there are no licensing costs to consider with LAMP giving further savings.
As part of the server maintenance we review Drupal core and module updates. If we believe that module updates are beneficial to the client we may reverse engineer any bespoke modules to take advantage of these benefits for up to 3 hours development work per month. Any development resource over that will be reviewed with the client.
In the event of critical core security updates we will apply them within 24 hours of being notified – typically within 2 hours. We are Drupal Association Members and Aquia partners and are notified of these issues immediately as they arise.
As part of the on-going relationship with the client we will review the benefits of new modules or versions of Drupal. This service does not cover the upgrade of Drupal core updates (EG from Drupal version 6 to Drupal version 7).
We believe in extremely high levels of support and as part of this service provide 24x7x365 support for all aspects of the service delivery.
For some issues, for example hardware or networking, the support is provided by the respective hosting company but we handle all communication and escalation processes with them on your behalf.
We are able to provide this service for existing hosting setups where we work with the hosting company to deliver a reliable and scalable service.
Contact us to discuss your Drupal hosting requirements.