About ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is one of the Philippines’ leading media & entertainment companies. They remain driven to pioneer, innovate, and adapt while focusing on the continued provision of entertainment, news, and information to connect all Filipinos with their community. Outside of the Philippines, ABS-CBN provides TV programming to more than 3 Mn viewers across North America, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Australia, and other Asian countries.

The Necessity to Optimize Cost and Automate Operations

ABS-CBN had its infrastructure running on Azure, and its IT Cloud and application teams were responsible for managing it. Their fundamental objectives were to reduce manual efforts on the operations and migrate to AWS with cost optimization. Moreover, they deployed some of their applications on the AWS environment. They wanted to move all their application accounts from their current AWS Landing Zone to the AMS Landing Zone, considering two things,

  • Moving the applications deployed on the Azure environment and setting them up on the AMS landing zone using AMS Advanced.
  • Moving applications from their current AWS Landing Zone, from the operations perspective to the AMS Landing Zone using AMS Accelerate.

Key Complications Faced by ABS-CBN

  • The cost expended on their existing Azure environment was significant.
  • Most applications deployed on the Azure environment ran on SQL databases used per-environment/per-application basis.
  • There was a need for an equivalent solution apropos of Azure App Service and the application service slots. Testing the application on the slots, then swapping the slots with user traffic domains without downtime after migrating to the AWS environment was challenging.
  • The existing Azure environment already had DevOps implemented. Hence, having a similar setup in a more automated environment was another key hurdle.

ABS-CBN had a stringent timeline to overcome these challenges, and designing a time-effective migration roadmap starting with a detailed assessment of their existing environment was an issue.

“In Blazeclan, we found a reliable AWS partner who can help us develop the roadmap and execute. Having a partner who understands our business and is always willing to suggest what is right adds great value.”

- Jane T. Quiambao (Head, Enterprise Technology Division, ABS-CBN)

The Migration and Optimization of Applications

Blazeclan’s team of certified cloud experts conducted an in-depth assessment of ABS-CBN’s existing environment and designed a complete migration plan for all their applications. It counted the design and implementation of the AMS Landing Zone and establishing its connectivity with the existing VPN and Active Directory.

We formulated a holistic strategy for refactoring the applications and running them optimally in the AWS environment. Following was the approach adhered to for achieving ABS-CBN’s said objectives –

  • Built the configuration management database (CMDB) for classifying resources used by applications based on criticality.
  • Made a discovery template to bridge the gap between all applications, resources, and components, including the existing architecture.
  • Most services consumed by applications were PaaS, which made installing a monitoring tool for recognizing usage metrics a crunch. Key metrics have been extracted from Azure Monitor and fed into AMS Accelerate for deriving a recommended sizing of applications.
  • Used AMS CLIs to create and submit requests for changes (RFCs), as AMS doesn’t allow it in the non-developer mode.
  • Blue Green Deployments and Route 53 were used for testing the application on the slots, then swapping these slots with user traffic domains with zero downtime.
  • Implemented a shared database model to optimize the cost of the overall infrastructure. The storage containers have been synced using Rclone before importing the databases and exporting SQL databases. This ensured that all databases are migrated to the new environment.
  • CI/CD pipelines have been set up after migrating the applications to AMS. This enabled automated deployments for digital and global segments of ABS-CBN’s Azure environment. For the third segment, enterprise, the deployments have been automated using AWS CodeDeploy.

Value Additions

CI/CD has been enabled for enterprise applications along with a disaster recovery strategy for the customer's news website.

Security of the application and overall infrastructure was 100% enhanced by integrating AMS accounts with the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)​

Infrastructure patch management has been significantly improved by using the Image Builder.

Benefits Achieved by ABS-CBN

  • Troubleshooting application issues has become effortless for ABS-CBN as their teams can directly work with the AMS support. The ownership of troubleshooting infrastructure issues was with the IT cloud team, which is now handled solely by AMS support.
  • The application was enhanced to comply with security standards due to the implementation of best practices designed by the AWS team.
  • The overall infrastructure cost has been optimized through the consolidation of databases, which was achievable with the shared database model.
  • AMS Accelerate has been used for supporting the existing AWS infrastructure requirements and improvement.
  • Image builder has been implemented for using golden images, which was not there previously on ABS-CBN’s Azure environment.

Tech Stack

Amazon EC2 Amazon ASG AWS ALB
Amazon ECS AWS Fargate Amazon S3
Amazon RDS AWS CodeBuild AWS CodePipeline
AWS CodeDeploy Amazon CloudFront Amazon Route 53
EC2 Image Builder AWS CloudEndure Migration AWS Lambda
AWS Elastic Beanstalk Amazon SQS Amazon SNS
Amazon ElastiCache Amazon CloudWatch

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