Aegir Overview

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What is Aegir?

Aegir is a distributed instance management system, that allows authorized users to administer multiple Drupal sites across one or more servers, through a Drupal based administration front end. It is designed to help solve many of the common problems that administrators come across when providing mass hosting solutions, by providing the basis for turn-key deployment and management of Drupal sites and related services.

What are the components of Aegir

There are three main components of the system.

  • Provision provides the back end used for system level tasks such as creating configuration files and managing databases and backup files.
  • Hosting provides the front end for creating and maintaining Drupal sites. Each of your sites will be mapped to the node types provided by this module. It also handles the queueing of tasks sent to the back end, and configuration
    of your hosting system.
  • Hostmaster ties together the functionality of the hosting front end and provisioning back end into a complete package. It handles initialization and auto-detection of your initial configuration settings, and directs you to the friendly installation wizard. To start using the Aegir system, you will install a new site using the hostmaster profile, which you will then use to manage all of the sites you host.

Optional components :

  • Eldir is a custom theme developed for the Aegir system that provides a clean user interface for managing your sites.

Aegir project roadmap

The roadmap is discussed more in depth at the Aegir Roadmap wiki page.

History of the Aegir project

Aegir is a completely new iteration of the original Hostmaster written by Adrian Rossouw. The original version has been running the hosted service provided at http://bryght.com for nearly 4 years, hosting literally thousands of sites, and has been implemented for several large clients.
Originally the system would only manage a single Drupal instance, on a single web server with a single database server, and as the requirements grew (concurrently running multiple versions of Drupal and then needing to manage several servers), it grew considerably in (unplanned) complexity.

There were also non-ideal implementation and licensing issues, such as the choice of Python and PostgreSQL for the backend and not developing the system as a pure GPL project, which severely limited the number of developers that were attracted to the project.

Because of the system requirements, it was also very difficult for new users to install, and had many unnecessary points of failure.

This new system has been designed with all these issues in mind, and the lessons learned have formed the basis of many of the Aegir Project Goals.

Aegir already exceeds the capabilities of the original HostMaster system and is in use by numerous real world projects.

Aegir is now supported by Development Seed and is being used to deploy many sites, particularly Open Atrium sites.

What are the goals of the Aegir project

The goals have been exhaustively documented on the Project Goals wiki entry

How is the system put together? What does it do?

This information is available on the Design and Terminology wiki entry

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Aegir hosting system

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