Success story

Challenges & Sciences et Avenir Delivering Digital Content at Scale through AWS Cloud Migration

Client location
Business area
Web Platform
Delivery center
Project type

About the client

Challenges et Sciences et Avenir are two well-established and highly respected French magazines dedicated to business, economics and popular science. The two publications distribute hundreds of thousands of magazines each month to loyal readers, while growing online over the years to also deliver digital content on demand, including videos and innovative formats.

Although each publication has its own distinct and dedicated website, behind the scenes, their architecture was the same – served by an identical technical solution.


The challenge

The digital projects faced several infrastructure issues, which prevented an optimal time to market:

  • Lack of documentation. Our team received the stack without proper documentation or knowledge transfer and spent a lot of time debugging the system.
  • Overengineered architecture. Five cache layers, for example, created numerous inconsistencies, making it difficult to find and repair issues.
  • No workflow automation. Previous developers performed technical validations and deployments manually, creating a long and unreliable feature release cycle.
  • Overscaled servers. While the client’s servers were equipped to handle extremely high traffic peaks, in reality, they were using just 10-20% of their resources, which drove up costs.
  • Stiff adaptability. The cycle from requesting a new machine to having it ready and configured, was longer than a month. This made it impossible to spin up a new service for a special or unexpected event, creating a business risk for the client.

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AWS Cloud Migration - Media Platform

The solution

Pentalog began technical support of the Challenges and Sciences et Avenir websites in 2018. The project scope included the management of the infrastructure, which was hosted in a data center with booked physical machines.

Pentalog proposed to the client improvements to the time to market and more reliable deliveries by migrating to a cloud platform. We chose AWS for its abundant services, its large, resourceful community, and highly innovative capacities.

A Senior DevOps Solution Architect joined the initial development team, which also included three engineers, a Scrum Master, and a QA tester. The AWS Cloud migration was run in 3 phases:

  1. Discovery and full documentation of the initial infrastructure to ensure consideration of every characteristic and component
  2. Architecting the target infrastructure on AWS, along with a migration strategy and roadmap
  3. Implementation of the new infrastructure and final migration of its resources, assets, and traffic

The main skillsets they leveraged to ensure project success included:

  • Cloud platform migration
  • Infrastructure as Code
  • Serverless
  • High availability

The results

Pentalog successfully migrated the platform to AWS with minimal impact to visitors — no downtime and just a few issues related to the project’s technical debt legacy, which we quickly fixed.

The finished project provided many new benefits to the client:

  • A fully automated CI/CD pipeline provides a much faster time to market and safer releases.
  • Auto-scaling adapts almost instantaneously to the needs of the infrastructure; there’s no slow-down during traffic peaks, and costs are calculated according to consumption.
  • Leveraging DevOps practices means increased collaboration between every department and individual developers. The result is a better understanding of the website infrastructure, discovery and resolution of issues, and the creation of new technical features.
  • Pentalog has now launched a new project involving advanced technologies such as Data Lake and Serverless.
  • We’ve increased the platform’s performance for faster page response time and a higher SEO ranking.
  • The platform is geo-replicated in two availability zones, which provides high availability and high resiliency.
Dan Avram
Customer Success Manager

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