For one of their high-profile clients, FOX Television, KSG developed a specialized solution called Request Fulfillment System or “RFS.” This solution supports television stations in centralizing their graphics and video departments. KSG chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the underlying infrastructure for deploying RFS due to its ease of use, reliability and scalability of the infrastructure, affordability of the cloud platform, and AWS’s commitment to keep expanding their services.
Before deploying AWS, KSG’s previous implementation process was time consuming and costly. They would have to deploy the server side components of the product at customer sites, and have all users install clients on desktops. Not only would it be difficult to manage all the servers and keep track of the different policies for each station/client, it would also result in many cycles and higher costs. This made it challenging for a small start-up like KSG to implement solutions at competitive rates.
Through AWS, the company has dramatically decreased their cost and turn around time of implementing solutions for clients, while increasing flexibility and control over their deployments. The AWS cloud computing platform continues to provide a redundant, disaster recovery architecture, while allowing KSG to easily scale the applications based on usage needs. In effect, the team has successfully deployed their solution at a fraction of the cost compared to the traditional model.
According to Xav Dubois, CEO of KSG, “We’ve had many launches of different software over the years, and this launch on Amazon EC2 was the most trouble-free, bug-free, large software deployment in our company’s history. We developed an idea and we were able to get it online on EC2 within 8 weeks for FOX at a cost savings to us of over $100,000. If we would have had to deploy clients and set-up networks for all of our customers and deal with each of their IT departments around the United States, we would not have been able to deliver this project on time and on budget.”
Using Amazon EC2, the RFS solution has been deployed to all of FOX’s owned and operated stations across the United States, and currently supports over 500 users. Both the application and database server are hosted on EC2 instances, while digital assets are stored in Amazon S3. These assets are then accessed by users all over the U.S. to retrieve large graphics that get played-out in on local TV Stations.
With AWS as the primary infrastructure for RFS, the team no longer needs to worry about installing servers, installing clients, and finding local service providers to help with technical support. The team can fully focus on their core competency, which is making the TV Networks more efficient at what they do. By leveraging AWS’s reliable, scalable and elastic cloud computing platform, the capital expense of owning servers and operating data centers has been eliminated. In the words of Dubois, “The infrastructure for Amazon is amazing and Amazon has made it a no-brainer to deploy, test, and expand our services as our company grows. The technical support and customer service is outstanding. There simply is not another company that offers the amazing range of services (which keep expanding month by month) at a price-point that a young company like ours can afford.”
The company has greatly benefited from leveraging AWS Premium Support, which is a one-on-one, fast-response technical support channel that helps customers build and run applications on AWS Infrastructure Services. With pay-by-the-month pricing and an unlimited number of support cases, companies are not constrained by long-term support contracts or limited support privileges. Dubois advises customers new to AWS to leverage this support, saying, “Pay for the Gold Package for support at least for the first several months of launching your first project on AWS. It’s totally worth the money and gives you peace of mind knowing that you have AWS Tech Support available to work out any issue with you while you get your feet wet.”
Dubois further adds, “Working in the Cloud is great, but it’s still pretty new for most of us and you need to have a very well thought-out plan to deploy and back-up and fail-over and redundancy just like you have to on old-school deployments. You just need to understand you have a new set of tools to accomplish these things and find out the best way to accomplish these in the new paradigm. AWS can support you with this and you’ll save tons of time and money in a short period of time.”
Through cloud computing, AWS has leveled the playing field for all sized companies. By saving money and getting to market quickly, KSG is not limited by its size and capital. It now has the golden opportunity to grow and expand.
Discover Kenwood Solutions at kenwoodsolutions.com .
(Published March 2010)