Migrating a web development company from data centers to AWS
Learn how we performed a data-center-to-AWS migration and spread infrastructure across availability zones.
Chicago, IL USA
The challenge: running a data center
When it comes to design and development, this web development customer does some pretty amazing things. They have built their team of developers, content strategists, user interface and experience gurus and designers to continue to innovate in the marketing automation space.
They hosted all of their client’s Drupal sites and gigabytes of data served each month. That meant they needed to maintain their own local data center, redundant Internet connections and qualified staff to manage and operate both the data center and systems. Additionally, running a data center required costly, time-consuming upgrades to both servers and data center infrastructure.
Hosting these innovative solutions, however, was not in their core DNA. In fact, worrying about hosting was the last thing this growing firm wanted to focus on. Their goal, when they first contacted Deft, was to offload their hosting operations and eliminate their data center altogether. The lease on their office came up for renewal, providing the perfect opportunity for them to migrate to the cloud.
The solution: migrating to AWS
After learning about their business, listening to and understanding their particular pain points and their desire to move away from the traditional data center model, Deft was chosen as the right partner to lead the Cloud Migration and vendor selection process. We understood traditional data center operations and helped define a clear path from their current hosting platforms to a modern, cost-effective solution built on AWS.
Some of this web development company’s brightest developers and Deft’s most talented engineers converged on a conference room in the West Loop to start plotting the future of their Drupal hosting stack. What we came up with was extremely exciting.
Deft planned the cloud migration from their data center to a Managed AWS Cloud, spreading their infrastructure across Amazon availability zones to ensure redundancy and high-availability via AWS EC2, VPC, S3, SES, and RDS. Deft also provides Managed Services to monitor and support their AWS infrastructure 24×7.
In addition to deploying tools and resources that allow them to focus more on their core offering, Deft is excited about the security and scalability built in to this new hosting platform. Multidimensional scaling, client segregation, and an unwavering commitment to security are some of the things that both teams are excited about.
A well-architected hosting environment is no longer a pipe dream or a nice to have. As sites randomly come under attack and the general ebb and flow of traffic marches on, it is important to focus on how best to deal with these scenarios. These topics may be behind-the-scenes for many companies, but they are forefront to Deft. Intelligent design allows us to navigate the minefield that is hosting.
That first move to the cloud was a success and stood as a rock-solid example of what the cloud, Deft, and AWS have to offer. Since then, the relationship between Deft and this web development company has evolved — often resembling much more a partnership between complementary firms than a traditional client/vendor relationship.
The business benefits: developing more, managing less
The web development company’s IT staff were familiar with managing a legacy data center, but did not have deep experience with running high-volume Drupal sites in the cloud. They needed to bridge the talent gap with a cloud service provider capable of flexing to their changing needs.
Deft was that expert, and we chose AWS for its ease of integration, cost effectiveness, and ability to launch within days.
Completing the AWS migration before they moved to their new office meant that the move was simple and easy.
The environment Deft built is completely customized to their workflow, using both off-the-shelf solutions and building custom tools to ease development and deployment processes. This lets their team develop more and manage their environment less. (We’re pretty sure the industry calls this DevOps, but we prefer to think of it as smart business.)
By replacing their data center footprint with Deft’s end-to-end solution for transitioning to the cloud, the web development company has:
- gained agility and flexibility through AWS and Deft
- reduced operating costs by 25%
- improved performance by over 50% for clients
By eliminating the need for technical data center staff and engineers, their team can stay focused on what they do best rather than managing servers and data center infrastructure.