Wesley Niels
Wesley Niels
Head of DevOps
Amsterdam

Engineering

Always available and always secure: multi-region cloud platforms and SaaS cloud protection

Speed and security might just be the two most important pillars when it comes to web applications. Creating a safe user environment, making sure websites don’t go down, and keeping loading times short and snappy – all highly important but ensuring the best possible results for these points can be tedious. Think of manually updating SSL on multiple websites, or facilitating multi-region hosting; both crucial for optimal performance, but very time consuming. However, if there’s anything that the digital revolution does best, it’s constant innovation. Learn more about the latest solutions for optimal digital performance: SaaS-based Website/Application security and multi-region cloud services.

The basics and perks of Cloudflare

Firstly, let’s take a look at the Cloudflare basics and the importance of this software. Cloudflare has one of the world’s largest networks making it easy to create an online architecture that ensures faster, more secure websites and apps. It does so by using Multi-Region hosting, creating a seamless experience. It also actively protects from DDoS attacks (artificially pinging the website so often it crashes due to the large number of loads) and aids in SSL verification and further protection from attacks and hackers. And don’t forget Content Delivery Networking (CDN), which ensures that servers are geographically distributed to ensure high-speed delivery of content by bringing it closer to where users actually are.

The nitty-gritty on multi-region Azure WebApp setups

Azure enables multi-region web applications. But what is a multi-region web app exactly?
Think of it as spreading your odds by creating multiple pools with a single primary origin. For example, the primary source can be a website. The multiple pools are the servers located in several locations. Website users are hosted on the server located closest to them. However, if a server fails due to DDoS-ing or other security breaches this won’t impact the user experience. The user will simply be routed via another server, ensuring an uninterrupted experience.

Automating the creation of a secure environment

Along with multi-region hosting, Cloudflare also aids in the securing of web pages and online applications. As explained before, due to the multi-region approach websites are left less open to DDoS attacks, thus securing the web app. Additionally, Cloudflare can help out with the implementation of SSL and can do so in bulk, saving time and money. But why is this so important? SSL for SaaS certificates must be renewed every single year to keep the website secure. Not only does it play a major role in security, but it also exudes a level of trustworthiness towards users and will boost your SEO. All in all, it’s user-friendly and will save money in the long run.

Facilitating the approach in action

This bulk implementation was seen in action during our recent collaboration with our client, BPD. As one of our country’s largest developers, BPD has over a thousand different websites, one for each of their projects – all of which DEPT® manages. All of these websites need an SSL certificate, a process that can get extremely tedious due to the manual nature. However, DEPT® facilitated the jump from Imperva to Cloudflare. With Imperva, BPD needed to create a list of websites that needed to be secured. Imperva would then request the certificate and manually install it. By switching to Cloudflare, the SSL certificates for thousands of websites could be uploaded within 10 minutes – a move that had previously never been made. Automation at its best.

Never a down moment

However, that isn’t the only issue that BPD was facing. With that many websites, upkeep, scalability and local servers were more important than ever. By using Cloudflare and their Multi-regional opportunities, the hosting for all BPD’s websites was spread out over servers in multiple countries, creating a more secure platform for the websites, lowering downtime, and ensuring seamless user experiences.  

The final verdict

Never ever has DEPT® engaged in an implementation of this scale. With BPD’s thousands of websites (as every single project of theirs has its own website), the largest challenge was getting to grips with the scale of it all. However, due to the implementation of Cloudflare, we were able to carry out all necessary security measures and upgrade to multi-regional hosting.
All in all, the updates improved user-friendliness, expanded options, and created a more streamlined environment – a prime example of the importance of multi-region cloud platforms and their facilitation of SaaS cloud protection.

“By setting up our new infrastructure and migrating all our domains to CloudFlare, DEPT® was able to provide us with a tailored product and applicable process for our platform, to suit all our needs. Within this project the DevOps team made sure to align with the other teams, who were simultaneously working on the migration of all websites to Umbraco 8. The team was also very quick to respond to any last-minute changes. Due to their knowledge and pro-active client-oriented approach, we have received a future-proof platform which has exceeded our expectations and has already improved multiple internal business processes. We are very thankful for and very pleased with both the collaboration and the final product.”
 
Jessika Emmanuel (Tactical & Operational Project Manager)

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Head of DevOps

Wesley Niels

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