[Web4lib] Drupal on a Windows server?

Houghton, Sarah houghton at plsinfo.org
Fri Aug 4 20:27:51 EDT 2006

I think the crux of the issue is that many of us are in, or at least perceive that we are in, a situation where we have what we have server-wise, and that's it.  It is what it is, for better or worse, but we don't have the power to get something different.  Whether it's because you're hosted by your university, state, city, county, consortium, or other peripheral larger agency--it doesn't matter.  You're using them to host because that's just how it's always been done.  
We all had these larger agencies hosting for us because years ago we didn't have the staff or money to host ourselves, and the wealth of (often cheaper) outsourced options didn't exist as they do today.  Now things have changed.  The world has moved on without us, and many of the agencies we're using to host for us have fallen behind the times and then some.   If the agency can't give the library what it wants on its servers, then the library should look elsewhere.  
That's when the fun begins.  The political ramifications of doing so, even if it's clear that what the library needs cannot be provided by the agency, are often significant and not something the directors want to pursue.  One has to make the argument that the end-user service ramifications outweigh the tip-toeing political ramifications.  That's why I asked, in our big discussion last week about system ability and library needs, for ways to convince one's director that the leap to outsourced hosting is a leap worth making.  It's an argument many of us in smaller libraries have had to make, or will have to make soon.  And it's a hard one--it's difficult to argue rationally with "we're part of this 'family' and we don't want to make enemies."  That's the response I got in the last library I worked in where this was an issue.  It's not a response one can combat with logic.

Sarah Houghton


From: web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org on behalf of K.G. Schneider
Sent: Fri 8/4/2006 10:45 AM
To: web4lib at webjunction.org
Subject: RE: [Web4lib] Drupal on a Windows server?

> The server is what it is.  Why they have chosen IIS, I don't know.  I'm
> trying to gauge whether or not what they're providing us with is able to
> handle what we need as we move to Drupal.  If not, then we'd need to
> outsource our hosting.
> Sarah Houghton

We had a good discussion last week about matching system capabilities to
library needs. Since that time, one librarian wrote me to ask if they
couldn't do XYZ at their library, did that mean they needed a different
host? Well, I said, maybe...

I know Sarah well enough to anticipate her response to this, but the
question really goes beyond Drupal: the question is does this network
operating environment--not just its OS but its access controls,
installations, management, bandwidth, disk space, support, etc.--have what
Sarah's place needs for the, shall we say, implementable future. That might
include extensions to Drupal, wiki and blogging software, and who knows what
else, all combined with increased demands on disk space and bandwidth, and
possibly on support. For example, does this mean the consortium will now
have to install and maintain PHP and MySQL, and are they willing/able to do
so? Or do they already have these available?

This is neither a pro- or anti-Windows post; it's a comment about matching
services with needs. It could well be that the shortest, easiest, most
cost-effective path to Sarah's library's needs is off-site hosting... or it
could be that the consortium is a good match... but her technology plan and
its objectives will (with luck) drive that decision. It could also flow
back, influencing decisions at her consortium, for that matter. My guess is
this is not the first time this question has come up in this network (in
fact, I know it's not).

Karen G. Schneider
kgs at bluehighways.com

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