In previous posts we covered how the Frontend and queue mechanisms can talk with the Backend. We also covered the stand-alone work we’ve been doing within Drumkit to support Drupal on Kubernetes. In this post, we’ll discuss how we plan to integrate this new Backend into the existing Aegir 5 architecture.
To integrate the Kubernetes Backend into Aegir 5, we will need to build new top-level entities (see this earlier post about Clusters, Projects, Releases, and Environments) for the Frontend.
In our previous post, we talked about our recent client work building a Kubernetes-based system for hosting web applications. We’ve defined a general framework to support our development and production hosting workflows, and recognized this as a solid basis for an alternate backend to plug in to the existing Aegir5 front-end. Today we’ll take a look at the Drupal architecture underlying that front-end.
In Aegir5, the building blocks consist of Task and Operation entities.
Aegir5 and Kubernetes Lately we’ve been working with clients ranging from large Canadian government departments to small commercial SaaS companies, who have asked us to deploy CMS apps to Kubernetes (K8S) clusters running on Openstack. In spite of our continued feeling that most of the time Kubernetes Won’t Save You, we’ve found it to be surprisingly useful in certain contexts. In fact, we’ve started to think that K8S will prove an extremely valuable backend to plug in to our existing Aegir5 front-end and queue system.
Introduction to the Introduction Over the last few years we’ve built lots of Drupal 8 sites, and some Drupal 9 ones too, both for our clients and for ourselves. As such, we’ve taken a keen interest in (read: faced many challenges with) the Configuration Management subsystem. This was a major new component in Drupal 8, and so, while it’s functional, it isn’t yet mature. Of course, the vibrant Drupal developer community jumped in to smooth the rough edges and fill the gaps, in what has since become known as CMI 2.
Best practices for building Web sites in the Drupal framework (for major versions 8 and above) dictate that codebases should be built with the Composer package manager for PHP. That is, the code repository for any sites relying on it should not contain any upstream code; it should only contain a makefile with instructions for assembing it.
However, there are some prominent Drupal hosting companies that don’t support Composer natively. That is, after receiving updates to Composer-controlled Git repositories, they don’t automatically rebuild the codebase, which should result in changes to the deployed code.
Aegir is the one-and-only FLOSS hosting system for Drupal sites that’s been around for over 10 years, a rock in the community. While Drupal hosting companies have come and gone, Aegir’s always been there for folks who want to host Drupal sites themselves. According to recent data at the time of this writing, there are 567 instances (that we know about).
It’s used by organizations worldwide such as the US National Democratic Institute, NASA, and the European Commission.
Over the last 2 or 3 years, the Drupal community has been converging around a solid set of Docker-based workflows to manage local development environments, and there are a number of worthy tools that make life easier.
My personal favourite is Lando, not only because of the Star Wars geekery, but also because it makes easy things easy and hard things possible (a lot like Drupal). I appreciate that a “standard” Lando config file is only a few lines long, but that it’s relatively easy to configure and customize a much more complex setup by simply adding the appropriate lines to the config.