Article Review: Time Inc. Goes All In with the AWS Cloud

“We Should Not Be In the Data Center Business.”

Colin Bodell, EVP and CTO, Time Inc.

With dozens of print titles known around the world, we all know Time Inc. as a leader in the publishing industry.  Sport Illustrated, Essence, Travel + Leisure, and of course, Time, are all magazine brands published by Time Inc.

But would you think Time Inc. is in the datacenter business?

Clearly not.  However, Time Inc. uses information technology (and lots of it) to run their publishing operations.  As their business has grown, so has their IT infrastructure footprint, eventually leading to several datacenters around the world.

In this April 2015 video shared by Amazon Web Services, Colin Bodell, EVP and CTO, talks about joining Time Inc. and finding one of those datacenters taking up an entire floor of the Time & Life building in New York City.

Aside from occupying very valuable real estate, that datacenter represented the physical footprint that Time Inc. maintained just to run their day-to-day business.

Mr. Bodell came to the conclusion that Time Inc. “should not be in the data center business”.  Instead, Time Inc.’s staff should be focusing on what they do best: journalism, telling stories, and producing content.

To move towards the goal of not operating datacenters, Bodell decided to go “all in” and move all Time Inc. websites from on premises data centers into Amazon Web Services.

After moving all of their UK brands into AWS, their hosting costs dropped from around $70K/month to about $17K/month; about 76%.

Along with their customer facing websites and applications, Time Inc. also took steps to move enterprise applications into AWS as well.  Their target was to have all corporate applications running in the cloud by the end of Q1 2016.

Of course, moving to the cloud can’t be accomplished alone.  Throughout the video, Mr. Bodell refers to the third-party resources that worked with Time Inc. to help them realize their migration from on-premises to the cloud.

As far as case studies go, I thought this video was excellent.  In just over seven minutes, the current state was described, the goal was established, and the steps taken to achieve the goal were explained.

The video isn’t a webinar; it doesn’t provide all of the technical details required to move websites and applications to the cloud.  More importantly, it provides a success story of how a company used the AWS cloud to get out of the datacenter business.

#cloud#on premises