AWS Architecture and Networking Proof of Concept
About MediaNews Group
MediaNews Group (MNG) is a Denver, Colorado-based newspaper publisher, with local news and information websites and mobile apps offering rich multimedia experiences for communities across the nation. A leader in local, multi-platform news and information, MediaNews Group is distinguished by its award-winning, original content and high quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets. Transforming the future of media, they pride themselves on sharing engaging stories that inform, inspire, and connect with readers across a diverse collection of trusted local media brands.
Having some familiarity with AWS and considering a migration to the AWS cloud, MediaNews Group wanted to make the adoption of AWS easier by having foundational best practices in place that are easy to manage and build from. To establish a strong foundation, MNG turned to 1Strategy to get started on the right foot. In addition to creating a strong base on which to build, MNG needed to speed up several processes: VPN access, an account creation process, a permissions assignment process, single sign-on capabilities, and more.
Why Amazon Web Services and 1Strategy
Prior to this project, MNG was using AWS for a few workloads (content and data warehouse), though not extensively. With a referral from AWS, and after some research and an AWS Control Tower Immersion Day, MNG had confidence that 1Strategy was the right partner to provide consulting, guidance, training, and support through this project.
“Our teams chose AWS years ago because we needed cloud technology to iterate quickly on projects and AWS was the best-known cloud provider,” said Andre Rogers, technical director at MediaNews Group. “We chose 1Strategy to solidify our AWS foundations for two main reasons. The first was 1Strategy’s ability to communicate effectively with our experienced IT staff about the project; they functioned like an extension of our team, understanding our needs regarding networking, security, and account management. The second reason was their willingness to accommodate our work style and schedules. The AWS foundations effort required engineers from different departments with different work processes and priorities. This was not a problem for 1Strategy.”
1Strategy worked with MNG to review their existing AWS Control Tower environment and discussed guardrails and restrictions for current and future accounts. 1Strategy also assisted with the implementation of AWS Single Sign-On that uses MNG’s existing G-Suite directory for authentication. AWS Transit Gateway was configured to connect to various AWS VPCs/networks to the existing corporate VPN. In addition, they established best practices for cost optimization, relying on budgets and allocating costs using tags and AWS Cost Explorer.
Seeking a predictable and repeatable process for moving other workloads to AWS, MNG now has steps outlined for bringing a project onto AWS quickly and without ambiguity, decreasing downtime and risk. In addition, this project addressed their needs for adopting infrastructure as code and managing data securely through private VPN access. They now have all the foundational pieces in place to get additional workloads up and running quickly. This allows MNG to start working on projects sooner.
“It’s no longer a science project. We can say with more certainty how a project will be implemented in AWS and what the impacts will be to the team and the product. We can even give a fairly accurate prediction of how long the implementation will take.” Rogers said. “Managers love predictability in planning. These foundational pieces give them that. In fact, we now have two teams building new versions of their respective products on our new AWS setup. This was possible because we were able to take what we learned from the first team’s project, demo and explain it to the second team, and get the second team on board.
“With this project we got what we asked for. The whole thing went really well. We’ve worked with vendors before who turned out to be more of an obstacle than a help because they didn’t have the skills we needed. That wasn’t the case with 1Strategy,” said Andre. “They clearly documented everything of importance, including architectural diagrams. We were given well-informed pros and cons when deciding between multiple solutions. We always got clear and concise answers, even to the tricky questions. They are super reliable and easy to work with.”
1Strategy, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Consulting Partner, helps businesses architect, migrate, and optimize their workloads on AWS, creating scalable, cost-effective, secure, and reliable solutions. 1Strategy also helps customers get real value from their data using comprehensive machine learning models and artificial intelligence. 1Strategy holds the AWS DevOps, Migration, Data & Analytics, and Machine Learning Competencies, and is a partner of the AWS Public Sector Program and the Well Architected Program. With experts having deployed AWS solutions since 2007, 1Strategy is a leader in custom training—providing customers with the knowledge, tools, and best practices to manage those solutions over time. 1Strategy is a TEKsystems Global Services company with teams in Seattle and Salt Lake City, supporting customers throughout the US and across every vertical.
For more information about how 1Strategy can assist your company migrate to AWS, optimize AWS solutions including security and backup strategies, and receive custom training, visit 1Strategy.com.
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