Day 1 of DrupalCon – the Acquia partner summit

What better way to avoid the miserable English weather while boning up on the latest Drupal knowledge than hitting DrupalCon Barcelona? None. That’s why me and Gabriele Maira jumped on an early plane to the Catalonian capital this morning. We’ll be here all week so we decided to kick off our Drupal adventure with a visit to the Acquia partner summit to hear about the recent developments around the Drupal cloud platform .



The CCIB in Barcelona, a geometric mammoth of a convention centre, is located tantalisingly close to the sea. But, eschewing the distractions of the nearby beach bars, we stopped only to grab a couple of sandwiches and check out the sprint classrooms – where Drupal contributors were working intensively on improving the open source CMS – on our hunt for the Acquia partner summit.

Acquia is kind of the commercial wing of Drupal. They provide a cloud hosting platform for Drupal builds with heaps of tools, services and support. The partner summit is a chance for them to showcase their latest products and let their partners (including Manifesto) know what’s on the roadmap for the coming year, some of which has us very excited for our clients.

Partners with benefits

First up, Alick Mighall from Miggle talked about the benefits of being an Acquia partner. Chief among them – and something which chimes for us – is that it allows his developers to concentrate on the code, without having to worry too much about the DevOps/SysAdmin tasks that can be associated with self-built infrastructure.

On cloud nine

Next we were treated to a showcase of the new Acquia Cloud Site Factory (ACSF) product by Cameron Tod, who has previously been in the Manifesto offices to discuss the Acquia Lift platform. The ACSF system allows the creation and deployment of websites all under one user base and shared codebase with just a few clicks.

Keeping the customer satisfied

Acquia were also keen to establish themselves as a forerunner in customer relationship, where they consider themselves an integral part of the relationship with the client. They’re happy to attend meetings and training sessions with clients, and to generally assist in any way with promoting an understanding of the services.

We can certainly vouch for this at Manifesto based on previous meetings with clients regarding infrastructure.

Elastic fantastic

The thing that excited me the most was the announcement that Acquia will be rolling out Elastic Grid services soon, which has always been a sticking point for me. Manifesto helps manage a number of sites which often see large spikes in traffic, such as PaulMcCartney.com. We’ll soon be able to specify just what we want the Acquia servers to do when the site is under high load.

Multisite modifications

They have also said that the Multisite tools (including ACSF) will improve, allowing clients of ours to amalgamate all of their sub domains and other internal systems/sites into the same code base on Acquia.

Another interesting feature, which is already available, is the addition of their own VPC which allows for secure communications between services hosted on their platform. Watch this space for future blog posts as we get to grips with the new products.

And stay tuned for more from DrupalCon Barcelona as the week unfolds.

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