Migrating websites into Acquia Cloud Site Factory
Attempting to import an existing Drupal website into Acquia Cloud Site Factory both requires that you understand how Acquia Cloud Site Factory structures the websites that it hosts, and that you complete the required preparatory work to ensure a smooth, repeatable migration process, which can provide you a local backup of your work should a rollback of your migration be needed.
The information on this page is intended as preparation for actually migrating your website into Acquia Cloud Site Factory.
Checklist for website migration
Acquia has identified a common list of tasks to consider as part of your initial sprint (Sprint 0) planning for an Acquia Cloud Site Factory migration. Although the activities described on the Sprint 0 checklist page are not a complete list, they can help you to identify the work that is necessary for a successful launch, and also identify the tools (such as Acquia BLT) that can assist you.
File structure in Acquia Cloud Site Factory
When you are preparing to migrate a website, it helps to understand how files are organized in a Acquia Cloud Site Factory installation. Migrating a website into Acquia Cloud Site Factory involves all three major sections of a Drupal website:
Shared codebase across all websites
The code in your Factory's main version control repository contains your Drupal core and contributed module files that are to be used for all websites in your Factory. You must use version control processes to modify this code. Because storage and retrieval times are faster here than in the distributed file storage system used in your website-specific files directory, Acquia recommends that you store website-specific modules in one of the following directories, based on your distribution:
- Using a distribution, such as Lightning -
- Not using a distribution - Drupal 8: The top-level
modulesdirectory; Drupal 7:
Acquia discourages the use of the
sites/default directory, with the exception of
sites/default/files, as files in
sites/default will not be included in website backups.
Website-specific files directory
files directory should contain the binary file assets (images and videos) your website needs that cannot be easily stored in version control. This
files directory, and its contents, reside on a writable, distributed file system shared by all of your Acquia Cloud Site Factory-hosted websites. Because this file system is external to your shared codebase, access times for files stored in your
files directory will be slower than access times for files stored in the shared codebase.
files directory for your website is located at
[abcde] is a random string.
Public files reside in the
Per-website theme directory
Your website-specific directories each contain a
themes directory. Acquia strongly encourages that you store your per-website themes in this location, as storage and retrieval are far faster than the distributed storage system used in your website-specific files directory. For information about creating a theme repository for each of your websites in Acquia Cloud Site Factory, see Adding external themes to your site.
If you configure a dedicated theme repository for a website,
sites/g/files/[abcde]/themes/site will be a symlink to local storage for that repository.
Preparing Drush aliases for the import process
Because the import process uses Drush commands, creating Drush aliases for your target website allows you to execute Drush commands without needing to sign in to your target website to copy files using SSH.
To configure your aliases to run the correct version of Drush, create a Drush aliases file based on the following example, altering the code to meet your needs:
$aliases['acquia-cloud'] = array(
'path-aliases' => array(
// '%drush-script' => 'drush8', // uncomment this line if deploying a D8 codebase
// '%drush-script' => 'drush6', // uncomment this line if deploying a D7 codebase.
'%dump-dir' => '/mnt/tmp/',
$aliases['target'] = array(
'parent' => '@acquia-cloud',
'uri' => 'mynewdomain.customername.acsitefactory.com',
'root' => '/var/www/html/AH_SITE_GROUP.AH_SITE_ENVIRONMENT/docroot/',
'remote-host' => 'managed-12345.defaultrealm.hosting.acquia.com',
'remote-user' => 'YOURUSERNAMEHERE',
'path-aliases' => array(
# the following is optional if you want to have a dedicated temp dir without many other files in there:
'%dump-dir' => '/mnt/tmp/AH_SITE_GROUP.AH_SITE_ENVIRONMENT/drush-import/',
If you need assistance determining what these values should be, contact Acquia Support.
To verify that your Drush aliases are functioning properly, from a command line window, run the following command:
drush @target status
Examine both the Site path to determine if it matches the path
[abcde] is a random string), and the File directory path to determine if it matches
[abcde] is a random string).
If your both the Site path and File directory path values match the described strings, your Drush aliases are connecting to your server.
Common sources of problems with this file include the following:
- Incorrect values for
- Not committing the
sites/g/directory to the codebase after executing
After you ensure that your website will work with Acquia Cloud Site Factory's directory structure and you test your Drush aliases, you are ready to begin migrating your website into Acquia Cloud Site Factory.