Sustainable Drupal Distributions - Part 4 - The Hosting You Need

This is the final installation in a four-part series on building a sustainable Drupal distribution using Commerce Kickstart 2.0 as an example. Also see Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 in the series.

A sustainable distribution needs a hosting solution that is capable of running it optimally, and someone to call for support when you need help. Finding a host that is either specialized in Drupal (or better yet, the particular distribution you're using), is highly recommended. If merchants were to have a hard time deploying or scaling their Commerce Kickstart stores, the distribution won't succeed.

That is why Commerce Guys will be offering a Commerce specific Platform-as-a-Service solution in 2013. Sign up for a beta invite if you want to be among the first to try it.

 

Commerce Platform - scalable hosting for Drupal Commerce

Building a hosting platform with specific software in mind has some distinct advantages:

  • Commerce Platform will have all of the specific libraries and software versions recommended for running Drupal Commerce and Commerce Kickstart.
  • Commerce Platform will have the appropriate hardware and memory resources that the software is known to need.
  • There will be benchmarks against the distribution to know exactly what performance is possible with each resource level.
  • Commerce Platform will be able to offer direct integration with 3rd party tools that are important to a specific distribution or use case. For example, special eCommerce requirements around SSL certificates and transactional email can be provided for.
  • Everybody needs the ability to scale, either as a site grows or in response to seasonal or event driven demand. Commerce Platform has the underlying power of cloud technologies to scale nearly infinitely.

Excellent developer experience

As Drupal developers ourselves, Commerce Guys knows a lot about how to develop and launch a Commerce Kickstart based store. We understand how teams will branch the code to work on specific features or test a particular upgrade. We know what steps it takes to prepare an incremental deployment on a live site.

The success of a Drupal distribution like Commerce Kickstart depends greatly on how well these tools work. Merchants just want to run their store. The more the development environment does for them the better. With Commerce Platform we're focusing heavily on the developer experience, using Commerce Kickstart and its needs as the basis for everything we do.

Kickstart as a benchmark

Performance and scalability are also critical to merchants. You don't want your potential customers to get frustrated and abandon checkout just because the website is taking a long time to respond. That's why Commerce Guys is benchmarking Commerce Platform against Kickstart. We'll be able to tell you exactly how many Commerce Kickstart transactions you should expect to handle at each service level we offer. With that information, merchants can plan for the busiest days of the year in peace, leaving the guesswork needed with other hosts out of the equation.

Acquia Dev Cloud, Pantheon, and the Microsoft Web Gallery

Of course there are other great places to host Commerce Kickstart. Our friends at Microsoft, Pantheon, and Acquia all have excellent cloud hosting offerings, and each will soon have Kickstart 2.0 ready as a 1-click deployment. We suggest you try them out while you're waiting for Commerce Platform to become available next year.

Enterprise support

No hosting solution will solve all of the challenges or answer all of the questions that a merchant will have while deploying and running their store. That is why it is important to secure the availability of expert help and support to get you through the tough decisions and problem solving that may come up. Commerce Guys offers Enterprise Support in conjunction with Acquia, thus covering every aspect of Drupal + Drupal Commerce. Having Acquia and Commerce Guys helping you out will guarantee that you get online faster and avoid interruptions to your selling once you’re online.

Conclusion:

Drupal distributions often have specific and demanding requirements when it comes to web hosting. You're better off choosing a host that specializes in your distribution, or at least in hosting Drupal. Starting in 2013, Commerce Platform will be available for hosting Drupal Commerce and the Commerce Kickstart distribution.

Robert Douglass's picture
Director of Products
Posted December 21, 2012

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