iN DEMAND: A Cloud Migration & Disaster Recovery Case Study

  • Disaster Recovery
  • Migration

CloudEndure Played Leading Role in Migration & Disaster Recovery of iN DEMAND’s Critical Data

Wanting to cut costs, transactional content distributor iN DEMAND decided to migrate 20 terabytes of data to the cloud as well as seek an enterprise-grade disaster recovery (DR) solution to ensure business continuity and maintain the integrity of all its information. As the company that major cable operators depend on for their Pay-Per-View (PPV) and Video On Demand (VOD) content, iN DEMAND can’t afford to lose any data essential to their wide range of services. iN DEMAND chose CloudEndure Live Migration to move its 40 servers to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and work in tandem with CloudEndure Disaster Recovery. The migration projects proceeded quickly and smoothly, and the company now enjoys the confidence that its critical business data is always available with CloudEndure.

Company

Founded in 1985 as Viewer’s Choice, the company changed its name to iN DEMAND in 2000 as it discontinued its analog services and focused solely on digital entertainment. Today, owned by major MSOs and serving hundreds of video providers across North America, iN DEMAND provides PPV and VOD services — offering consumers thousands of first-run and library movies, as well as professional out-of-market sports packages, boxing, MMA, and entertainment events. Its comprehensive technical infrastructure supports the distribution of more than 300,000 hours of content per year, with a 360⁰ solution that follows content from the licensing and acquisition phase, through technical prep and delivery, to data collection and royalty payments.

The Challenges

iN DEMAND had long replicated its VMware servers in its New York City headquarters to an IT service provider colocation facility in nearby New Jersey. The colocation facility not only provided DR, but also served as the platform for the company’s internet-facing offerings.

But in 2015, the company’s monthly contract with the IT service provider was about to increase in cost, prompting a review of other options by iN DEMAND Director of Infrastructure Keith Son and his colleagues. Son and the technology services team decided they should change gears and achieve business continuity in the cloud. To get there, they embarked on a two-phase project: find a solution that would help migrate their servers to AWS and then find a DR solution.

Wanting to avoid volume restrictions, sputtering, replication failures, or slow processes, iN DEMAND tested several migration services. They were searching for a migration solution that could shift data to the cloud without interruption and would not require Son and his colleagues to continually check the progress of the migration.

The Solutions

After reaching out to AWS for a recommendation, Son and his team tested CloudEndure Live Migration and came away convinced they should use the solution for iN DEMAND’s migration project. The test demonstrated that CloudEndure could migrate data quickly and easily, satisfying all of iN DEMAND’s requirements.

As Son explained, “We looked at three different players that had their niches, but when it came down to it, they all missed the total solution we needed. It’s lucky we met with CloudEndure last so that I could really see the difference. Their technology was better than the others.”

Results

CloudEndure successfully replicated the data from iN DEMAND’s 8 VMware servers in only two days — several days ahead of schedule. Unlike the complications they encountered in testing other migration services, when using CloudEndure Live Migration, Son and his colleagues hit no data volume limitation roadblocks and experienced no complications with their servers, which play a crucial role in supporting iN DEMAND’s websites. “We were impressed with the solution’s flexibility and ease of use,” Son said. “Getting the product from the physical data center to the cloud and then getting it to work in AWS was impressive.”

The initial project led to the migration of iN DEMAND’s remaining VMware servers to AWS. The second migration project proceeded just as quickly and smoothly as the first. In all, CloudEndure migrated about 20 terabytes of iN DEMAND’s data to AWS.

Now fully convinced of the benefits of the cloud, iN DEMAND had to make another big decision: choose a DR tool to leverage AWS. As they did before their migration projects, Son and his colleagues tested several DR solutions and ran across many issues such as data volume limitations, incompatibility between VMware and the DR tool, inconsistent recovery attempt results, extensive RTOs (recovery time objectives), or simply not working altogether.

After extensive rounds of testing, Son and his team determined once again that CloudEndure would be the right solution, this time for their DR needs.

Recommendation

iN DEMAND now has the cost-effective and reliable cloud-based DR solution it was looking for. CloudEndure seamlessly manages the cloud DR service that protects iN DEMAND’s 40 VMware servers located at their New York headquarters.

“We had great technical support from CloudEndure,” Son said. “It was on point whenever we had any kind of issues, and those problems were addressed immediately. There’s no ongoing maintenance. We monitor the status, but it works on its own. It’s all automated.”

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