Drupal in the Cloud, Part 1 - Reasons and Background

We all have different needs and reasons for Drupal, but at the same time we all want the best performance for our money. That's why I started out on shared hosting, and odds are why you did too. It's hard to pass up $6/month with a free domain name! But all that glitters is not gold, and you may have found yourself stuck with only 32MB of memory and trying to do image processing, or no support for HTML5 video or FFMPEG for conversions. Fear not! Where you used to only have two real options, shared hosting and VPS (Virtual Private Server), you now have The Cloud! Ok, The Cloud isn't some magical entity that makes your experience any easier. Quite the opposite, in fact. It'll make you appreciate your install and resources that much more. The Cloud is simply a virtual server out in a data center that you have access and control over. How it gets used, and what kind of resources it has are up to your discretion. Rackspace offers more traditionally recognized server setups, with memory/disk sizes at 256MB/10GB, 512MB/20GB, 1GB/40GB, and way up. Amazon Web Services offers a little more untraditional sizes with more emphasis put on the processor and memory size than disk space. After all, they want you to use S3 for storing your files! Ok, on to the meat of the topic: installing. Here's a list of software I'm using in order to put Drupal in the cloud:
  • Ubuntu - The OS that the web server runs on
  • VirtualMin - The software that manages Apache, MySQL, and PHP
  • Apache - The web server that Drupal will use
  • MySQL - The database that Drupal will use
  • PHP - The server-side code that Drupal runs on
  • Fail2Ban - Temporarily bans IP addresses after a set number of failed login attempts
Now that we have a basic overlay we can continue to the other parts:
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Drupal Multi-Site with the Domain Access module

I'll get to doing a guide or video soon, but here are some notes of what I did:
  • In Virtualmin, create a virtual server for domain1.com
  • Do a basic Drupal install (domain1.com)
  • Install the Domain Access module on domain1.com
  • Back in Virtualmin, create domain2.com as a sub-domain of domain1.com
  • Within the Webmin part of Virtualmin, edit the Apache server directives for domain2.com
  • You should see something like this in the site list:
    • Server Name: domain2.com
    • Document Root: /home/domain1/domains/domain2/public_html
  • Edit the directives of the domain2 virtual server to match domain1:
    • Before: /home/domain1/domains/domain2/public_html
    • After: /home/domain1/public_html
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My New Favorite Drupal Module - Reroute Email

I have a new favorite Drupal module: Reroute Email I setup a site a while back that allowed for the client to bulk-email their users. I generally try to sway people from this lest they get on a spam list from unforgiving users, but I digress. The e-mails were sent in plain text, and incredibly boring. I did include an unsubscribe link as a condition of creating the bulk-email process, but other than that it was very... drab. So said client comes back a few weeks ago and asks if we can "jazz up the email a bit". Since this site has been live for close to two years with only critical updates being applied, I have long deleted the dev site.
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