Tag1 Consulting is focused on improving Drupal's performance and scalability. We also believe that when information is freely shared, everyone wins. Toward these ends, we are working on an online book titled, "Drupal Performance and Scalability". The book is divided into five main sections, Drupal Performance, Front End Performance, Improved Caching and Searching, Optimizing the Database Layer, and Drupal In The Cloud. The book is primarily aimed toward users running Drupal on the LAMP stack, with chapters applicable to everything from low-end shared hosts to large-scale multi-server installations.
By publishing on-line, we aim to encourage you to participate in the book writing process as an editor and a technical reviewer. You will currently find the book's complete outline online, along with descriptions of each planned section and chapter. As the book evolves, it will continue to be updated online in real time. We encourage you to post comments with suggestions, critical feedback, grammatical corrections, or anything else relevant to our ongoing effort.
The book outline was first published on July 17th, 2008. We ambitiously hope to have a completed and edited draft of all chapters completed by the end of the year. At that time, we will make a decision as to whether or not there is enough demand to pursue publishing a hard copy of the book. Either way, we aim to make the on-line version of the book always freely available.
License and Availability
Drupal Performance and Scalability is being made freely available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. It currently can only be browsed online, however we are working on a Docbook exporter to make the information also available as a PDF download.
To help fund this ongoing effort, we are displaying advertisements along with the online book text. All advertisements are FOSS-related, and are provided by the Ad Bard Network. If you would like to financially support this book effort, you can follow this link to advertise on the pages of the online book.
Section 1: Drupal Performance
The first section of the book offers details on how to get good performance out of your Drupal powered website, and how to scale it as demand grows. The majority of the features discussed in this section are available without making any modifications to Drupal.
Section 2: Front End Performance
This second section of the book begins to look at the underlying LAMP stack, discussing how it can be optimized specifically to get the most out of Drupal. Much of this information will be presented so it is accessible to people without a background in system administration, though advanced topics will also be discussed.
Section 3: Improved Caching and Searching
This section will focus in on two key areas where Drupal can benefit from third party integration, caching and searching. Many of these advanced topics will require patching Drupal's core.
Section 4: Optimizing the Database Layer
The fourth section will examine database administration for a Drupal powered website. It will briefly discuss PostgreSQL, but most chapters will be focused on MySQL. Discussed topics include storage engines, monitoring tools, tuning tips, utilizing logs, understanding indexes, optimizing queries, and the applications of database replication.
Section 5: Drupal In The Cloud
This final section is considered a “bonus” in the first online edition of this book, because cloud computing is still very new and somewhat unproven. There is a significant amount of interest in the potential for scalability with cloud computing, so it is important to explore this topic in these final chapters, while acknowledging that this is a quickly changing landscape.
The book will focus on current versions of all discussed software. Thus, it will be focused on Drupal 6, the latest stable release of the Drupal CMS. When possible, we will also offer relevant previews of the upcoming Drupal 7 release.
Reader feedback about any given section of the book will be found by clicking the "talk" tab of the appropriate online page. As specific feedback is integrated into the book text, any no longer relevant feedback may be removed from the "talk" tab. Feedback may also be edited or moved for relevance and clarity.
The current outline may change as work on the book proceeds, with new topics being added, the structure being reordered, or existing topics being completely removed. Anyone interested in this effort is encouraged to provide feedback on the current structure, as the further along we get on this effort the less likely we are to make significant changes to the overall outline.
As the book continues to evolve and chapters are completed or reworked, I will post regular updates in my blog.
The book is being written online using Drupal 6, and the Drupal Book module. Comments have been placed on their own page using the Drupal Talk module. Work is underway to automatically generate PDF versions of the book for download and offload viewing. We are also currently reviewing methods for visually indicating the completeness and review status of each chapter.