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DC Thomson

Ensuring compliance

without significant cost

The Challenge

DC Thomson is a continually changing organisation with new brands, titles or content often being introduced, adapted, or discontinued.

The IT organisation within DC Thomson, supported by Brightsolid, helps to facilitate these organisational changes by determining the most appropriate migration strategy for services entering or exiting the DCT environment. In one recent example, a legacy Sage accounting solution was being retired from active use, but to maintain financial compliance DC Thomson required access to the legacy data within the solution needed to be retained for 7 years.

A key challenge was that the application and data were hosted on premises that DC Thomson would no longer have access to and the existing set-up, which required significant compute resources, and while appropriate for a production accounting solution, was expensive to run and maintain simply to retain aged data.

The Solution

DC Thomson have a significant IT estate with a myriad of different workloads hosted in Brightsolid’s Hybrid Cloud.

This offers the benefit of being able to choose the perfect environment for any workload, from a range of colocation, private cloud, and public cloud offerings. This workload:

  • Was to be accessed only in read-only mode as it stored only historical data.
  • Could only be accessed by approved individuals.
  • Would initially be accessed fairly frequently in working hours, but within a few weeks would
    only be accessed very infrequently.
  • Relied on a system with a large compute footprint when active, and with data that needed to be stored permanently.
  • Was hosted on technology on older OS versions that were not ideal for direct migration to public cloud

Brightsolid suggested that a two-stage approach would provide the ideal solution for this workload. In stage one, Brightsolid would replicate the data to its multi-tenanted private cloud solution in a like-for-like capacity. Once migrated, Brightsolid would make key changes to ensure the service was current, ensuring up-to-date operating systems, etc., making it perfect for a migration to public cloud.

Public cloud was determined as the most cost-effective long-term home for the system. AWS’s EC2 (compute) and EBS (storage) solutions were perfect for the solution: EC2 solutions could be automatically provisioned to operate initially on a time-bound or request basis - so they were up for user access in working hours, and eventually only made active upon the request of a user.

Paying for the compute infrastructure only when the system is used provides significant savings to DC Thomson and this, combined with the inexpensive storage charges for infrequently accessed data on AWS, provides an extremely cost-effective solution for the long term.

The Results

  • Significantly reduced costs and improved RTO
  • Management of this non-critical platform provided by Brightsolid, ensuring it is kept current without DC Thomson overhead
  • Automated availability - services are available when needed to approved users
  • Compliance, network, and access guardrails delivered from Brightsolid Cloud Foundations