Technology based companies have modified almost every process in their industry to make it less complicated, easy to use and minimal time consuming. Similar in the case of website management – Web Content Management System (WCMS) provides the desired peace of mind to website owners – thanks to dynamic advancement. Content Management System not just saves time but improves convenience level, as you can easily change/add data and design elements.
Drupal is among the leading WCMS provider – offering freeware, open source content management framework that enables even the non-technical individuals to publish, organize and overall manage content on a website.
Drupal framework is in PHP, and is distributed under the GNU General Public License. This open source web content manager caters 2.1% of the website across the globe, including corporate blogs and government websites.
Akin other web content management systems, Drupal need few pre-requisites from Cloud hosting provider before acquiring its services. Some questions need to be answered before opting for a Cloud hosting provider for websites to run on Drupal.
Q#1 What tiered data center is adequate for Drupal Website Hosting?
For Drupal Cloud hosting, a three (3) tiered data center is at least required – Tier III data center guarantees 99.982% availability. It comprises of multiple active power along with cooling distribution path, although only one is active at a time. Tier III can be maintained concurrently and it has redundant component as Tier II.
To define uptime of data centers and rate site infrastructure design topologies of data centers, standardized methodology is used narrated as tier. Presently tiers of data centers are rated on a scale from one to four – with tier 4 judged as most robust and least prone to failure. Investment, return on investment and most important data center performance is measured through this standard methodology.
Q#2 What PHP version is required?
Drupal content manager is developed to work on PHP platform. Specific version(s) of PHP is required on the cloud hosting server for a particular release of Drupal.
- Any PHP v4.4.0 and higher (Drupal 5). However, PHP 5.2 is highly recommended. NOTE: PHP version 5.3 is not supported by Drupal 5.x
- PHP version 5.3 is compatible with Drupal 6.x – while most modules of PHP 5.4 are not feasible with Drupal 6
- PHP version 5.2.4 and higher are compatible with Drupal 7. While PHP version 5.3 is recommended.
- Hash and JSON, the standard extensions of PHP are required on a hosting server for Drupal 7
- Drupal 7 requires activation of PHP Data Objects (PDO) for proper web page implementation and execution on cloud server. However, the PECL version of PHP Data Objects (PDO) is not supported by Drupal 7
- PHP version 5.3.5 is a minimum requirement of Drupal 8 – However, Drupal version 8 cannot be installed on a hosting server with “magic quotes gpc” or “magic quotes runtime”.
Q#3 How much PHP memory is required?
The PHP memory requirement is subject to enabled modules and type of web pages, media-rich or CCK, Panel and Views modules may require 64 MB or even more PHP memory. Detailed analysis is mandatory for exact evaluation of requirements, to properly run website modules over hosting service. If memory does not meet the requirements, user will be informed via warning alerts.
- For Drupal 6 Core, minimum 16 MB PHP memory is required and 32 MB PHP memory is recommended.
- For Drupal 7 Core, at least 32 MB is required, while 64 MB PHP memory is recommended.
Role memory module is utilized to allocate PHP memory on each role; via this module you can render pages in accordance to your preference – while keeping the original memory limit for other users.
Q#4 What extensions & libraries are required?
Database and XML extensions are required from Drupal Cloud hosting provider, three of the database connectors are presently supported by DrupaL
- pgsql – this database is used for PostgreSQL
- mysqli – this is new & improved connector used for MySQL installations
- mysql – MySql’s original extension
The standard PHP’s XML extension for Drupal, Ping and Blog API modules are by default enables in PHP installation. Hosting service must provide compatibility for said XML extensions.
For image editing including resizing image, user picture and imagecache modules an image library like GD library or ImageMagick is required for PHP. GD is incorporated in PHP version 4.3 and higher – Cloud hosting service must support image library for PHP.
Q#5 Do they provide Jail Shell & Normal Shell Access on Request?
Jail shell is like a nutshell, it limits the user into a single directory, usually home directory. All the functions that can be applied or used are restricted within the same directory, no direct access to anything else. The concept of jail shell is to restrict the rights of a particular user.
On the other hand normal shell access grants complete access to all file system and server. Make sure your Drupal Cloud hosting provider allows both type of shells, so they you can restrict users with less rights to access binaries and libraries, available to normal shell only.
And, Are you provided with required (frequency) ‘Cron enabled facility’?
Cron is a task scheduler used in computer operating systems, its frequency can be optimized with time. If cron is enabled, it allows the user to schedule a task to be execute automatically after a certain period. Make sure that your Drupal Cloud hosting provider is cron enabled, so that you can automate system administration, management or any other job with desired frequency.
Evaluation is the Key
Proper evaluation of Cloud Service is mandatory before selecting from the best Drupal hosting provider. Remember, your correct decision can lead to a better and a seamless web presence with utmost uptime and least failure rate.