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A Guide for Setting Up AWS ElastiCache for Memcached on Drupal


Providing a flawless user experience in web development depends on maximizing site performance. Caching methods are useful, particularly for content management systems like Drupal. This post focuses on configuring an AWS ElastiCache cluster specifically for Drupal websites to improve efficiency and scalability. 


In the ever-evolving web development landscape, ensuring optimal site performance is paramount for delivering a seamless user experience. A key strategy in achieving this goal involves employing efficient caching mechanisms, particularly for content management systems like Drupal.  

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Use Case

Consider the scenario where you’re managing a Drupal-based website grappling with high traffic volumes. Without an effective caching mechanism, each page request triggers a cascade of database queries, resulting in sluggish performance and heightened server load. By integrating Memcached through AWS ElastiCache, you can alleviate this strain on your database by storing frequently accessed data in memory, slashing response times, and bolstering overall site performance. 

Setting Up AWS ElastiCache Cluster

  • Begin by accessing your AWS Management Console and navigating the AWS ElastiCache service. 
  • Create a new Memcached cluster by selecting “Create” and choosing “Memcached” as the engine. 
  • Customize the cluster settings according to your needs, including node type, node count, and network configurations. Ensure to allocate sufficient memory based on your Drupal site’s workload. 
  • Once the cluster is provisioned, note the cluster endpoint, which you’ll use for Drupal’s configuration. 

Installing Memcached Module for Drupal

  • Log in to your Drupal site’s admin panel. 
  • Head to the Extend section, locate the Memcached module and proceed to install and enable it. 

Configuring Memcached Module

  • After enabling the module, navigate to Configuration > Development > Performance (admin/config/development/performance). 
  • Under the Caching section, activate “Enable caching” and select “Memcached” as the cache backend. 
  • Enter the Memcached cluster endpoint in the “Memcached servers” field, allowing for multiple servers if you’ve configured a cluster with multiple nodes. 
  • Save your configuration settings. 

Testing Configuration

  • Visit various pages on your Drupal site to generate traffic. 
  • Monitor the performance closely and verify that caching functions as intended by reviewing cache hit ratios and response times. 

Additional Configuration Considerations

  • Tailor the Memcached configuration to match your specific requirements and workload. This could entail adjusting parameters such as maximum memory allocation, item size, and eviction policies within the AWS ElastiCache cluster settings. 
  • Explore enabling other Drupal caching mechanisms like page caching and block caching alongside Memcached to boost performance further. 

Monitoring and Maintenance

  • Regularly monitor your Drupal site’s performance and AWS ElastiCache cluster utilization through Amazon CloudWatch metrics. 
  • Stay vigilant with routine maintenance tasks, including cluster scaling, software updates, and proactive monitoring for any cache-related issues. 

Advanced Optimization Techniques

In addition to the basic setup, advanced optimization techniques can further enhance your Drupal website’s performance:  

  • Implement Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to distribute site content globally, reducing latency for users worldwide.  
  • Optimize database queries and use caching strategies at the application level to complement ElastiCache.  
  • Employ load balancing and auto-scaling to distribute traffic efficiently across multiple instances, ensuring optimal performance during peak periods.  
  • Regularly audit and optimize website assets, including images, scripts, and stylesheets, to minimize load times and improve user experience.  


Implementing AWS ElastiCache with Memcached presents a powerful solution for optimizing Drupal site performance, enhancing scalability, and delivering a seamless user experience.

By following the outlined steps and capitalizing on AWS infrastructure advantages, administrators can unlock the full potential of their Drupal sites, achieving exceptional results and surpassing user expectations.  

Through careful planning, meticulous configuration, and vigilant monitoring, harnessing the capabilities of AWS ElastiCache can propel Drupal sites to new heights of performance and reliability.  

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding AWS ElastiCache and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. Can I use AWS ElastiCache with Drupal even if I'm unfamiliar with AWS services? 

ANS: – Absolutely! While AWS services might initially seem daunting, setting up AWS ElastiCache for Drupal is relatively straightforward, especially with this step-by-step guide. AWS provides detailed documentation and user-friendly interfaces to help you navigate the process seamlessly. 

2. How does AWS ElastiCache improve the performance of my Drupal website? 

ANS: – AWS ElastiCache stores frequently accessed data in memory, particularly when used with Memcached, reducing the need for repeated database queries. This significantly decreases response times and server load, resulting in a faster and more responsive website for your users.

3. Are there any additional costs associated with using AWS ElastiCache for my Drupal site? 

ANS: – While AWS ElastiCache is a paid service, the cost is typically minimal compared to its performance benefits. You’ll be charged based on factors such as the instance type, usage, and any additional features you choose to enable. Monitoring your usage and adjusting resources to optimize costs is essential. 

WRITTEN BY Mayank Bharawa



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