Aegir-Based Business Models

Presented by

Aegir is a distributed provisioning system for Drupal that allows you to manage thousands of sites across as many concurrent instances of Drupal on as many servers as you need. At Koumbit Networks, a lead development shop behind the Aegir project, we are developing or already have in place several distinct business models, largely enabled by our Aegir infrastructure and expertise.

For our "classic" web development practice, Aegir provides for a streamlined development-staging-production workflow, as well as scalability and flexibility. I won't go into extensive detail on this model, except to point out the abundant resources already available on and elsewhere.

With the introduction earlier in the year of .deb packaging for Aegir, we've begun to put in place an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering. While various automated install scripts have existed for years, they've tended to be somewhat brittle. Now proper configuration management (Puppet, Chef, etc.) can set up and maintain virtual servers with Aegir pre-installed in an extensible templated fashion.

Longer-term, and more ambitiously, we are developing a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, that will enable site developers and designers to create and manage their own custom Drupal instances and platforms from within a managed Aegir system. This will allow for not only automatic provisioning, and management of sites and custom platforms, but also the secure, automated set-up of SFTP, SSH, etc. This opens the door to a variety of interesting reseller program possibilities.

Finally, leveraging e-commerce integration and other contrib modules, we are deploying a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This allows clients to purchase subscriptions to pre-built sites (whether pre-packaged profiles such as Open Atrium, or custom-built profiles based on the best websites you've created), which are then provisioned for them by an Aegir system. This model presents some interesting challenges, which I'll explore in more detail by presenting a case-study of Koumbit's own Aegir-based SaaS service on I'll demonstrate going from a bare-bones Aegir install, though to a basic, but functional SaaS service, ready to be themed and extended.

Aegir Training Available at DrupalCon London
For in-depth Aegir training, Koumbit Networks is presenting a Pre-Conference Training session on Aegir: Aegir Hosting System: Deep Dive. Sign up today!

About the presenter
Christopher Gervais (ergonlogic on d.o) is a geek and sometimes marketing guy at Koumbit. He is also a documentation manager and webmaster at, and author of a couple Aegir contrib modules.

Koumbit Networks (est'd in 2003) has been building high end Drupal projects for quite some time, primarily in the non-profit sector, and is leading development in the Aegir Project.

Intended audience

Anyone building a business on Drupal: Freelancers, Business owners, Drupal developers, site builders, system administrators

Questions answered by this session

What is Aegir, and how can it ease my dev/test/staging/prod workflow?

What is SaaS, and how does it allow me to leverage my existing Drupal portfolio?

What is IaaS, and how do Aegir .deb's make it possible?

What is PaaS, and what interesting reseller opportunities might it open up?

Comments (1)

Aegir Ecology and Drupal Gardens

this is fascinating area, and I'd like to see a lot more exploration of open business models

I have none of the experience of the presenters, but I proposed a humble title for Sacramento Drupal Camp called Aegir Ecology vs Drupal Gardens

Aegir Ecology vs Drupal Gardens Presenter(s): Nicholas Roberts Comparing the Aegir Project ecosystem and the Drupal Gardens stack. The Aegir Project is an open-sourced, libre and free Drupal hosting system that is already used in production to host thousands of Drupal sites in a managed networks. Aegir allows the spawning of sites from distro's such as Open Atrium or CODA growing and is extensible with a diverse ecosystem of Aegir contributed modules such as hosting payment integration to Ubercart or the automation of various hosting management tasks. Aegir is composed of the Hostmaster installation profile, Drush and Provision and has an Aegir API for developers. Aegir is production ready and is the product of some of the best Drupal people in the community. Drupal Gardens is an entry level hosting platform that is a product of Acquia and is built in Drupal 7. The hosting platform is proprietary and specific to the hosting provider. more soon

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