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1. Technical Overview

Written by Ronnie Burt | Last updated: March 21, 2017

WPMU DEV has carefully selected Amazon Web Services (aws.amazon.com) for hosting data centers to physically house the servers that we use. WPMU DEV staff remotely manage and maintain the servers and applications in these data centers.

1.1 Datacenters & Hosting Regions

Link to chapter 1

In order to comply with local legal and privacy requirements, each customer can choose to be fully hosted in any of Amazon’s AWS locations, including:

  • US East (Northern Virginia) Region
  • US West (Northern California) Region
  • Canada (Central)
  • Europe (London) Region
  • Europe (Frankfurt) Region
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region

WPMU DEV, and our customers, are able to leverage certifications and security assurances of AWS as it relates to physical security. More on compliance and certifications can be found at aws.amazon.com/compliance.

All data centers include the highest levels of 24/7/365 on-site security, regulated climate control, redundant power, automated off-site backups, and industry-leading network infrastructure.

1.2 Infrastructure and Architecture

Link to chapter 2

Our fully managed networks include multiple web, database, mail, and load balancing servers. We’re generally able to add, replace, and do maintenance on hardware without impacting performance or needing scheduled downtime.

We only host WordPress Multisite, and are fine-tuned to support it, including Apache web servers with PHP, NGINX for load balancing, and MYSQL databases.
Customer Segregation

We use Docker containers with Ansible to isolate each WordPress install from each other, while still allowing each site to benefit from the scalability that comes with our infrastructure. Customers that have the need can include fully dedicated private cloud cluster for additional costs. Customer code base is separated in unique Bitbucket repositories.

File Storage

All images, documents, and other user files are uploaded securely to Amazon S3 so that they are able to be served at much faster speeds using Amazon’s vast cloud network.

Cache and Traffic Spikes

All text content on the public side is cached automatically so that no matter how many visitors your site gets, speeds stay fast. We handle billions of pageviews each year, and are confident we can handle the largest of any sudden traffic spikes.

SSL & HTTPS

We encourage enabling https/SSL protection for all logged in user activity. Customers can provide SSL certs or we can obtain certs via Let’s Encrypt.

1.3 Backups & Disaster Recovery

Link to chapter 3

Networks are hosted on a cluster of multiple web and database servers for built-in replication, load balancing and redundancy. Nightly database backups are encrypted and then stored with Amazon S3. Backups are kept for at least 7 days and no more than 30 days. Backups are verified and full restores are tested on a bi-weekly basis.

Restore times depend on the size of the WordPress network and the cause of the disaster, but full backup recovery should take no more than 24 hours.

1.4 Performance Monitoring

Link to chapter 4

We use a variety of tools to automatically monitor performance and reliability of the service, including Munin, Nagios, StatsD/Graphite, Pingdom, and New Relic.

All services are set to send automated alerts to our support and systems teams, which are monitored and handled 24/7. These tools also provide us with a wealth of information and data so that our team can constantly work to improve performance and efficiency in our service.

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