Drupal in the cloud: Duo Consulting


Duo Consulting

Benefits of ServerCentral’s  Solution

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

About Duo Consulting

Digital Agency/Marketing
Chicago, IL USA

Established in 1999, Duo Consulting is one of Chicago’s most notable digital agencies. In business for over 20 years, Duo has evolved with its industry – from basic document and web content management to providing cutting edge marketing automation solutions today. A cornerstone of their offering is as a premier agency for the development of best-in-class Drupal sites and solutions. We here at Turing Group think their work is pretty great and we are happy to partner with them to provide innovative hosting and infrastructure solutions whenever we have the opportunity.

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 datacenter, redundant Internet connections and qualified staff to manage and operate both the datacenter and systems. Additionally, running a datacenter required costly, time-consuming upgrades to both servers and datacenter 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 Turing Group, was to offload their hosting operations and eliminate their datacenter 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 datacenter model, Turing Group was chosen as the right partner to lead the cloud migration and vendor selection process. We understood traditional datacenter 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 devs and Turing Group’s most talented engineers converged on a conference room in the West Loop to start plotting the future of Duo’s Drupal hosting stack and what we came up with was extremely exciting.

Turing Group planned the migration of Duo’s datacenter to Amazon’s AWS cloud infrastructure, spreading Duo’s infrastructure across Amazon availability zones to ensure redundancy and high-availability, utilizing AWS EC2, VPC, S3, SES, RDS. Turing Group 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, Turing Group is excited about the security and scalability built in to this new hosting platform. We are not so sure Duo really cares about this (they just expect it to work) but multidimensional scaling, client segregation and an unwavering commitment to security are some of the things that really get us going here!

In all seriousness, though, 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 Turing Group and 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, Turing Group and AWS had to offer. Since then, the relationship between Turing Group and Duo evolved – often resembling much more a partnership between complimentary firms than a traditional client/vendor relationship.

The business benefits

Because Duo is a creative digital design agency, they did not have qualified IT staff with deep experience and knowledge of running high volume Drupal sites in the Cloud. The engineers they did have were only familiar with managing a legacy datacenter. Duo needed a team of experts to bridge this gap in talent, and a cloud service provider capable of scaling and flexing to Duo’s changing needs. Turing Group were those experts, and after a comprehensive search for an accomplished cloud vendor, AWS became the cloud provider 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 the move was simple and easy.

The environment Turing Group built is completely customized to Duo’s workflow, using off-the-shelf solutions and building custom tools to ease the development and deployment processes. This will allow Duo resources to develop more and manage their environment less. We are pretty sure our industry would call this DevOps. That sounds fine to us but we prefer to think of it as smart business.

By replacing its datacenter foot print with Turing Group’s end-to-end solution for transitioning to the cloud, Duo has:

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

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