Webinar Specialist Reaps the Benefits of a ‘Migrate and Modernise’ Approach to Cloud Adoption

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Webinar Specialist Reaps the Benefits of a ‘Migrate and Modernise’ Approach to Cloud Adoption

About the Client

BrightTALK is the leading platform for webinars and virtual events in the enterprise IT market with more than 8 million professionals registered. The business was acquired by B2B purchase intent data specialist TechTarget in December 2020.

Following migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company wanted to leverage advantages quickly and seamlessly without the risk of user disruption. We implemented a proof of concept ‘migrate and modernise’ approach to demonstrate how this could be achieved. Using containers allowed us to improve operability without the need for a full rebuild, enabling us to implement onto a purpose-built AWS landing zone within a four-week timeframe.

Challenge: Facing Up To a Complex Cloud Migration

BrightTALK has a reputation for innovation in the webinar and virtual event space and revenue has grown rapidly in recent years. However, it was established in 2002 – well before the cloud computing revolution – so most of its applications were hosted on traditional data centre servers.

In 2020 the decision was made to leverage the advantages of cloud computing via AWS. Yet finding the most effective and efficient way to migrate applications was not going to be easy. For one thing, the in-house application team was at capacity with business-as-usual activities. It was also imperative that service was not disrupted during a period of increased demand for virtual event and webinar services driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As an AWS Partner with Migration and DevOps competency status, we were briefed to perform a pilot migration. The goal was to de-risk the imminent large-scale migration by investigating the use of a ‘migrate and modernise’ approach to unlock the benefits of AWS.

“We wanted a partner with lots of experience in complex cloud migrations to conduct a proof of concept ahead of our largescale transition to AWS. [The team] was totally unfazed by work that we would have been reluctant to undertake.”

Paul Holden
VP Operations, BrightTALK

Solution: Proving the ‘Migrate and Modernise’ Concept

As a 20-year-old business that enjoyed the rapid rise of digital marketing and survived the 2008 economic crisis, BrightTALK inevitably held some technical debt. Migrating to AWS was an opportunity to pay some of this back while modernising applications to ensure they were primed for effective performance in the cloud.

We took a three-phase approach:

  1. Inception, Migration Readiness Assessment and discovery sessions 
  2. Modernising and containerising a legacy asset 
  3. Establishing an AWS landing zone to receive the containers 

After conducting an AWS Migration Readiness Assessment and a series of discovery workshops, we earmarked one of BrightTALK’s network appliances for the proof of concept migration. Essential to the smooth running of BrightTALK’s platform, it needed to be simplified to ensure it would operate efficiently and effectively in the cloud. This made it ideal for demonstrating the value of a ‘migrate and modernise’ approach to improve productivity, resilience and agility as well as reducing total cost of ownership. We used Amazon EKS to containerise the network appliance before migrating it to an AWS landing zone which we’d preconfigured for the task.

Outcome: Primed for Peak Performance

The proof of concept migration was fast and seamless. We completed the entire process, including building out the landing zone and infrastructure, within four weeks. What’s more, the end result is an elegant architecture purposefully engineered to benefit from AWS’ inherent capabilities.

In its previous format, the network appliance was challenging to scale due to technical debt. In its more simplified state, changes are easier to make and have less risk attached. Modernised in line with proven best practice as per the AWS Well-Architected Framework, it is more elastic and benefits from enhanced operability, cost-effectiveness and security.

Having proved the concept of the ‘migrate and modernise’ pathway to cloud adoption, BrightTALK is in a strong position to undertake a full large-scale migration.

“[The team] showed how quickly we can unlock added value from AWS if we work proactively to modernise applications during cloud migration. They have set us on a path for successful cloud adoption that drives tangible business benefits.”

Paul Holden
VP Operations, BrightTALK

This case study is based on work completed by DevOpsGroup before the team joined forces with Sourced Group, an Amdocs company.