JawaPos.com

JawaPos.com Handles the Growing Popularity of Online News Using AWS

2021

A Familiar Story of Scaling Problems

JawaPos.com is the online version of a leading Indonesian national newspaper, whose daily circulation is around 824,000. In addition to covering world and local news, the online publication regularly posts stories of businesses turning to the cloud in a country where cloud computing is growing at a compounded rate of 48 percent per annum.

“It’s an unstoppable trend,” says Fajar Budihartono, IT manager at JawaPos.com. Fajar could relate to the inflexibility that many other businesses in Indonesia were looking to overcome. The IT infrastructure behind JawaPos.com ran on premises at a colocation site, and the business experienced downtime of 2–3 hours a couple of times a month. This was often because of breaking news going viral and excessive traffic causing the servers—which couldn’t handle more than 2,000–3,000 concurrent page visitors—to crash. This also resulted in a lag of 2–5 seconds on page displays.

However, the option of buying more servers wasn’t viable because of upfront capital costs. Furthermore, JawaPos.com would need to purchase more servers than needed to ensure enough spare capacity to compensate for the 2–3 months to procure new hardware.

JawaPos.com
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We spend no more than 20 percent of our time managing the AWS infrastructure behind JawaPos.com. This enables us to onboard new sites without delays."

Fajar Budihartono    
IT Manager,  JawaPos.com

Choosing a User-Friendly Cloud Solution

Fajar and his team believed a pay-as-you-grow cloud platform, offering virtually limitless scalability, was the way to go. All the organization needed to do was decide which cloud provider to choose. After evaluating several cloud providers, JawaPos.com decided to use the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. “We found AWS was the most user-friendly cloud to use,” Fajar says. “Performance was stable, and support was superior compared to other cloud providers. The AWS team was also very responsive.”

The support from AWS stood out when JawaPos.com made its migration to the cloud. Initially, right-sizing the cloud infrastructure was a challenge, owing to the IT team’s limited experience. As a result, there were data bottlenecks and costs were higher than predicted. Fajar comments, “The AWS team identified our challenges and gave us the guidance we needed to improve performance and reduce our cloud costs.”

Following the guidance of AWS Solutions Architects, JawaPos.com chose AWS Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing to adjust Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to cater to site traffic. To provide visitors with consistent high-speed access to content across its site, it uses Amazon ElastiCache as an in-memory data store.

Flexing Up with Ease, Reducing Costs by 80%

After migrating to AWS, issues with concurrent visitors and site downtime were yesterday’s news. “With AWS, it didn’t matter if we had 100,000 concurrent users—it wouldn’t be an issue,” says Fajar. Particularly, for overseas readers—who are approaching half of the website’s readership—access has improved significantly. “Our overseas readers are seeing pages displayed in less than 2 seconds instead of up to 5 seconds,” comments Fajar.

JawaPos.com has also recognized cost savings of around 80 percent with its IT infrastructure on AWS, compared to an on-premises data center. The business expects those savings to increase once it starts using Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances.

Admin Time Down to 20% or Less

The flexibility of AWS and its manageability are allowing JawaPos.com to drive expansion. The site is part of the Jawa Pos Group, which is gradually growing its network of news websites in Indonesia. Currently, it has acquired 40 smaller regional and local news websites and migrated them to AWS. “We spend no more than 20 percent of our time managing the AWS infrastructure behind JawaPos.com. This enables us to onboard new sites without delays,” says Fajar.

A New Analytics Chapter Begins

Looking ahead, JawaPos.com’s goal is to develop the analytical capabilities of its infrastructure using AWS solutions. These include the Amazon Elasticsearch Service for application monitoring, Amazon QuickSight for business intelligence, and Alexa for Business to increase productivity during meetings. The JawaPos.com IT team have also completed workshops conducted by the AWS team on data analytics to support areas such as content personalization and service development. “Our aim is to gather data from multiple sources, including JawaPos.com, our regional publications, magazines, and TV, and extract and analyze that information to deliver greater value to our customers,” says Fajar.

The diagram below illustrates the AWS infrastructure at JawaPos.com:

JawaPos.com

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About JawaPos.com

JawaPos.com is part of the Jawa Pos Group, the largest media network in Indonesia. JawaPos.com, which launched in 2016, is the digital version of JawaPos, one of Indonesia’s oldest national daily newspapers.

Benefits of AWS

  • Easily scales to support major news events
  • Reduces latency on page displays from 5 to less than 2 seconds
  • Lowers IT costs by 80% 
  • Cuts management time to 20%, freeing up time for development
  • Establishes foundation for data lake to improve decision-making 

AWS Services Used

AWS Auto Scaling

AWS Auto Scaling monitors your applications and automatically adjusts capacity to maintain steady, predictable performance at the lowest possible cost. Using AWS Auto Scaling, it’s easy to setup application scaling for multiple resources across multiple services in minutes.

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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

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Amazon ElastiCache

Amazon ElastiCache allows you to seamlessly set up, run, and scale popular open-source compatible in-memory data stores in the cloud. Build data-intensive apps or boost the performance of your existing databases by retrieving data from high throughput and low latency in-memory data stores.

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