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For a variety of reasons, we have been asked to look at hosting CraftCMS and our websites on-premises, which I gather is somewhat rare. As the infrastructure guy, I have some basic design questions I cannot find the answers to.

The situation is that we will have 6 different websites.

  1. Can I host 1 instance of CraftCMS with 6 "projects", and deploy to standalone web servers running Apache? Or does a full CraftCMS instance need to be installed on every web server? I'm thinking it is the latter. If it is, can I install multiple instances of CraftCMS on a single server?

  2. I know I can separate out the database component. Can I host 1 instance of MySQL (or Postgres) for all 6 projects, or does each project need its own database instance?

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    If you don't receive the info you want here, I would highly recommend trying the Craft support team. They're highly knowledgable and are interested in unique use cases. As a reminder, Stack Overflow is community managed. I hope you get helpful answers either way! Cheers, ModStaff
    – cherrykoda
    Commented Jan 4 at 6:06

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Can I host 1 instance of CraftCMS with 6 "projects", and deploy to standalone web servers running Apache?

You can run multiple different projects on one Craft CMS instance, this is supported by the Multisite feature. Keep in mind that a Craft licence only covers a single website, so if you those projects are completely separate websites, you may need multiple licences.

You can deploy a single project to multiple web servers, and connect all to the same database. In this case, you may need load balancing, or just point different domains to different servers. Check out the support article on load balancing for details.

Or does a full CraftCMS instance need to be installed on every web server?

How you would run Craft CMS without installing it? You can use a reverse proxy for load balancing, but then all your traffic will be handled only by the servers that have Craft installed.

You can put something like Cloudflare in front of your domain, or a server that is configured to serve statically cached pages and use a reverse proxy as a fallback. There are a ton of options, not sure what you want to achieve here.

If it is, can I install multiple instances of CraftCMS on a single server?

Yes, you can install multiple instances of Craft on a single server.

I know I can separate out the database component. Can I host 1 instance of MySQL (or Postgres) for all 6 projects, or does each project need its own database instance?

Yes. If you have a multisite, you only need one database. If you have multiple Craft installations, you can still use a single database. Set a tablePrefix, so every installation will prefix their tables with a separate prefix. This way, they don't interfere with each other. I wouldn't recommend that, though.

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