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In a deadline-driven industry like the newspaper business, it is critical to deliver time-sensitive news every day, without exception. For a global publication like the International Herald Tribune (IHT) that means delivering news without fail from around the world. For the IHT to meet its unforgiving and demanding deadlines, the publication rebuilt its IT infrastructure to create a completely automated newspaper production process ? one of the most advanced systems in the world. The automated system coordinates the different stages of the newspaper process from reporting to production to distribution to subscriptions. Each stage depends on the performance of the automated system and any downtime at any point could halt production.


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Media

Challenges

  • Collect time-sensitive news from over 1,200 correspondents in 37 global bureaus every day, without fail
  • Create an automated newspaper production process to meet daily deadlines and the needs of its readership in 180 countries
  • Production and distribution to 36 regional print presses

Solution

  • IHT deployed Riverbed Cascade to give them insight into their WAN traffic and a true end-to-end view of the application delivery path from servers to desktops

Benefits

  • Comprehensive visibility into bandwidth usage
  • Capacity to intelligently deploy, manage and optimize their new IT infrastructure
  • Ensure the performance and availability of the IHT’s automated system

International Herald Tribune

Riverbed Cascade Gives the International Herald Tribune the Inside Scoop on its IT Infrastructure

The International Herald Tribune creates, collects and distributes world news, information, entertainment and opinion of the highest journalistic integrity. Its balanced perspective addresses all are as of human interest and is trusted and enjoyed by people in all corners of the globe. Established in Paris in 1887, today the IHT is owned by The New York Times Company and continues to expand the reach of its authoritative journalism through the newspaper which is soldin180countries and via computers and mobile devices at IHT.com.

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2007 revenues of $3.2 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, WQXR-FM and more than 50websites, including NYTimes.com, Boston. com and About.com.

The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment. Over the years, The Times Company’s properties have been awarded many journalism awards, including a total of 117 Pulitzer prizes, more than any other news organization.

For more information about The New York Times Company visit: http://www.nytco.com.

Challenge

In a deadline-driven industry like the newspaper business, it is critical to deliver time-sensitive news every day, without exception. For a global publication like the International Herald Tribune (IHT) that means delivering news without fail from around the world.

For the IHT to meet its unforgiving and demanding deadlines, the publication rebuilt its IT infrastructure to create a completely automated newspaper production process – one of the most advanced systems in the world. The automated system coordinates the different stages of the newspaper process from reporting to production to distribution to subscriptions. Each stage depends on the performance of the automated system and any downtime at any point could halt production.

The IHT’s automated system combines news filed by more than 1,200 correspondents from 37 global news bureaus on a daily basis. The IHT needs to ensure that all of its journalists, regard- less of their location, have network access 24x7 to meet their demanding editorial schedule and file stories on time.

The challenge does not end there. Once all the stories are filed and laid out, the daily proofs are sent through IHT’s automated system for production and distribution. Once in the system, the paper is pushed to 36 regional print presses for production.

The IHT’s subscription service is also managed through its automated process. It is so sophisticated that subscribers can reroute paper deliveries while travelling. Having this service available at all times is critical to ensuring customer satisfaction and future revenue through continued subscriptions.

Constant and uninterrupted performance of its automated production and distribution service is critical to the paper’s success in delivering timely news to its international subscription base, spanning more than 180 countries and comprising 241,625 readers (Source: OJD 2007). Although the new system greatly eased operations, it also brought a certain level of risk. If the system experienced a disruption during any stage of the production process, it would have a significant impact on the publication’s ability to deliver the paper on time.

The IHT realized that they needed a solution that would give them complete visibility of their IT infrastructure so they could identify any issues that could affect the efficacy of their highly-sophisticated automated system and, consequently, impede or prevent their ability to get the IHT to their readers.

Solution

Cascade, a leading application performance management solution based on Network Behavior Analysis (NBA), offers organizations a new way of looking at the IT infrastructure. Cascade analyzes network traffic to provide network, security and data center operations teams with valuable information on the typical behavior patterns and interactions of and dependencies between users, applications, network and systems. By using Cascade’s application delivery perspective, the IHT team gains a true end-to-end view of the application delivery path from back-end servers to the users’ desktops.

Cascade is the only solution that uses advanced behavior-based technologies to analyze traffic to provide proactive service assurance, faster problem resolution and more effective WAN management to improve the performance and availability of business services.

When the IHT team was in the process of rebuilding the infrastructure to support their automated system, they used Cascade to create a map of critical network assets and dependencies. Using this intelligence, the IHT team was able to make the needed infrastructure modifications without disrupting the newspaper’s 24x7 operations or causing any performance and availability issues postchange. Cascade enabled the IHT to rebuild two metro networks, including the Paris LAN.

The team also plans to use Cascade in 2009 to build a sophisticated voice and video system to cut down on travel and expenses. Through Cascade, the team will gain the needed visibility into bandwidth usage and capacity to intelligently deploy and manage this new system. By having a detailed view of bandwidth availability/consumption, the team can ensure that the system gets the appropriate prioritization across the network so it can function properly without affecting other critical applications and services.

The IHT team continues to use Cascade to manage, optimize and secure their complex IT infrastructure. The product has proven instrumental in ensuring the performance and availability of the IHT’s automated system — a business critical application for the newspaper. Cascade accomplishes this by:

•Alerting the IHT team to any meaningful changes that can affect performance and availability of its automated system (i.e., traffic surges or reductions, changes in application mix and dependency changes).

Giving the IHT team the ability to troubleshoot problems faster (i.e., unplanned changes in the network environment, misconfigurations, unauthorized applications).

•Providing the IHT team with information on bandwidth consumed by non-business or unauthorized applications.

Detecting and alerting to any threats across the entire infrastructure.

•Developing appropriate security policies and to resolving security incidents faster (with Cascade’s ability to go beyond port level identification of network traffic, the IHT team was able to identify undesirable applications encapsulated within their HTTP traffic – a common trait of modern day spyware).

With Cascade, we can provide senior management with information on the IT infrastructure that can help them make better business decisions that save money, resources and efficiencies. This has elevated our IT group from just providing a utility to contributing meaningfully to the business.

Shifting to an automated system was the right business decision for the IHT. However, making such a major move and infrastructure change bears significant risk. Visibility into the infrastructure minimizes that risk and Cascade was the only solution that gave us the insight and consequently, the confidence, to make such a serious transformation.

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