A publisher that provides an infrastructure for digital solutions to publishers, bookstores, libraries and educational institutions wanted to create value in new ways and increase its operational efficiency.

It wanted to achieve this by building a new digital platform, adopting cloud-native architecture, FinOps principles and DevOps culture.

Cloud transforms business model

Basefarm, an Orange Business subsidiary, has been hosting and managing operations for the publisher in its private cloud since 2012. In 2018, Orange rebuilt some of the company’s core digital offerings using Amazon Web Services (AWS), and in 2019, the publisher began digitizing all its books in fundamentally news ways. This was necessary to increase its market footprint and significantly reduce the operational costs of watermarking books.

The publisher approached Orange to co-innovate on cloud services to improve performance and efficiencies and enable it to adopt the cloud-native principles of connecting costs to business outcomes. The new services have been developed using microservices and server-less technologies, enabling it to get to market faster.

All of the infrastructure supporting its services is defined using infrastructure as code (IaC), which replaces several tasks previously performed manually. IaC provides the speed and consistency that the publisher was looking for and avoids hidden costs, like manual tasks in the architecture.

As the demand for its services are variable during the day, it was essential that the company could scale its resource consumption and corresponding services to match demand. It was quickly determined that traditional monitoring solutions were inadequate to manage and monitor workloads and services on the new infrastructure. Orange worked with the publisher on integrating new tooling to oversee applications, middleware and AWS services.

Basefarm and the publisher evaluated a number of monitoring tools and settled on Datadog as the main dashboard component while integrating other specialized monitoring functions with it, in addition to connecting a central service management tool to provide 24/7 visibility. This solution, delivered as a cloud-native managed service by Basefarm, has built-in integrations with a large number of AWS services, making it easier to configure monitoring and get access to associated metrics, reporting and alert mechanisms.

The company also opted to deploy Application Performance Management (APM) to provide better insights into the performance of the application services.

Additionally, Orange worked with the company to design and implement monitoring capabilities that include: service intelligence monitoring; statistical analysis algorithms to spot outliers and anomalies; and machine learning to identify trends in data to trigger actions prior to anomalies or breaches being detected.

Driving forward

By taking a cloud-native approach, the company is boosting its agility and responsiveness to change. This has allowed the company to be much more resilient during the pandemic.

Cloud has enabled the company to scale its services much more cost effectively. The flexibility of a microservices- and server-less architecture will enhance this further still, bringing down the cost of its compute resources and every service component in the architecture to exactly what it uses. They will be continuously linked to business transactions and business outcomes.

visibility with the central service management tool