Trinity Mirror PLC is one of the United Kingdom’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers, with a portfolio that includes 5 national newspapers, more than 130 regional newspapers, and more than 500 digital products. Trinity Mirror employs over 5,000 people in more than 60 locations, and has nine print sites across the United Kingdom.

After hosting its IT environment with another service provider for nine years, Trinity Mirror began to look for an alternative solution that would allow the company to be more agile. Neil McIntyre, Head of IT for Digital at Trinity Mirror, explains: “Historically, provisioning infrastructure took several weeks. It involved managing capital expenditure, ordering and installing services, and configuring applications.” Trinity Mirror also wanted an IT hosting environment which would provide improved data center resilience, with the ability to fail over as close to real time as possible.

The Trinity Mirror team looked at other cloud solutions but as McIntyre says, “We chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) because of the relative maturity of AWS solutions, the functionality of AWS self-serve tools, the resilience provided through multiple Availability Zones, and the scalability of the AWS Cloud. We also had team members with experience working with AWS. When we compared AWS to other cloud providers, we found that AWS enabled us to do everything in-house, which meant we could configure new solutions within minutes.”

The team initially chose one small website to demonstrate the flexibility and infrastructure of the AWS Cloud internally. McIntyre says, “The project was successful, and we have since ported over our flagship website——along with some of our other newspaper branded sites. Trinity Mirror is using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for MySQL, Elastic IP Addresses, and Elastic Load Balancing. The solution also incorporates Linux as the base operating system.

Trinity Mirror has not had any infrastructure-related outages since using AWS. The home page of the website has experienced almost 100 percent availability since migrating to AWS. “We estimate that without AWS, our operational costs would have increased if we were to implement the same level of resilience, and our capital expenditure would have also increased,” McIntyre says.

The team has also been impressed with AWS Support. McIntyre says, “On the rare occasion that we have issues, AWS Support engineers are able to assist us immediately. Thanks to AWS Support, we are now able to be self-sufficient; however, we are thankful for the guaranteed comfort of a service level agreement response time.”

McIntyre concludes, “AWS is now an integral part of Trinity Mirror. We plan to migrate all newspaper branded sites to AWS by 2013. There is no reason for us to build a new site and not put it on AWS.”

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