Cloud Platform architecture and key concepts

This section of the Acquia Cloud Platform documentation describes how Cloud Platform works, including information about the Cloud Platform architecture, security, high availability features, and compliance with standards and regulations.

Acquia Cloud Platform provides a robust managed solution for mission-critical Drupal applications. Traditional hosting services may provide little more than virtual machines, leaving you with the task of managing and running the infrastructure. With Acquia Cloud Platform, you bring your code, files, and data, and Acquia handles the rest. Acquia takes care of developing, deploying, and maintaining a Drupal-optimized cloud-based infrastructure. Acquia Cloud Platform provides high-availability elastic cloud resources with configuration management, monitoring, optimization, and caching built in, all backed up by support and operations teams which consist of cloud and Drupal experts ready to respond 24x7.

Acquia Cloud Platform infrastructure

Acquia Cloud Platform applications run on Drupal-optimized infrastructure hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment. The core of the platform is an open-source LAMP infrastructure stack, combining the Linux (Ubuntu) operating system, Apache infrastructure, MySQL database, and PHP programming language with Drupal. Acquia Cloud Platform infrastructure is built on the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and leverages Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and Elastic IPs (EIP).

The Acquia Cloud Next version of Acquia Cloud Platform, first released in 2021, integrates additional AWS services, such as Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Elastic File Service (EFS), and Aurora Database Services.

The exact configuration of a Cloud Platform application’s infrastructure depends on several factors, including anticipated monthly traffic levels, whether the application is part of Cloud Platform Enterprise (including Acquia Site Factory) or Cloud Platform Professional, and whether or not the application’s environments are running on the Cloud Classic version of Acquia Cloud Platform or the more advanced Acquia Cloud Next version. The following diagram displays an example of a Cloud Platform Enterprise application and how the components interact with one another:


Acquia Cloud Platform Enterprise, Acquia Cloud Next, and Acquia Site Factory always split the High Availability infrastructure across two availability zones.

Diagram of a Platform Enterprise application


For applications running on Acquia Cloud Next, non-production environments have the same high-availability architecture as production environments.


Acquia Cloud Next technologies are scheduled to complete SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, and ISO 27001 audits by December 30, 2022.

For comparison, Acquia’s Cloud Classic infrastructure for Cloud Platform Enterprise and Acquia Site Factory applications has the following configuration for production environments:

Diagram of a Cloud Platform Professional application

For Cloud Platform Professional applications, as well as Cloud Platform Enterprise and Site Factory non-production environments, Acquia’s Cloud Classic infrastructure has the following configuration:

Professional architecture

As indicated in the previous diagrams, Cloud Platform Enterprise and Cloud Platform Professional applications each have the following main components:

  • Cloud Platform CDN (optional) for global cached content delivery (Fastly)
  • Regional reverse proxy caching and load balancing infrastructure (Nginx and Varnish®) with TLS (SSL) termination
  • Application layer infrastructure (Apache, PHP, Drupal code, cron, SSH and Memcached)
  • File system infrastructure
    • Acquia Cloud Classic: Redhat Gluster
    • Acquia Cloud Next: AWS EFS
  • Database infrastructure
    • Acquia Cloud Classic: Percona MySQL
    • Acquia Cloud Next: AWS Aurora

For more information, see Cloud Platform technology platform and supported software.


Customers with the Enterprise Security Package also have dedicated infrastructure at the edge layer as part of their configuration. For more information, see Enterprise Security Package.

Compared to Cloud Platform Professional, Cloud Platform Enterprise provides more features for high availability, including redundant infrastructure at each level of the stack and greater levels of support, including unlimited application support and an operations team available 24x7 to remotely administer your applications and manage your infrastructure on demand. For more information, see Comparing Cloud Platform Professional and Cloud Platform Enterprise.

AWS infrastructure regions

Acquia Cloud Platform is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which is physically remote from Acquia’s offices. The AWS environment consists of major regions and Availability Zones. Acquia Cloud Platform customers may choose the geographic region for their application’s location. Acquia Cloud Platform supports the following zones:

  • US (East and West)
  • Canada (Central)
  • Europe (Frankfurt, Ireland, and London)
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney)
  • South America (São Paulo)

Acquia Cloud Platform applications are only available in a subset of the above regions.

Virtual Private Cloud

Applications hosted by Acquia Cloud Platform are isolated using several security controls, but internal traffic travels over the same network inside Acquia’s shared virtual private cloud (VPC).

For subscribers interested in additional security, Acquia offers the following options:

  • Compliant VPC: Applications are deployed on a separate, shared network that is limited to subscribers requiring PCI, HIPAA, or PII compliance. For more information, see Compliance with standards and regulations.
  • Dedicated VPC: Applications are deployed on an isolated network environment, which can be used to connect to your virtual private network (VPN) device or Amazon Web Services Virtual Private Cloud (AWS VPC). For more information, see Shield.

Note for subscribers with Acquia Shield and other Acquia Products

Although you can access Acquia Search, Cloud IDEs, Pipelines, CD environments, Marketing Cloud products, and more from inside a dedicated VPC, none of these products or services exist inside of your dedicated VPC. Subscribers with strict compliance requirements must not send production data to products or services that have not received compliance certifications.