It is critical for the WCMS to continue to be hosted on infrastructure that delivers fast performance with near-100% availability. Earlier in 2020, the University finalized an agreement with Pantheon to provide a managed Drupal hosting platform for all new WCMS 3 websites. Pantheon is one of the largest cloud-based Drupal PaaS hosting providers and delivers best-in-class performance and experience for developers, content maintainers, and site visitors.

Why Pantheon?

Answering the question "Why Pantheon?" perhaps needs to start with a quick explanation of what the concept of Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is first. PaaS is a model of computing where a development team essentially rents infrastructure from a vendor, who also actively manages and continuously develops that infrastructure. PaaS is one of the three service models of computing, along with Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-service (SaaS). To explain the differences between these models, we can make a quick transportation analogy.

Analogy of PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS to common transportation modes


On premise hosting is like owning your own car. You can drive yourself anywhere you want, but are responsible for all repairs and maintenance, and upgrading means buying a new car.

IaaS is like leasing a car. You can pick any car you want and drive it anywhere you want, but at the end of the day the car is never yours.

Paas is like taking a taxi. You tell the driver exactly where you want to go, and then sit back and enjoy the ride by yourself.

SaaS is like taking a bus. A bus has an assigned route and schedule, so you'll eventually get to where you want to go, but you will have to ride with other passengers along the way.

Pantheon's platform and services will ultimately allow the WCMS software development team to focus on continuous improvement of the core WCMS system. 

Features and benefits

Pantheon provides a compelling set of services for WCMS 3, including (but not limited to):

  • Managed Drupal core updates and security patches, freeing up WCMS development team time and resources
  • A global content delivery network (CDN) allowing for faster website performance, both domestically and around the world
  • Dynamic scaling of infrastructure resources, meaning your site will not go down as a result of large spikes in site traffic volume
  • Modern, fast workflows for faster WCMS upgrade releases

We are extremely excited to have Pantheon onboard as our new Drupal hosting partner.