Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world. For more information on Drupal, please see the official site at:


BO: Som Seng
PO: Jennifer Hernandez
TO: Phil Saulnier
SM: Jennifer Hernandez
Others: Kevin O'Brien & Patrick Masson


UMassOnline had been using a homegrown CMS/CRM that was built using ColdFusion since 2001. There were many hacks and customizations which made support, maintenance and upgrades very difficult and time consuming. In addition, the data center that supported the environment was facing a lack of support, which meant that while we could support the application, the physical servers have no disaster recovery. In summer of 2012, UMassOnline Marketing and Technology Teams began developing a plan to move away from the homegrown system to a more robust Web Content Management System.    


Drupal is currently being used as the Web Content Management System for At this time, the site is currently using Coldfusion and is still hosted at 474 Main Street data center. The login pages should be moved to Blackboard by Fall 2013. 





Login Pages:  ( still hosted on CF7 at Main St, pending move to Learn hosted pages )


UMass Amherst Drupal Group
Drupal in Higher Ed


As an open source platform there are no licensing fees, however the development, deployment and support of Drupal does include other expenses.


UMOL is currently hosting Drupal through Amazon Web Services.

Environment and Technical Specifications

Environments are hosted on Amazon EC2

Configuration (shared across environments)

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Drupal 7
  • MySQL 5
  • PHP 5

 Current Instance Use (subject to change)

  • Development
    1.70 GB memory, 32/64-bit, 2 units, Moderate I/O, 10 GB EBS storage

  • Staging
    3.75 GB memory, 32/64-bit, 2 units, Moderate I/O, 10 GB EBS storage

  • Production
  • m3.xlarge
    15 GB memory, 64-bit, 13 units, Moderate I/O, 10 GB EBS storage, Reverse HTTP proxy front-end caching


If you are experiencing issues wit Drupal, please create an issue in JIRA. You can also email (this email will automatically create an issue in JIRA).

Business Continuity Strategy

In the event of an emergency, UMassOnline is prepared to restore backups of our system - both database and system.

For more information, see Disaster Recovery below.

For Escalation information, see here.


UMassOnline has put together documentation outlining training for use on the development site. That information can be found in the Knowledgebase.  

Disaster Recovery

  1. A complete backup of the Production MySQL database is taken every day at 4:45AM.  The backup file is stored on the Production web server in case a restore is needed.
  2. A snapshot of the Production web server is taken every day at Midnight.  The job that runs in order to take the snapshot lives on the API server.  If a restore is needed, this snapshot can be used to launch one or more web servers at any time into any region.

Current Status



1 Comment

  1. Phil Saulnier can you please fill in the DR info (storage for daily db backups and link to process that outlines the steps in case of disaster)?