Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS   SUPPORT

Preparing for onboarding with Acquia Cloud Platform

Even before you engage with Acquia, you can undertake a few activities to prepare your teams and your application for an efficient and low-friction onboarding process:

Preparing your website

Application Description
Review your subscription You can access and review your subscription before we conduct the welcome call, network walkthrough, and technical review. Write down any questions you have, so we can focus on the right topics with you.
Locate and bookmark Acquia’s online documentation Acquia has an extensive knowledge base. A good place to get started is the Cloud Platform documentation.
Review our online training courses Acquia offers training covering key platform and Drupal concepts.
Install Memcached Memcached is a memory cache infrastructure daemon that helps to improve application performance by reducing the load on database infrastructure. For installation instructions, see Enabling Memcached on Cloud Platform.
Enable New Relic Enabling an application performance monitoring tool like New Relic is a critical step in getting your application ready for testing and launch.
Ensure your Drupal core and contributed modules are up to date Keeping your code up to date is a critical maintenance task that you should be performing regularly.
Validate your caching strategy Acquia leverages Varnish® Cache to ensure your application is highly available and scalable. You should plan your caching strategy carefully, and you avoid building features that prevent your application from being cacheable.
Validate your search requirements Acquia Search is based on Apache Solr. If you have customizations in your search configuration, you should work with us to ensure those customizations are compatible with Cloud Platform.
Plan for SSL Understand your security and privacy requirements. Be clear about your options for SSL and supporting modules.

You may also find some of the suggestions outlined in Assessing your Drupal site for migration onto Cloud Platform helpful.

Getting help from Acquia Support

Acquia provides you with the information you need to contact Acquia Support. Most of your day-to-day access to our team is conducted through tickets to ensure all communication is recorded and trackable. Our support engineers are able to answer all questions about the Cloud Platform platform and Drupal best practices.

Acquia will not engage in development services, including any direct modification of code on your infrastructure, unless a separate Professional Services engagement has been purchased to do so.

In addition to support tickets, we encourage you to set up advisory time to discuss Drupal and Cloud Platform best practices. Common advisory call topics include SSL, caching, module recommendations, load testing, and many other topics. See the Support Users Guide for full details on working with the Acquia Support team.

Configuring caching settings

Acquia leverages Varnish Cache on your load balancers and Memcached on your infrastructure to ensure your application is as performant and scalable as possible. Varnish works by eliminating the need for your backend web layer to process every request sent to the application. Under high traffic conditions, Varnish serves requests from cache more quickly than your web infrastructure processes requests from scratch. Memcached improves the performance of your database layer when serving authenticated traffic. Applications with a high percentage of authenticated users benefit most from this caching technology.

Taken together and properly configured, Varnish and Memcached are critical elements of your application’s ability to scale and perform. We encourage you to engage with us to help you determine how to make your application as cacheable as possible, given your application’s functional requirements.

Sizing your infrastructure accurately

When you purchased Acquia’s Cloud Platform services, you should have completed an infrastructure questionnaire. Acquia uses this questionnaire to estimate the appropriate amount of cloud capacity required by your application, including the following key information:

  • How many page views your application serves
  • What percentage of your traffic is from authenticated users
  • Current PHP memory limit

Other factors may affect your assigned capacity, such as the number of applications you have in a multisite configuration and how many applications are hosted together, if not on the Acquia Cloud Next infrastructure.

Unless told otherwise, we will assume Varnish caches 90 percent of your anonymous traffic. If your application doesn’t cache efficiently, you may need to engage Acquia to reassess your capacity needs before proceeding with load testing and launch.

If you are properly sized based on your traffic expectations and caching efficiency, and your application continues to suffer from degraded performance, Acquia will work with you to identify and remediate performance-affecting conditions in your application’s code and configuration.