If you have a sprawling collection of Drupal (news, site) Web CMS-based sites, it's easy for admin tasks -- such as patch management -- to get out of hand. Fortunately, there's help in a program called Aegir. In Norse mythology, Aegir was the god of the oceans. In this case, it's Lord of the Druplets.
What Aegir Brings
You don't need to install a whole new administrative program to get everything under control. Aegir is a collection of Drupal modules that provides a front-end for all of your Drupal sites. Within Aegir you can:
- Deploy new sites just by creating a new Site node
- Back up your sites
- Upgrade your sites
- Stage and deploy database copying
- and more ...
Aegir already integrates with projects such as Development Seed's OpenAtrium (news, site). Development Seed is using this management tool in production even though it's still in Release Candidate stage, which is a huge vote of confidence.
What You'll Need
- Apache (news, site)
- PHP 5.2
- A Message Transfer Agent (MTA) like Sendmail
- Additional software depending on your particular flavor of server, as explained in the installation instructions
Of course, you're also going to need Drupal and to install the modules Aegir depends on, such as Drush. See the main Aegir page for more. Once you have Aegir installed, you can import existing Drupal sites into it, so you aren't limited to using this management tool for brand new installations.
For a demonstration of how Aegir allows you to rapidly deploy OpenAtrium sites, watch the video below: