How to use Acquia Cloud, Pantheon and Platform.sh with Drop Guard
Many times during our beta phase I was asked the question if Drop Guard is a hosting platform and will replace the use of Acquia Cloud, Pantheon or Platform.sh (or any other hosting Drupal platform.) The answer is clearly: NO!
On the contrary those Drupal hosting platforms make your life even easier when using Drop Guard to update your Drupal core and contrib modules automatically. In this blog post I want to outline the benefits of each platform and how using these platforms to leverage your work with Drop Guard. To understand the points of integration, let me explain how Drop Guard works in a nutshell.
Drop Guard monitors your site's modules and core versions and detects new updates and their priority (security related or not, highly critical or not etc.). As Drop Guard is connected to your GIT repository, the updates will be committed there with respect to your branching workflow. After the code base has been updated in your GIT repository and patches have been re-applied, the code needs to be deployed to your server. Till this point, Drop Guard does exactly the same work that you would have to do if you apply your updates manually (Do you? Really?! ;-)) The deployment can happen via a custom integration using the "events" in Drop Guard which is a small Event-Condition-Action driven feature similar to the Rules module you know from Drupal. You will find more detailed information on how to deploy Drupal updates continuously with Drop Guard in on of our blog posts. The available webhooks and SSH commands provide you with all the tools to deploy your code to your servers. And this is the point, where the Drupal platforms mentioned above come into play.
The Acquia Cloud platform is a full Drupal management platform that provides everything you need to create and host Drupal websites. The integration works either with the Acquia Cloud API and with the provided cloud hooks. You can also easily update your code base in the Acquia Cloud Site Factory manually. You will find further instruction in the deployment manual. When using Acquia Cloud, you don't need to use external CI tools such as Jenkins but you need to use one of the APIs mentioned above. Currently we generate keys for Acquia users manually until the support for the 4096 keys is released.
Pantheon is a management platform for Drupal and Wordpress websites. Using Pantheon is pretty similar to using the Acquia Cloud. They have dev, test and live environments out of the box and the nice thing is that pushing your code branch is enough to trigger an update of your hosting environment. This architecture allows you to use Pantheon without any other external CI tools or custom integrations. If you connect the Pantheon GIT repository to your Drop Guard site, Drop Guard will update your code base, re-apply your patches and update the environment immediately after Drop Guard pushed the updated code base to pantheon. That's really easy. Pantheon also provides a CLI to execute commands by remote. I tried to get in contact with some of the Pantheon guys for integration purpose but I have no answer yet. I will keep you posted on updates here. You will also find a detailed description about the Pantheon workflow.
Platform.sh is a new hosting platform built by the Commerce Guys. I had a closer look at the platform as well as some personal presentations and for me it is very useful for testing updates in separate branches and instances. Platform.sh has developed an infrastructure to build feature branch instances with a click or by using their API. This will allow Drop Guard users to test their updates in separate feature branches and deploy these updates independently from the ongoing code changes in the dev or stage branches. As a result you will have a more reliable and less time consuming quality assurance process when deploying updates continuously. The benefit is clearly to deploy updates in a shorter period of time including a reliable infrastructure for QA on feature branches.
All platforms work with Drop Guard out of the box, using either external CI tools or the Drop Guard events-conditions-actions interface for integration with external services. They will save you some time configuring your update deployment process. So Drop Guard will not replace any Drupal hosting platform. Drop Guard will do the update work 24/7 and work as your dedicated team member, using your tools and your platforms to care about your updates all around the clock.
We're right up to integrate those platforms directly with Drop Guard so you just need to select your hosting platform and all integration features and the deployment workflow are pre-configured.