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Mondadori France is a publisher and subsidiary of the Italian group, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore (Fininvest). With more than 30 publications, it is the third largest magazine publisher in France and one of the largest publishers in Europe.

The French subsidiary was established in 2006, with an 800-strong team and an extensive portfolio aimed at various audiences including women, men, TV and leisure segments. Its best-known titles include Closer, Grazia, Science & Vie, Télé Star, Auto Plus, Biba and Pleine Vie.

Challenges     

  • Migrate servers and applications to the Cloud
  • Optimize bandwidth to accelerate the flow of data and applications
  • Streamline and accelerate crucial online publishing resource/application

Solution

  • Riverbed™ SteelHead® to enhance efficiency of critical production tools

Benefits      

  • 30% improvement in the performance of multi-channel publishing software
  • Ability to scale the solution to meet requirements
  • Migrate to the Cloud without new investment in servers, thus cutting electricity costs and usage while increasing responsiveness and flexibility

Challenges: Evolving a cloud infrastructure

With over 10% of the market share, Mondadori France’s distribution varies from 30,000 to 800,000 copies among its 30 different magazines. Currently, more than one third of the French population read at least one of the group’s publications.

For years, this publishing scope was achieved using software solutions on servers installed in an in-house IT department. One of the programs, Publishing Now, enables journalists to write and design articles for the print market as well as for the Internet. It uses very large files including text, audio, photos, videos and graphics.

In 2014, the company decided to implement a cloud-based strategy, with its ultimate aim being that the majority of its business applications would be hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in its Irish data center, enabling them to remain in Europe. Over half of these files have already been migrated, but the system wasn’t without its share of complications.

“The first migration tests demonstrated that the application used by journalists was not performing as required,” says Yves Houdart, Head of IT Systems at Mondadori France.

 Mr. Houdart says there were considerable delays in saving, opening and closing files, despite the bandwidth provided by two 1 Gbps connections to the AWS data center.

Solution: Optimizing the bandwidth to connect to the Cloud

To address this issue, the company began analyzing the market to investigate solutions capable of optimizing bandwidth and decided to engage Riverbed through local partner, Nelite. Specializing in cloud productivity and security support, Nelite is a local IT advisory service that has worked with Mondadori on several IT projects previously.

The idea was to carry out initial real-time testing using Riverbed™ SteelHead® CX devices, one per Gbps connection. These cloud-dedicated devices were installed on the WAN connections of Mondadori France’s perimeter network structure to analyze, optimize and accelerate the flows and data across the network. This service was installed in the AWS data center.

“These appliances have allowed us to make multiple file transfers locally and to the cloud, both with and without the use of SteelHead CX devices. The results with the SteelHead appliances have been compelling,” says Mr. Houdart.

Mr. Houdart reports there is now no difference in the time needed to transfer files locally or to the more distant cloud.

“We have effectively purchased the solution, which is now fully operational,” says Mr. Houdart.

Benefits: 30% increase in productivity

With its SteelHead CX devices, Mondadori France is now in a position to maximize use of the 60 servers and 50 TB of storage available in the Cloud. This change is now possible due to Riverbed.

“The flexible technical configurations of this overall solution offer huge benefits. It is very simple to increase or decrease the memory or processing power we require, thereby reducing the costs involved, thanks to pay-per-use billing,” says Mr. Houdart.

The Publishing Now application has been migrated to the cloud and has experienced a 30% increase in productivity, facilitating the work of journalists and DTP specialists.

The IT team will shortly move to a global solution optimization phase, based on cloud and SteelHead applications that enable increased throughput and optimization and acceleration of applications in real-time.

For instance, as a result, it will use less powerful servers during the night for certain functions and switch others off at the weekend to conserve energy and costs.

The full externalization of its infrastructure will also enable the French subsidiary to fully migrate to the cloud in 2020 without the need for financial investments in its server room, thus also reducing its electricity consumption and costs.

Moving forward, Mr. Houdart believes Riverbed offers Mondadori many opportunities. “Our approach has been extremely well supported by Riverbed and its partner Nelite, who have even helped us to make optimum use of all the functions available from the SteelHeads,” he says. So strong is the relationship that the media group is now investigating other Riverbed solutions for monitoring user perception of application performance.

These appliances have allowed us to make multiple file transfers locally and to the cloud, both with and without the use of SteelHead CX devices. The results with the SteelHead appliances have been compelling.

Yves Houdart
Head of IT Systems
Mondadori France

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