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Drupal on Windows? Yes! And Here's How

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Drupal on Windows? Yes! And Here's How

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I find that every conference I attend is a humbling experience. There are just so many knowledgeable people that I’m constantly reminded of how much I don’t know. The pre-conference training at DrupalCon Denver was no exception (and the real conference hadn’t even begun!). In the Deploying Drupal at Scale on Microsoft Platform training yesterday, Alessandro Pilotti delivered a densely packed training session that, once again, left me feeling humble. Alessandro’s breadth and depth of knowledge about running PHP applications on Windows (and Drupal in particular) is truly impressive.

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As you can see from the training agenda, there is no way I can re-cap the day’s work in a single blog post, so I won’t try. I will, however, do my best to summarize his final demo of the day: creating a Drupal Web Farm using the Microsoft Web Farm Framework. What stood out at the end of the demo was the ease and speed with which he had a Drupal Web Farm up and running (almost completely from scratch!). Alessandro’s slides, which are attached to this post, go into much more detail than I will, so check them out if you want more than an interview.

Note: I will capture the high-level steps that Alessandro went through in creating a Drupal Web Farm. I’ve selected several slides from his presentation to to this – all of which show how to use IIS GUI tooling. However, Alessandro made a point of showing how everything he did could also be done from the command line using appcmd.exe and PowerShell commands.

Alessandro did a live demo of the following scenario: He had 4 Windows Server VM’s running on his laptop (480 GB SSD with 16 MB RAM !), which would serve as load balancer (Application Request Routing + Web Farm Framwork), two web servers (each hosting Drupal), and database server/file server.

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Note: For the purposes of the demo, he used one VM for both the database server and file server, but he pointed out that having each on a separate machine (as shown in the diagram) would be the way to go for a production site.

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Next, he used the Web Platform Installer to install Drupal  and configure IIS on the primary server.

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Again using the Web Platform Installer, he then installed Application Request Routing and Web Farm Framework.

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With ARR and WFF installed, he could create a Web Farm…

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…and add a primary host to the farm. (He also added the 2nd web server as a secondary host using the same UI.)

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Finally, he provisioned the second server (and could have just as easily done more) using WFF. (Note that WFF uses Web Deploy. Complete details are in the attached slide deck.)

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And, Voila! A scalable Drupal Web Farm. Of course, it wasn’t quite as simple as Voila!, but he did manage to go from four “blank” Windows Server VMs to a running web farm in about 45 minutes…very impressive IMHO.

Be sure to check out the attached slides from Alessandro’s presentation.

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Published at DZone with permission of Brian Swan, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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