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McGraw-Hill Education: Global Migration in Less than 2 Years (ENT211) | AWS re:Invent 2013


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McGraw-Hill Education, a multi-billion-dollar publishing company, moved to digital on company-owned data centers, and now are migrating to AWS. This session details their two-year migration plan for the eventual global deployment of all MHE platforms on AWS. Learn about the business drivers as well as the technical and business challenges they have faced and overcome to date.

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McGraw-Hill Education: Global Migration in Less than 2 Years (ENT211) | AWS re:Invent 2013

  1. 1. McGraw-Hill Education: From US Brick and Mortar to Global in a Little under Two Years Shane Shelton, McGraw-Hill Education © 2013, Inc. and its affiliates. All rights reserved. May not be copied, modified, or distributed in whole or in part without the express consent of, Inc.
  2. 2. McGraw-Hill Education (MHE) Overview McGraw-Hill Education – $2.5 B education company (print and digital) – Recently divested from McGraw-Hill Companies – Bulk of revenue from print business
  3. 3. Business Side
  4. 4. Why Move to the Cloud? Key Business Drivers – Need for global delivery and better user experience – Cost reduction over current model* – Ability to streamline processes for agile development and continuous integration – More flexibility then brick & mortar model – Automation of everything
  5. 5. Out of All the Cloud Providers out There Today, Why Did We Choose Amazon? Why AWS? – – – – – – – Data centers where we needed them (AWS and Datapipe) One of the most mature providers Fit majority of needs* Ability to ride demand curve (Auto Scaling = cost savings) Superior support Listens to their customers Overall ecosystem is strongest
  6. 6. Is the Cloud Cheaper? Cost Analysis Is Very Important – Made sense in our current operating model – Realistic numbers = More convincing argument – Sometimes cost savings aren’t everything (don’t tell my CFO I said this) – Won’t always make financial sense, so do your homework
  7. 7. Biggest Business Challenges? Convincing a Large Organization to Move to AWS Is Hard – – – – – Cloud is still relatively new Legacy applications in AWS is difficult Operational support (monitoring, governance, policy/procedure) Financials Finding people
  8. 8. Technical Side
  9. 9. We Have to Do What With Legacy Applications? Proceed with Caution; This Could Get Nasty – Make sure you know what you have and a plan on how it will work in AWS – Don’t be afraid to try different configurations before you settle on what you want to move forward with. Architecture changes will need to happen. – You don’t have to solve every problem before launch – For the love of God, test everything thoroughly before go-live
  10. 10. A Shift in Mindset Developers and Architects Need to Work Within the Constraints of AWS – Make sure to follow AWS best practices when deploying software on their platform or you’ll be sorry – AWS is the same infrastructure you use today, and it can and will fail; make sure your architecture and applications can withstand it
  11. 11. Our Biggest Challenges Difficult Situations Encountered – – – – – Moving away from F5s to ELBs Security approvals Dependency on Oracle products Not being in control of everything (IaaS instead of in-house) Monitoring
  12. 12. MHE Global Deployment Architecture DataPipe N. Virginia DataPipe San Jose AWS Direct Connect AWS Direct Connect US East Amazon CloudFront US West (N. Cali) Internet MHE Singapore Amazon CloudFront Ireland AWS Direct Connect AWS Direct Connect DataPipe Singapore DataPipe UK
  13. 13. MHE Connect’s Biggest Technical Challenges What Were the Most Difficult Hurdles to Overcome? – ELB functionality • Limited in what it is capable of doing when compared to internal F5s – Oracle Coherence for session management/caching • Was not made for the cloud; strict latency rules • Can only deploy across a single AZ; won’t scale multiple AZs – Auto Scaling • Using Weblogic and Coherence takes a lot longer to scale up a new server than expected (6-7 minutes) • Takes a really long time to automate things when you’re starting from scratch, especially when using proprietary software
  14. 14. Road Map When Will We Be Done? – 2013 • Move first tier 1 application to AWS – 2014 • Move 90% of remaining tier 1 applications to AWS • Deploy to first global region • Multiregion architecture enable with failover capability – 2015 • Finish remaining legacy applications moves • Full global rollout completed with multiregion support for all tier 1 applications
  15. 15. Partnership with AWS Going Forward AWS Is a True Partner – As AWS strengthens their services and infrastructure, our products get better – AWS listens to their customers – Competitive pricing – Excellent support
  16. 16. Q&A
  17. 17. Please give us your feedback on this presentation As a thank you, we will select prize winners daily for completed surveys!