In our previous infrastructure environment, equipment was rented for a short term for big events like the Asian Games, but using the AWS Cloud, all of these jobs can be done with a few clicks. Because we pay for only the time spent for using the resources, we can save more than 50 percent on event services compared to the past.
Young-jin Seon Department Head, Digital Media Bureau, KBS

KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) began the first radio broadcast in Korea in 1927 using the name Kyungsung Broadcasting System. In 1961, it started TV broadcasts and in 1973 set up a public broadcasting system with its new name, Korean Broadcasting System. KBS now broadcasts in Korea and worldwide. Currently, KBS services two ground TV broadcasting channels, two satellite TV broadcasting channels, six radio broadcasting channels, six cable broadcasting channels, four ground DMB broadcasting channels, and also provides new media services like MyK and Kong. In 2016, it generated a total of 1.5 trillion KRW in revenue, and employed about 4,600 people.

Over the past few years, the consumption patterns of TV viewers have changed drastically due to the increase of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the prominence of mobile devices with guaranteed mobility. The pattern of consuming media has changed from TV to the internet and mobile, and from real-time broadcasting to on-demand video.

In 2016, KBS experienced traffic overflow that could not be handled every time a popular event occurred, like the earthquake in Gyeongju, the Olympic Games, the World Cup, and the big-hit drama Descendants of the Sun. For example, when the KBS drama Descendants of the Sun aired, traffic was four to five times as much as usual. Although IT resources were acquired and managed during each of these events, KBS needed an infrastructure that could flexibly scale in response to increases in traffic. KBS required proactive response in order to support media-consumption patterns and traffic surges, but the company's collocation infrastructure had limitations that didn't meet those needs.

KBS evaluated cloud computing as a method of actively responding to media market changes and traffic surges. The key benefit KBS recognized with cloud technology was the ability to only use as many IT resources as needed and to only pay for needed resources. The company reviewed not only the domestic companies, but also the global cloud vendors. The most important factors that were sought after were reliability, diversity, and expandability. KBS ultimately chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) to implement its cloud solution. "AWS is constantly launching new products even though it already owns a wide array of reference, accumulated experience, and many products," says Young-jin Seon, Department Head of KBS Digital Media Bureau. Various media companies including Netflix, BBC, Amazon Video, and PooQ were already using AWS in Korea and abroad. In addition, AWS has a variety of services that enable quick migration and development, providing consumers with the ability to quickly deliver what they want. KBS was able to experiment with all kinds of technologies, including AWS Media Services, artificial-intelligence (AI) and machine-learning services, as well as data-analysis services.

After review and testing, KBS began migrating in the second half of 2017, migrating about 300 servers that were run in the collocation data center to the AWS Cloud. The migration was complete in August 2018 and KBS closed its data centers. The front end and backend of all KBS digital media services were migrated, including MyK, Kong, integrated CMS, KBS News Web/Mobile, viewer bulletin board, membership system, and regional bureau service. Services that were previously run by physical equipment were easily migrated by using a number of AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES), Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon CloudFront, and AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS). KMS also made use of AWS Media Services including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaConvert to increase the efficiency.

KBS Infographic

After completing the migration in August 2018, the first event to test the stability of KBS's service on AWS was the Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games. KBS responded with flexibility to surging traffic by expanding its service resources on the days when major games for Korea were being held, and was able to provide stable service without any issues. Young-jin Seon, says, “In our previous infrastructure environment, equipment was rented for a short term for big events like the Asian Games, but using the AWS Cloud, all of these jobs can be done with a few clicks. Also, because we are charged for only the time spent using the resources, we can save more than 50 percent on event services compared to the past.”

KBS plans to apply cloud services to more areas based on its experience completing the migration of all digital services owned by KBS. The first is Media Factory, a next-generation service that will integrate CMS systems and metadata that have been previously separated by service, and will handle the entire process of media distribution including media processing. In addition, by integrating AWS artificial-intelligence services into KBS’s large-scale archive system, KBS will be able to gain more value from the media content it owns and will have a platform to produce newer and more various media services. Young-jin Seon says: “We are not only going to use AWS Media Services like AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaConvert, but also AI services like Amazon Polly, Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Transcribe, and Amazon Translate to build Media Factory. Also, we are planning to move CDN and head-end services to the cloud, and we will use Amazon CloudFront, AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaConvert more actively."

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