Magnolia 4.5 reached end of life on June 30, 2016. This branch is no longer supported, see End-of-life policy.
Magnolia is distributed as two web-applications, one acting as the authoring instance and the other as the public environment. Keeping the author application inside your firewall ensures better security. In a typical deployment you have at least two public instances but can have many more. The multiple instance model also allows clustering configurations.
Author instance is where editors work. This instance typically resides in a secure location behind a corporate firewall, inaccessible from the Internet. The author instance publishes content to public instances. Public instance receives the content and serves it to visitors on the Web. The public instance resides in a publicly reachable location. You can have more than one public instance, serving the same or different content.
Each instance functions as an independent application but technically they are the same. An author instance can be configured to function as a public instance and vice versa. The differences are small adaptations in configuration and security. Security for the public instances is usually managed separately.
You can manage multiple sites from the same author instance. Each public instance can serve content targeted for a specific geographical area. For example, one instance serves visitors from Europe and another visitors from the U.S.
Magnolia multisite feature provides granularity for content control on multi-language and multi-domain installations. Administrators have the option to direct editors to the author instance through a specific domain. Editors edit only the part of the content structure that resides at the specified domain. To ensure a consistent browsing experience, URLs are adapted to always reflect the domain. You can also configure multiple domains to access the same instance.
Magnolia allows for flexibility in placing secure and sensitive application instances. The diagram below illustrates a possible placement strategy where an extranet public instance resides outside the firewall but an intranet instance is inside. More advanced configurations can be built to place intranet and extranet instances inside a firewall, for example.
A distributed instance setup allows you to respond to high availability requirements and sudden increases in traffic. Each of the following problem scenarios can be addressed by adding a new public instance to serve the same content, helping existing instances deal with the load.
Magnolia configurations range from a minimal one-machine setup to a standard three-instance production setup and beyond.