Discourse hosting for staging environments

I work on a Rails app that currently runs Discourse with a custom plugin. The plugin was created and set up by an external contractor. My team now wants a way to mimic our production setup for each of our staging environments, and we’re pretty confused about where to start.

We want to either host the staging versions of Discourse on AWS or Heroku (preferably Heroku, because they make deploying simpler). None of us are particularly familiar with Docker so we would prefer not to use that.

We don’t know what our current setup is, because we did not set it up. I contacted the Discourse team directly and they pointed me here for help. Not really sure who to ask, but can anyone assist me?

Not Heroku. It’s probably possible to make it work, but it wouldn’t be the supported configuration, and since your production setup probably is hopefully using the supported configuration, it wouldn’t be a proper mimic.

It would probably be best to use the 5$/mo DigitalOcean setup. It’s cheaper than AWS, and it would match production more closely than the frankenstein setup you’d end up with getting Discourse to run on Heroku.


How can I find out what my current production configuration is?

Who’s paying the bills for it?

My company, but none of us did the setup

You should talk to whoever did the initial setup, to either get on-going support, or a handover document with full details of the environment. If you didn’t get any sort of handover from whoever did the setup, then they’ve left you in the lurch, and you’re in a bit of a pickle. All infrastructure needs a certain amount of maintenance, and if you don’t know anything about the environment you’re running in, you don’t have any way to perform that maintenance.


Then you’d be on your own, as the standard docker install is all that’s supported here. Unless you have already figured out a way that you think is easier to install Discourse, you almost certainly do prefer to use Docker.

Can you get root access to the server? That’d be the first step.

If you can’t do that, then you can look at /admin/plugins to see what plugins are installed (but not where it came from, so hopefully the person who set it up will tell you). Then just back the server up and restore the backup to the new server.

Like @mpalmer said, your best bet is to get the guy who set it up to help you out. If that’s not an option for some reason, then I might be able to help, Discourse installation and support is a big part of what I do. You can contact me via my site or the email address in my profile.


Who does your company send the monthly bill to?

Thanks for the help. I’ll do some more digging to see if anyone on my team has any info they’re not sharing…and then I’ll reach out if I need more assistance.