Five Reasons to Consider Serverless AWS Hosting for Drupal

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For a Drupal-powered website, the choice of hosting service provider can significantly impact performance and, ultimately, business value. Finding the right hosting provider is essential, much like building a strong foundation for a house. Cloud hosting, specifically, provides flexibility and other benefits to ensure your site stands out in the digital landscape. When supported by a robust server infrastructure like Amazon Web Services (AWS), an advanced content management system (CMS) like Drupal can accelerate website performance, enhance security and ensure availability.
But why use AWS for cloud hosting, and what sets it apart from other hosting providers? This blog post will explore a few of the key reasons why AWS is one of the best cloud hosting solutions for your Drupal websites.

 

Key considerations for Drupal website hosts

When considering and evaluating potential hosting providers for regular or headless Drupal websites, keep the following points in mind.
Better server infrastructure
A hosting provider that specializes in Drupal cloud hosting should offer a server infrastructure that is specifically optimized for running Drupal websites.
Better speed
The right hosting provider can ensure Drupal sites run faster, and it will have the ability to use caching tools such as Memcached and Varnish.
Better support
The right provider should offer exceptional hosting support with deep experience in the specifics of running a Drupal site.
Better security and compatibility
Your hosting provider should be able to provide security notifications, server-wide security patches and even pre-emptive server upgrades to handle nuances in current and future Drupal versions.

 

Why not use a traditional server hosting method?

There are two ways of hosting Drupal websites via traditional server setups:
  1. A shared hosting server, where multiple websites run on the same server, or
  2. A dedicated Virtual Private Server (VPS) assigned to each site.

 

However, there are disadvantages to this traditional approach, including:
  • With numerous non-redundant single-instance services running on the same server, there is a risk that if any component crashes, the entire site could go offline.
  • The server can’t scale up or down automatically, so it requires manual intervention to make changes to the hardware configuration, which may cause the server to crash from unexpected traffic boosts.
  • The setup constantly runs at full power, irrespective of usage, wasting resources.

 

Hosting Drupal on Serverless AWS

Amazon Web Services is a pioneer in the cloud hosting industry, providing a hi-tech, scalable and secure infrastructure for a variety of different websites.
With serverless computing, developers can focus on their core product instead of worrying about managing and operating servers or runtimes, either in the cloud or on-premises. It also eliminates infrastructure management tasks such as server or cluster provisioning, patching, operating system maintenance and capacity provisioning. It enables site owners to build and work with modern applications with increased agility and a lower total cost of ownership.
Let’s explore some of the key AWS components in the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), each of which provides value and demonstrates why AWS is an optimal choice for hosting pure or headless websites.

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  • NAT gateways protection
    Network Address Translation (NAT) gateways enable a private subnet to connect to the internet or other AWS services. With this system, the content in the private subnet is not exposed via the Internet gateway. Instead, all web traffic is routed via the NAT gateway, ensuring the site will remain up and running because AWS is overseeing the site’s maintenance.
  • Bastion hosting security
    Bastion hosts protect the website by restricting access to backend systems in protected network segments, thereby minimizing the chances of security attacks.
  • AWS Aurora scalability
    The Amazon Aurora database provides reliability and scalability, better performance and faster response times. With fast failover capabilities and storage durability, it also minimizes technical obstacles.
  • Amazon S3 storage
    With Amazon S3, site owners can store, retrieve and protect their data in a scalable repository. This way, any lost data can be easily recovered, owners can pay for the storage they actually use, data is protected from unauthorized use and can be quickly uploaded or downloaded with SSL encryption.
  • AWS ElastiCache manageability
    ElastiCache is a web service that makes it easy to set up, manage and scale distributed data storage in the cloud.
  • AWS CloudFront caching
    CloudFront is an AWS content delivery network providing a globally distributed network of proxy servers that cache content locally to consumers, improving access speeds for downloading content.
  • Amazon EC2 web servers
    Amazon EC2 is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.
  • Amazon Route 53 connections
    Amazon Route 53 effectively connects user requests to infrastructure running in AWS, and can also be used to route users to infrastructure outside of AWS.

 

Benefits of Hosting Drupal Website on AWS

There are several advantages to hosting pure or headless Drupal websites on AWS. Let’s consider a few key benefits.
 
High performance hosting environment
The kind of performance Drupal site owners and managers demand from their site host depends upon the type of website they are using. A simple website with a decent amount of traffic can work well on a limited, shared hosting platform. However, for a more complex interactive Drupal site, a typical shared hosting solution might not be feasible.  AWS allows complex site owners to have their own dedicated servers and be billed only for what they use.

 

Improved server environment access
Shared hosting environments restrict the number of users and put limits on their ability to change configurations for Apache or PHP. There could also be caps on bandwidth and file storage, which are only removed when owners upgrade to advanced level access and hosting services.
Conversely, AWS gives site owners direct control over their server instances, with the ability to use to SSH or its interface control panel to adjust settings.

 

Better infrastructure control
Infrastructure needs often change over time. Adding or removing hosting resources as your site scales may prove difficult, if not impossible, with other hosts and often requires additional cost for the unused resources.
However, AWS allows its users to only pay for the services they use, as well as providing the ability to scale down site resources when the are not needed.

 

Scale up or down quickly
The convenience of AWS on-demand instances means that users can launch a new server in a matter of minutes and shut it down (without any further financial cost) just as quickly, thereby avoiding additional costs for short-term projects.

 

No hardware maintenance
One advantage of using virtual resources is not having to buy and maintain physical hardware in a data center.  Using virtually hosted servers with AWS allows site owners to concentrate on their core competency: creating Drupal websites. It frees them up from the hassles of managing data center operations.

 

Why choose Material?

Because we are proven AWS and Drupal experts. Our team of AWS professionals can help you migrate your website to AWS cloud. And with our expertise in Drupal-optimized hosting on AWS, we deliver reliable enterprise-level solutions optimized and tailored to your needs. Get in touch for an expert consultation to learn how our team can help you unlock the benefits of AWS cloud hosting for Drupal.