configuration management

Using BLT with Config Split outside Acquia Cloud or Pantheon Hosting

I am currently building a Drupal 8 application which is running outside Acquia Cloud, and I noticed there are a few 'magic' settings I'm used to working on Acquia Cloud which don't work if you aren't inside an Acquia or Pantheon environment; most notably, the automatic Configuration Split settings choice (for environments like local, dev, and prod) don't work if you're in a custom hosting environment.

You have to basically reset the settings BLT provides, and tell Drupal which config split should be active based on your own logic. In my case, I have a site which only has a local, ci, and prod environment. To override the settings defined in BLT's included config.settings.php file, I created a config.settings.php file in my site in the path docroot/sites/settings/config.settings.php, and I put in the following contents:

Adding Configuration Split to a Drupal site using BLT and Acquia Cloud

Note: As of Config Split beta4, you no longer need to use drush csex/csim to export and import config accounting for splits. You instead install both Config Filter and Config Split, then use the normal Drush commands (drush cex/cim). There are also a few other tweaks to the guide below; I may update it when I get more time.

I've been looking at a ton of different solutions to using Drupal 8's Configuration Management in a way that meets the following criteria:

YAML formatting and Drupal 8 - making things readable

As someone who loves YAML syntax (so much more pleasant to work with than JSON!), I wanted to jot down a few notes about syntax formatting for the benefit of Drupal 8 developers everywhere.

I often see copy/pasted YAML examples like the following:

object:
  child-object: {key: value, key2: {key: value}}

This is perfectly valid YAML. And technically any JSON is valid YAML too. That's part of what makes YAML so powerful—it's easy to translate between JSON and YAML, but YAML is way more readable!

So instead of using YAML like that, you can make the structure and relationships so much more apparent by formatting it like so:

DevOps, Server Deployment and Configuration Management

For the past few years, as the number of servers I manage has increased from a few to many, and the services I operate have required more flexibility in terms of adding and removing similarly-configured servers for different purposes, I've been testing different deployment and configuration management tools.

Many developers who are also sysadmins have progressed much the same way as I have, beginning by building everything by hand without documenting the process, then documenting the build with text files, and ultimately scripting builds with bash scripts. However, none of these techniques allow fast provisioning, continuous configuration management, or the flexibility required to make constantly-evolving applications adapt to the requirements of the day.

In recent years, 'DevOps' (better integration of development and operations) has become a hot buzzword and mantra of companies espousing agile development methodologies.

A Very Brief (and woefully inadequate) Philosophy of DevOps

Devops - fire meme
Source: DevOps.com

Servers, like instances of applications, should be managed via version-controlled configuration, and should be disposable (a common war cry: Trash Your Servers and Burn Your Code. If a server blows up, or if another few application servers are needed, they should be able to be provisioned or decommissioned in minutes, not hours (much less days or weeks!), and should be able to be provisioned and decommissioned automatically, without human intervention.

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