Duo Consulting

Learn how we performed a data-center-to-AWS Cloud Migration and spread their infrastructure across availability zones.

Duo Consulting

Established in 1999, Duo Consulting is a premier agency for the development of best-in-class Drupal sites and solutions.

 

INDUSTRY
Digital Agency/Marketing
LOCATION
Chicago, IL USA

The challenge

When it comes to design and development, Duo 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.

Duo 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. Duo’s goal, when they first contacted SCTG, was to offload their hosting operations and eliminate their data center altogether. The lease on Duo’s office came up for renewal, providing the perfect opportunity for Duo to migrate to the cloud.

The solution

After learning about Duo’s business, listening to and understanding their particular pain points and their desire to move away from the traditional data center model, SCTG 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 Duo’s brightest developers and SCTG’s most talented engineers converged on a conference room in the West Loop to start plotting the future of Duo’s Drupal hosting stack. What we came up with was extremely exciting.

SCTG planned the cloud migration from Duo’s data center to a Managed AWS Cloud, spreading Duo’s infrastructure across Amazon availability zones to ensure redundancy and high-availability via AWS EC2, VPC, S3, SES, and RDS. SCTG also provides Managed Services to monitor and support Duo’s AWS infrastructure 24×7.

In addition to deploying tools and resources that allow Duo to focus more on their core offering, SCTG 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 pipedream 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 to companies like Duo, but they are forefront to SCTG. 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, SCTG, and AWS have to offer. Since then, the relationship between SCTG and Duo has evolved — often resembling much more a partnership between complementary firms than a traditional client/vendor relationship.

 

The business benefits

Duo’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. Duo needed to bridge the talent gap with a cloud service provider capable of flexing to Duo’s changing needs.

SCTG 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 Duo moved to their new office meant that the move was simple and easy.

The environment SCTG built is completely customized to Duo’s workflow, using both off-the-shelf solutions and building custom tools to ease development and deployment processes. This lets the Duo 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 its data center footprint with SCTG’s end-to-end solution for transitioning to the cloud, Duo has:

  • gained agility and flexibility through AWS and SCTG
  • reduced operating costs by 25%
  • improved performance by over 50% for its clients

By eliminating the need for technical data center staff and engineers, Duo’s team can stay focused on what they do best rather than managing servers and data center infrastructure.

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