Improving the speed and security of a local government Drupal 9 website with AWS CloudFront
Headquartered in Northallerton, North Yorkshire County Council is the county council governing the non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire in England. They came to us for help with hosting their (now) Drupal 9 website.
Over the past couple of years, we advised any clients using a certain provider (who we won’t name here) to arrange alternative providers for their web application firewall software.
The reasons for this were various but largely rooted in the fact that there was some serious service degradation over a period of time.
Instead (amongst other options) we recommended a move to AWS CloudFront.
CloudFront is a tried-and-tested solution that, primarily, acts as a Content Delivery Network for a website. However, it also offers some measure of DDoS protection automatically.
It integrates seamlessly with everything else at AWS, which makes it our preferred solution. As AWS Select Partners with certified solutions architects, we’re pleased to offer our expertise to get the best solution for North Yorkshire County Council.
CloudFront pricing works on a sliding scale, based on how much bandwidth is needed and how many requests are made. It's usually affordable, but figuring out an estimated price was easy enough by exporting usage data from the previous.
Following a meeting with the head of technology solutions, NYCC were on board with making a move and happy to make it ASAP.
Sticking to the budget
As we’re well aware, budgets are often a sensitive issue for local government bodies, and NYCC was no different.
For around the same cost per month, NYCC switched to CloudFront, which is not only more than the other supplier but more reliable and it includes Amazon Shield Standard for Layer 4 DDoS protection.
To make things easier, we also waived the cost of CloudFront set up. This isn’t something we typically do as standard, but we’ll always try to be flexible where possible to get the best solution for the requirement, close to the budget allocated for it.
After a very smooth testing process and no downtime or concurrency issues, while DNS propagated, NYCC was all set up in their new environment.