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Success Stories

A+E Networks embarks on an enterprise-wide cloud journey with Virtusa

Designing a multi-year roadmap to migrate, optimize, and modernize the technology stack to cloud native solutions

A+E Networks® is a joint venture with Hearst Communications and Disney–ABC Television Group, a unit of The Walt Disney Company. They are a global media and entertainment brand portfolio that finds, cultivates, illuminates, and markets entertainment content to worldwide audiences. A+E Networks® is a collection of culture brands that includes A&E®, The HISTORY® Channel, Lifetime®, LMN™, FYI,™ Vice TV and BIOGRAPHY®. They are in seven out of 10 American homes, cumulatively reach 335 million people worldwide and have 500+ million digital users. Since its founding in 1983 with just two cable channels, A+E has grown into a multi-platform, multimedia, multi-genre content creator.

Virtusa is a long-standing strategic partner of A+E Networks responsible for helping manage their business applications and technology operations. Virtusa was able to partner with A+E Networks to assist in setting up the Cloud City program which including formalizing the strategy, approach and conducting numerous POC’s to validate the technology, performance, security, and costs. Virtusa was selected as the Cloud engineering partner to deliver on their Cloud City objectives.

The Challenge

A+E Networks traditionally managed their technology applications, data and infrastructure in on-prem datacenters with high maintenance and operational costs. Operations were completely manual and unable to scale to deliver the application agility needed to keep up with demanding business initiatives.

A+E Networks needed to embark on an enterprise-wide cloud journey and established a multi-year road map to migrate, optimize and modernize their technology stack to cloud native solutions.

The Solution

The Cloud City program set forth to modernize A+E Networks legacy applications by migrating both application and data payloads to the Cloud. The approach was to re-platform the applications to run natively on the cloud and rapidly introduce emerging technologies to increase automation, improve availability and lower costs.

The migration journey started by establishing a strong technology strategy, embracing cloud native application development and creating a culture of automation. A+E Networks formed a cross-functional Cloud Governance team to ensure proper organizational alignment around achieving the ambitious Cloud City goals. Performing early application cloud suitability and analysis resulted in the proper applications to be selected for initial migration, the identification of inter-application dependencies, clear infrastructure requirements and automation opportunities.

The creation of a cloud migration factory allowed applications to be migrated in three waves based on the technology stack, complexity and business criticality. Best practices were established in agile development, DevOps, test automation, high availability and disaster recovery. Each wave operated with continuous feedback applying learnings to make each application migration much better than predecessors.

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The Benefits

As of today, the Cloud City program has resulted in migrating 39 mission-critical business applications to the AWS Cloud, the development of 5 new cloud native applications and the creation of a state-of-the-art DevOps automation with one-click deployment. Through this A+E Networks was able to achieve the following:

  • Zero-Touch deployments with fully immutable infrastructure managed as a code
  • 100% business continuity with High Availability & Disaster Recovery (DR), security and compliance
  • Infrastructure Cloud spend optimization with reduction in TCO
  • End-to-End Automated testing of applications for accelerated cloud migration
  • Improved business agility with zero downtime for webapps and server patching
  • Minimized RTO (Recovery Time Objective) to 2-4 hours SLA for Path-to-air applications 
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