Turner case study by Emergya

Cloud-based Drupal infrastructure

Make something

We currently maintain various websites aimed at Turner’s younger audience. We migrated these website to AWS and optimised the levels of scalability, response times and future sustainability.

Challenge

Turner Broadcasting System is the company which operates the channels and television groups that are owned by Time Warner. Some of their current products include CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TruTV, TCM, Boing, Cartoonito among others.

The scope of this specific project included the following websites:   www.boing.es, www.boingtv.it, www.boingtv.fr,www.cartoonito.co.uk, www.cartoonito.it, www.superstadia.com

Turner needed to find a provider which was an expert in Drupal, which offered them a smooth migration to AWS of a large number of its Drupal websites

Turner needed to find a provider expert not only in Drupal, but also in the design and optimisation of complex cloud hosting architecture, capable of obtaining the best performance of this CMS. Specifically, it was necessary to carry out a migration from a traditional hosting model to a cloud hosting model, using Amazon as a cloud service provider. Furthermore, it was necessary to simplify and automatise the deployment processes, adding  quality assurance with continuous integration and automatic testing. Moreover, Turner required a complete support for websites in Drupal and  needed a provider concerned with issues such as security and updates necessary for the platform; a company which could also carry out small improvements, whilst always maintaining an optimum level of quality.

Boing ES website

Solution

Firstly, we carried out an analysis. Our objective was to learn about the current platform and its behaviour. We analysed:

  • Data transfer metrics:
    • Volume of data transfer to the Internet.
    • Percentage of traffic of logged on and anonymous user.
  • Hardware resource metrics: CPU, RAM, IOPS, iowait,etc.
  • Size of the hardware.
  • Database metrics:
    • Requests per second.
    • Write / read operations (percentage of select, update, insert and delete queries.
    • Average execution time for requests.
    • Concurrent requests per second.
  • Diagrams:
    • Workflow deployed.
    • Infrastructure diagram with role description of each component.

After learning about both the infrastructure and the different websites to migrate including the  deployment methodology, the next thing we took on was the creation of the new infrastructure in Amazon, where we adapted all its services to Drupal (both Drupal6 and Drupal7). AWS was chosen as a cloud infrastructure provider to ensure high availability and quality performance.

Investigating, analysing, evaluating the options and implementing the best solution in each case.

We used cache layers to lighten the load of web servers and database; high availability (redundancy of all services) to avoid possible system crashes; AWS self-scaling to horizontal growth; and CDN (Akamai in our case) to download all the multimedia content and their services.

Once the process of creating the infrastructure and migration of contents (source code, files, database, configuration files ...) was finished, we had to orchestrate the deployment and upload of new improvements to the different environments.

To achieve this, we created a new workflow, based on GitFlow and continuous integration: Git, Drush and Jenkins were the basic tools on which we relied.

Results

Performance doesn't lie: by measuring before and after, you can see the extent of the improvement

The results fully met the initial objectives of this project:

  • Implementation of a new infrastructure adapted to Drupal projects in AWS.
  • Migration of 4 Drupal sites: 2 in Drupal6 and 2 in Drupal7; the last two in multi-site version.
  • Improvement if website performance for a better end-user experience.
  • New workflow and adaptation in the deployment process with continuous integration.
  • Ease of site inclusion in a maintenance life cycle. We are currently in a maintenance phase.
"It's been a great experience working with Emergya. They have a great in depth knowledge of all the necessary technologies to bring out projects up live, always on time and with a great collaborative attitude"
Laura Herrera
DMT Supervisor Turner Broadcasting
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