Moving Drupal Sites to Production

Once a Drupal site is ready for production it should be moved from the development environment to our production environment. The production server is a multi site Drupal host that is closely monitored and backed up by dedicated staff. This ensures the maximum uptime and support for your Drupal site.

Before moving a development site to production the site must undergo a complete code level audit for security purposes. In preparation for this review please remove any unused files and directories.  This includes themes or modules that will not be used in the live site.  Additionally, remove local versions of centrally installed modules in order ease the transition to production.  The review process can take two weeks or more so be sure to plan your Drupal deployment timeline accordingly. Drupal sites must contain only approved Drupal modules in order to be moved to the production environment.

Prior to moving your site to a production environment you need to ensure that you have reserved the appropriate 'live' URL for your site. Moving your site to production involves a thorough security audit, after which the code for your Drupal site (including the database) will be moved by SAS Computing staff onto our production server. Once on the production server you may access the site normally through the web interface. At this point, if it is no longer needed, any development servers utilized to create the site will be frozen and archived.

You are strongly encouraged to plan a "soft" launch of your new Drupal site. This is a launch where the site is moved to production but only announced internally. This gives your staff time to review the new site for bugs prior to a "hard" launch which coincides with public announcement of your new website, the issuance of any hard copy collateral with the new URL, or any media announcements. This offers a cushion period during which any issues can be ironed out safely.

If ongoing maintenance is a requirement SAS Computing will mirror your live production site back to a development server. This environment is similar to the development environment closely mirrors the production server, but shell access is granted to PennKey holders to manipulate Drupal files directly.

No shell access to the production server will be granted. Thus, any updates or changes to your site that cannot be accomplished via the web administrative interface need to be first completed on the development site. Once you are satisfied with the changes they will be mirrored up to the production site by SAS Computing staff.