PlayBac Presse

Migration to AWS to ensure higher performance, availability and security

Client location Paris, France

Business area Media

Product Web Platform

Delivery center Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Project type AWS Migration

About the client

Created in 1986, PlayBac is a French publishing company that provides children and teenagers with news and educational content. The initial focus of the group was in print, and today, PlayBac Presse publishes three daily newspapers, one economic weekly and four languages weekly (English, French, Spanish and German), as well as two video titles, archives and a platform for homework help. As with many publishing companies, PlayBac Presse moved into online and digital content in the 2000s, with one webstore and a platform of news with ten titles. The webstore represents 85% of their total subscriber recruitments (+200%) in 4 years.  

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Technologies used

The challenge

The PlayBac Presse websites were hosted on-premises, with a support contract that delegated part of the infrastructure maintenance to the Data Center vendor. The solution may have looked optimal at first, but multiple issues have arisen in recent years: 

  • Lack of Availability: The infrastructure was not able to handle the load during high peaks of traffic. The company was therefore unable to promote marketing events that would attract a lot of new users, because the websites became sluggish or even unavailable. Obviously, the impact on reputation was negative. 
  • Lack of Innovation: Because the servers were managed by an external vendor, it required a long time to upgrade dependencies or install new packages – and in some cases, those proved impossible. This negatively impacted the ability of the engineering team to innovate with the latest available tools and trends. 
  • Security Concerns: The lack of capability, speed, and agility to update the software layer was a huge concern, since most security patches required days to be applied. 
  • Expensive and Ineffective Model: Though the solution looked cost-effective at first, the infrastructure was too large most of the time, thus incurring useless expenses while at the same time, not being large enough to handle high peaks of traffic, as mentioned earlier. 
  • Lack of Infrastructure Culture: Since the infrastructure was a blackbox for the developers, the company had a hard time promoting DevOps culture. As a result, it was hard to automate processes, thus increasing production cycle time, and just as hard to optimize the overall architecture with the best solution. 

Do you want to build a similar project?

AWS Migration

The solution

Pentalog was contacted by PlayBac Presse about improving and optimizing this infrastructure architecture.  

The first step was to run a Solution Design mission to analyze and recommend the most optimized platform. AWS was chosen for its richness of services, its innovation capabilities, and its reasonable price-tag. In addition, two types of self-service infrastructure models were designed for complex or simple hosting requirements, as appropriate. After a Proof of Concept with the migration of an initial application, Pentalog and PlayBac Presse have worked together to migrate every website previously hosted on the old Data Center. 

The AWS architecture leverages the following services: 

EC2, RDS, Aurora, Application Load Balancers, S3, Elasticache, ElasticSearch, CodePipeline, CodeBuild, CodeCommit, CodeDeploy, Systems Manager, Backup, Cloudwatch, Certificate Manager, Web Application Firewall, Cloudfront. 

The results

Through the migration to AWS, the PlayBac Presse infrastructure now ensures availability and performance during peak traffic. 

With the flexibility of AWS, applications are now isolated, reducing blast radius and allowing safer platform upgrades with less testing effort. 

Security is reinforced with the addition of a WAF and the use of automation (Continuous Integration and Delivery). 

Mihai Cimpean
Customer Success Manager

Reach out to us,
describe your project

Choose a development category





QA Testing


Due Diligence

Technologies you will need

Technologies you will need

Technologies you will need

Technologies you will need

Choose the type of contract