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Drupal 8: Scalable, Affordable, and More Secure Than Ever Platform-as-a-Service

By Rachel Manongdo
in UIT Communications
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Get ready, Stanford: the Drupal 8 (D8) platform will soon be the new framework for Stanford Sites, University IT’s primary cloud service for over 2,000 Drupal websites.

To continue to receive security updates and support, Drupal 7 websites will need to move to D8 by 2021. Stanford Web Services (SWS) is currently building and designing D8 on Stanford Sites and is scheduled to deliver the first release by February 2020.

What can you look forward to with the D8 core platform?

For one, the cost — or should we say cost-savings! The base pre-built D8 core website solution will be offered as a free service. 

Additionally, D8 core will continually benefit Stanford Sites and its users with:

  • Accessible user experience design
  • Easy-to-use website tools for managing your Stanford-branded content
  • Configurable layouts and dynamic content types (rolled out releases throughout 2020)
  • On-demand scalability and flexibility
  • Seamless business continuity in the event of a regional disaster

Note: SWS’ value-added services (e.g., content auditing, website consulting, custom website projects) will continue to be hourly rate offerings.

Growing cloud coverage

If you’re part of the Stanford IT Community, you may already be familiar with the legacy Andrew File System platform, aka AFS. Thousands of Stanford websites and applications currently rely on this decades-old platform, but in terms of stability, it’s a ticking time bomb. 

The D8 core project is one part of a multi-year program to move Stanford’s web content management systems off AFS and into scalable, more secure cloud-based solutions. This effort, along with several others, will contribute to significant progress that’s already been made over the years in UIT’s overall cloud program

Stay tuned

If you’re a Stanford Sites user, no matter your role — content manager, site owner, content editor, etc. — we know you’ll have questions. Don’t worry, we’re busy creating the resources and tools you’ll need to prepare your website for the move to D8. You’ll find those resources and more at the following:

  • The UIT Blog. Check here for regular updates about the D8 project and other web content management projects. You’ll hear from a diverse set of subject matter experts across a variety of disciplines — developers, designers, engineers, architects, etc. —  who will give you an inside look at their decision-making processes as they build D8 with you in mind.
  • The Drupal Projects page. This will serve as the central hub for user guides, tools, and FAQs to help you prepare for and get started on the D8 platform.
  • The Web Content Management Program website. Get a holistic view of the program, its vision, roadmap, and many more resources. 
  • Drupal channel on Slack. Questions or comments? Continue the conversation on the Drupal Slack channel in the Stanford Communities of Practice workspace.