Global Media Company

Managing Daily Product Inventory Fulfillment with Reliable Data Insights and Visualizations.

An Overview

The Challenge

This global media company needed comprehensive visibility into the applications housed across six data centers to facilitate the efficient and effective migration to the cloud. 

The Solution

As the media company grew through mergers, it increased architecture complexity across globally dispersed datacenters. Without visibility into what business units need, how they utilize tools, and where spending is allocated, the media company could not confidently and efficiently migrate to the cloud.   

The Outcome

2nd Watch conducted an extensive review of the company’s existing infrastructure using CloudScape (formerly RISC Networks), Azure Log Analytics, and RVTools. We then supplemented those analytics with feedback from business users to gain pertinent use information that cannot be identified by tools. With a single source of truth unified in AirTable, 2nd Watch designed and implemented a practical cloud migration strategy to reduce over-provisioning and significantly lower cloud spend. 


The Overview

This leading global media company delivers premium content to their audiences across traditional and emerging platforms. They connect with billions of people through their studios, networks, streaming services, live events, merchandise, and more. Since 1914, the American diversified multinational media conglomerate has grown their assets to include film and television studios, entertainment groups, domestic and international television.


The Challenge

The media company was making efforts to better position themselves for cost management after multiple mergers were completed. As part of that effort, they wanted to focus on cloud enablement and set the goal to close six of their legacy on-prem datacenters. While their anticipated outcomes were clear, the complexities of migrating from legacy on-premise environments to the cloud require expertise that the company lacked internally. The company needed experienced cloud experts to first help them grasp their current universe of servers and various data centers, then define use with individual businesses users, and then map and complete the migrations. 


The Solution

As the company’s chosen cloud partner, 2nd Watch focused the engagement on migrating all workloads from the datacenters as expeditiously as possible. In doing so, we wanted to right size the servers and reduce – if not eliminate over-provisioning to lower costs and overall cloud spend. To do so, 2nd Watch installed CloudScape to automatically discover business applications, networks, security threats, and dependencies across various datacenters. We matched the data from CloudScape with outputs from Azure Log Analytics, the company’s ServiceNow instance, as well as their customer portal database with RVTools. Once we gathered as much information as was possible via tooling from a technical perspective, 2nd Watch met with individual business users to understand use, ownership, and governance from a business perspective. 

This is where the company really shined in the engagement. Despite what some people may think, there are no magic tools to make migrations happen overnight. A successful migration requires internal knowledge and feedback from daily users, along with the support of the organization. During collaborative interactions with application owners and teams, 2nd Watch got clarity on both server requirements and out-of-scope components. 2nd Watch discovered a number of servers that were old pet projects and proof of concepts (POCs) that could be retired along with networking equipment and infrastructure supporting hardware.

We used AirTable to unify the data we received from tools and business users to create a single source of truth for migration planning. Armed with a complete understanding of what needed to be migrated and what didn’t, 2nd Watch determined that the best method for migration was to rehost or re-platform all company workloads. We established migration method determination criteria and applied it to the workloads considered in-scope for migration. Additionally, we applied the resulting analysis from CloudScape and Azure Log Analytics to optimize instance family and size. This information was further leveraged for adequate provisioning of the new cloud-based infrastructure for cost management. 


The Outcome

Since partnering with 2nd Watch, the media company has been able to accomplish their cloud modernization goals at an accelerated speed. First, our approach allowed the company to close two of their datacenters ahead of schedule. Second, as a result of the analysis completed with business owners, roughly 40% of the servers initially targeted for migration were deemed out-of-scope and ultimately retired. By right-sizing instances and servers at the outset of migration, the company is realizing larger than anticipated cost savings for infrastructure actually deployed. Without this strategic approach, the company would be over-provisioned and could not achieve their goal of cost-efficiency. 

Showback typically motivates organizational changes that yield further cost savings. For example, now there is a formal process for launching pet projects and POCs to regulate the costs related to these efforts and manage servers appropriately.

Equipped with right-sized, cloud-based environments, and cost insights by business unit, the company can make smarter business decisions to further drive cost management. As they carry on with datacenter migrations, the company will continue using the 2nd Watch approach of first understanding the environment, and then migrating it.