Joint Drupal Hosting Community

@almereyda @gualter I just received reply from GEN ( Achim Burkard )

Actually I’m olverwelmed with pending IT tasks. So I would apreciate if you could validate if basic requierements for the main GEN IT project ‘GEN sites’ would be met. So I don’t have to find details in the threat.

GEN sites is a Drupal 7 multisite, actually hosting 8 sites, but in future possibly many more. It includes many interactive features which in a Drupal environment create a high maximum of RAM usage on speccial tasks. We would need:

  • PHP acceleration
  • Memcache
  • Varnish or other cache in RAM (can do without if other conditions support best performance)
  • max RAM of 350 M (exceptionally)
  • usual RAM usage per pagegeneration on logged-in users up to 120 M (for annonymous users much below)
  • Estimation of peaks of up to 1.000.000 daily page requests (actually below 10.000)

For that platform we should not share a server with other applications, but could possibly join a cloud environment. (Not my expertise)

From Ernesto Sun

Yes, most important in my eyes are

  • reliability (clear support-contract with defined availability)
  • scalability (defined server-power and -services and future-options)
  • accessibility (good English server-interace e.g. CPANEL, SSH)
  • security & safety (stable organisation, managed updates, trust)

A cheap offer is not always a good offer if it is about a critical service like a hosting-provider. GEN is very busy on may levels, the server must work.

Hi @elfpavlik, thanks for your networking efforts with GEN! I have recently wrote a clarification for the Solawi network, which joined the development of OA/co-munity, but still considering the infrastructure aspect.

In the last years Ecobytes has worked quite informally, providing quality hosting some times, others not, but in general a quite good, affordable and personalized service. But the years before the last the team was reduced, overhead too big and we decided to change something. This last year, with the creation of an association I have pushed a move towards an innovative concept of community-supported (and based) IT, based on a combination of community-supported business models, agile and lean principles, open organization and commoning.

The results are now starting to come - a bunch of collectives and networks, are moving away from their own infrastructures and commercial providers to join efforts in a common/collectively owned, but decentralized and highly portable infrastructure model (through VMs + docker containers, IaaS+PaaS,) of Ecobytes (for an example see here: Root server sharing under supervision of Ecobytes?). And then also SaaS, like is the idea of co-munity.

I write this to make clear that we are not a provider in the traditional sense. We don’t assure a QoS or provide a service against a payment, rather integrate the interested people in co-developing our infrastructure and services. So, for example, if the members community find a certain feature to be very important, then we push it to top priority on future development iterations. And if someone is very interested and can DIY, we can simply set up a VM and give it to the person or team wanting to do it.

This way we incrementally build our non-commercial, community-supported infrastructure and services - and allow the costs to be very low - a membership in Ecobytes costs 60 €/year and gives you access to all services that have been made available at any time. We expect organisations or projects which have some or more budget, to donate voluntary what they can, to help keep the ecosystem alive and fund some priority developments. Further costs may come with support/custom development requests, or extraordinary machine requirements such as disk space > 10 Gb, more CPUs or RAM on VM, domains, SSL-cert, etc…

With this in mind, we can of course assure a QoS, we can provide interfaces (but no CPanel, only free software), etc. This can happen through:

  1. the community of members/users+developers to decide to put has priority in next development cycles; or
  2. the interested organisation establishes a contract with an Ecobytes sysadmin to provide the needed things
  3. the interested organisation brings an own developer and we provide a VM or appropriate environment where he can setup the required services

For Drupal though, we do have web interface and shell access. I consider the new Drupal environment in Ecobytes to be one of the secure, safest and reliable of our infrastructure, which resulted from the fact that it hosts some of the main latest projects and critical services of Ecobytes (e.g. co-munity). We use the BOA (Barracuda-Octopus-Aegir) scripts from which are already very optimized for a Drupal multisites - but we are working to improve it even more and solutions like memcache and varnish are on the list of possibilities to try out.

We can provide an own BOA VM for GEN without much difficulty. But for this, we probably have to ask for extra contribution from GEN, or that a sysadmin of GEN teams up with us to at least share routine tasks (e.g. updates). Alternatively, we can setup an own Octopus instance (in same VM) for GEN to have and manage an own secure Drupal farm.

That’s my contribution to clarify for now. We would of course love to also have GEN on the boat and collaborating with us! And I’m sure GEN has a pool of sysadmins developers that would be happy to join our efforts to provide community-supported and based IT, while working to assure the QoS that GEN requires.

Hi @elfpavlik,

How is the dialogue with GEN going? For your information, and regarding the drupal optimized hosting, I think reading this post helps to clarify why we already have a high performance and optimized Drupal hosting:

Most of the performance features there are implemented out of the box and we are already setting up a second BOA VM on a more powerful host.

Some of the websites hosted on the current are, and

I wonder how this is condensating these days.

@auli How quick does this have to happen? Would OuiShare be interested in a more general drupal collaboration (=effort sharing)?

@almereyda Labs website has meanwhile moved from drupal to jekyll, so this is no longer relevant.

We might be exploring an idea of a general Drupal for managing custom (web) forms, unless there’s a better tool for that. In this instance my own skills and contribution would be limited to CCK and Views mostly. Will keep you posted on this.

Oh, that’s a pity! How can you move away from the most beautiful CMS in the world, into a static site generator? :wink:

Now that we are quite stable at the infrastructure side and even have the first community contributions our Drupal hosting documentation, I’m starting to slowly put more focus on sites development/building - also with the perspective of generating some income for paying infrastructure and work.

For this, I am desperately looking for a few more Drupal site builders/developers/designers willing to team up, put together nice products, but also serve the federation communities needs. And also start exploring the new amazing Drupal 8 possibilities, like this interesting bidirectional synchronisation of content and offline workflows allowed by the RELAXed web services module.

@auli I would be interested in understanding better your idea of managing webforms - would it be to provide a forms system like this one?

I have been using a lot the Drupal webform module in the last years (integrated e.g. in co-munity) and am really happy with it, especially the new 4.x series, which makes proper use of D7 fields and entities, allowing it to be seamlessly integrated and easily extended. An UUID and services implementation would also allow for data exchange and linkage between sites.

Now that I noticed this discourse being brought up again, are there any news from you side regarding potential joint efforts for a Drupal hosting community?

From Ecobytes side there have been major developments in consolidating our hosting infrastructure and we are now able to quickly provision Drupal 7/8 sites with high server-side security, performance optimization (REDIS and nginx-level caching) and automated Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.

This hosting system can easily be scaled up, and the workload and investment already put on would appreciate a larger community of users (and possibly hosters) joining in.

Looking forward for your comments.