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It’s a challenge familiar to any longstanding business with an IT department: how to transition from their current physical, data center-based hardware infrastructure to the next-generation — implemented and maintained in the cloud.
Auto Trader — the largest automobile classifieds service in the United Kingdom and Ireland — recently decided it was time to make that crucial migration. The company’s site offers an array of services, including key information on vehicle valuation and seller reputation. It also hosts over 3,000 custom websites for local dealerships across the UK, who rely on Auto Trader to maintain their online presence.
All told, Auto Trader sees over 55 million visits to its platform every month. With over 10 million transactions completed annually and £330 million in revenue, in addition to the thousands of dealerships relying on its platform — this migration to the cloud was an undertaking with high stakes and little margin for error.
As it looked to switch these mission-critical services to Cloudflare, Auto Trader’s stack consisted of multiple differing technologies which included: PowerDNS (on-premises DNS), Verisign DNS (key external domains), Arbor (DDoS defence), and F5 (load balancing / WAF).
Utilising a variety of different products had downsides including a lack of API access or support for automation, necessitating workarounds and repetitive work. This increased complexity which made tasks more difficult than required — and Auto Trader had to buy each individual product for their specific use case.
Auto Trader Systems Engineer Mark Bell adds: “We wanted something that would combine all of our DNS, performance, and security needs into a single unified interface”.
With Cloudflare, all of these products are included in the same service, managed from a single integrated dashboard. That translates to major savings in overhead — no more hardware to maintain — and a user experience that’s vastly easier to navigate.
Cloudflare was one of several options Auto Trader considered: “We believe in performing as much due diligence as possible and as part of this we looked at the various offerings available in the marketplace,” Bell says. And after extensive research and internal discussion, there was a clear winner.
Auto Trader was also drawn to Cloudflare’s flexibility, with extensive API support for automation tasks and the Cloudflare Workers platform to build out custom functionality. It also was keen to take advantage of the extensive cost savings afforded by the switch.
Along with the convenience of a cloud-based solution, Auto Trader has seen marked improvements in performance: its previous DNS provider Verisign averaged 20-25ms of latency — with Cloudflare, that’s fallen to just 10-13ms — an improvement of 50%.
Security has also been a vital component to Auto Trader's migration, which leverages Cloudflare's WAF — powered by the collective intelligence of the 16 million Internet properties on Cloudflare's network — to defend against hostile actors.
By migrating from its on-premises infrastructure to Cloudflare, Auto Trader has been able to accelerate its site performance, thwart hostile actors, and improve the operational efficiency of its team. That's a huge win for any company, and Cloudflare is proud to be a part of their cloud migration.
You can learn more about Cloudflare's suite of security and performance products here.
• Migrated from on-premises, legacy infrastructure to Cloudflare's integrated performance & security
• Detected and blocked bombardment of malicious attacks by enabling Cloudflare's WAF
• Accelerated DNS performance by 50% using Cloudflare
“Not only is the product great in itself, but so are the people who work at Cloudflare — they really care, they’re passionate about the product. They want to help you succeed. It’s rare that you can find a company that you collaborate with where it feels like a real working partnership.”
Systems Engineer, Auto Trader