Drupal Hosting & Managed Services
In conjunction with our hosting infrastructure partners Acquia and AWS, Zoocha offer a full cloud platform for Drupal ensuring unparalleled reliability, security and performance for Drupal CMS.
Partners & Procurement Frameworks
Sites hosted with AWS
Zoocha's default position when it comes to recommending a hosting and infrastructure partner for a customer is to use Amazon Web Services (AWS). Zoocha offer a fully managed hosting service for customers using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and we have broad experience across our team in using this platform, including 3 team members that are certified AWS Solution Architects. AWS offer reliable, flexible, highly performant, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing services.
AWS is usually the ideal place for a Drupal powered platform as the services and products that make up the AWS toolset can be combined to give a best in class hosting and infrastructure solution.
Because of the volume of work that we do with AWS, Zoocha also have direct access to AWS account managers. Customers find this relationship useful as it allows us to request the generation of accurate forecasted costs that illustrate the overall billing impact after simulating the application of the Reserved Instance offerings that AWS make available.
For enterprise level hosting, we make use of the full AWS product range to build you a robust, highly available, scalable infrastructure that can serve a global audience. Scheduled or incremental backups at any requested frequency, along with Disaster Recovery processes included as standard.
Flexible and scalable performance as and when the site needs it, delivering the constant, fast load times that only virtual parallel processing can offer. AWS has auto-scaling capability that can flex to, and respond to spikes in traffic. Websites are performance optimised for a global audience with pages always delivered through a CDN
For our customers that wish to use AWS, and want direct ownership of their AWS account, we are happy to configure and maintain infrastructure under this arrangement and often encourage it. Zoocha can then simply run and maintain the AWS account once set up with the necessary IAM user permissions.
With ownership of your own AWS account, there is absolutely no lock-in with Zoocha, and full transparency of activity and costs. Irrespective of whether our customer or Zoocha hold control over a hosting account, we always provide full transparency of all costs no matter what hosting partner is chosen.
Always full HTTPS across all environments, along with hardware measures (firewall) and software layers of defence such as OSSEC. Zoocha use AWS recommended best practice security approaches, taking advantage of dedicated AWS security services such as IAM, VPC, WAF, ACM, GuardDuty and their networking features which allows the implementation of private subnets and gateways.
This security approach is reinforced by describing the AWS as Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using Terraform. This allows us to have a full revision history and confidence over the state of the AWS infrastructure at any given time.
Environments and Deployments to AWS
Our customers can request the provision of as many environments as they require at AWS. Outside of a live environment, our default position is to configure a development, staging and demo environments. Deployments to each environment are then managed through Jenkins CI, which allows for simple deployments to any environment, with rollbacks, versioned releases and automated testing integration.
Sites hosted with Acquia
Zoocha are an Acquia partner, and have had active projects with them since 2012 across a range of clients. Our experience spans both helping customers move on to the Acquia platform, along with moving away to other cloud hosting providers should the need arise.
We have experience in working with Acquia from the very inception of a project where an appropriately sized stack and support package is recommended and put in place to meet your needs.
With an appropriately sized stack in place, we also then have experience in setting up Drupal sites on Acquia, and integrating with the various cloud services that Acquia make available to their customers such as Acquia cloud search, memcache etc.
Using Jenkins to deploy to Acquia
Depending on the scale of your hosting and devops requirements, we also have the in-house capability to set up external Continuous Integration tools (such as Jenkins) that can integrate with Acquia via their Cloud API service. This enables you to drive deployments, backups, automated tests etc. externally, in a more controlled manner that you would otherwise be able to.
You might want to do this as Acquia’s simplified branch-based deployment model has some limitations, and does not offer the ability to perform ‘peer review’ or automatically trigger automated testing prior to changes arriving in those branches in the Git repository. This means that bugs inevitably find their way into the lower level environments when they ought to have been picked up earlier in the development lifecycle.
Acquia Cloud API
Fortunately, Acquia offer ‘Cloud Hooks’ which are essentially wrappers to the Acquia Platform API. These hooks can be used to automatically trigger deployments, not just on a Git push but arbitrarily.
Significantly, this means that Zoocha can ‘mirror’ the Acquia repositories to a separate private solution at Github or Gitlab. Development work would take place in the Github mirror, allowing for Github’s more mature ‘pull request’ features to enable peer review and test harnessing to take place. This also allows customers to have much improved visibility of the codebase with the code on Github.
Once development work is ready to merge back to the Acquia platform, automated tools driven by Jenkins (for example, as a ‘post-task’ to a final successful automated test) would push those changes back to the ‘pristine’ repository at Acquia and trigger a Cloud Hook if necessary to instigate the Acquia deployment.
This approach provides all the very best of both worlds: robust, blocker-free testing and review, with automation and streamlined release management.
Adding robustness to the process, it also means that should Acquia experience some sort of outage affecting availability of their Git repositories, work can continue in the Github mirror and so does not block development in feature branches. Similarly, if Github experiences an extended outage, urgent work can be pushed straight to Acquia and pushed back to Github later when the outage is cleared.
Hosting Software and DevOps Toolset Overview
Zoocha offer hosting services for Linux based systems only, primarily using:
- Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
- Debian 9
- Nginx (latest stable with Google PageSpeed nginx module)
- PHP-FPM (7+)
- MySQL (5+)
- Redis / Memcache / Varnish
Centralised log management utilising:
- a stack known as 'ELK' (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana).
- an external service called Sentry.io
- Jenkins CI
Infrastructure as Code / AMI builds
Server Configuration Management
Zoocha employ one of either of the following Open Source tools:
- External keyword monitoring via Uptime Robot and Pingdom
Application Performance Monitoring
- New Relic
- Data Dog
- AWS CloudWatch
- AWS GuardDuty