Newser provides a unique online news service focused on providing a richer and smarter news experience for its users, free of charge.   The Newser writers and editors pull information from sources throughout the world to provide stories readers are interested in.   They summarize the news into easily readable stories that are interesting, informative and concise.   Registered users of Newser can comment on stories, customize their homepage, and even contribute their own stories.

Problem

The Newser service, which leverages a Microsoft .Net software architecture, was running on a physical server infrastructure at a co-location facility.   Newser needed to lower operational costs and be able to more easily scale their systems for future growth in the number of web and mobile users.    They also wanted to improve service availability and be able to quickly adapt to future business changes.   Above all, an important deadline was looming-their co-location contract was up for renewal in a couple of months.

Solution

To address their needs, Newser was considering moving their systems to the Microsoft Cloud, but needed some insight and direction.   Newser engaged Cloud 9 Infosystems to assess, plan and migrate their systems to Microsoft Azure.  Cloud 9 completed an assessment of the Newser service and worked closely with Newser’s Chief Technology Officer to lay out a tactical approach for addressing the immediate needs, and develop a longer term Platform as a Service (PaaS) strategy.

The tactical effort did not change the server architecture.  Instead, the servers were setup in the cloud as virtual machines on a virtual network in Microsoft Azure. This “lift and shift” approach to migrate systems as-is to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution helped accelerate the effort.

Within six weeks, Newser was running their development, test and production environments entirely on Microsoft Azure.  A transition to the Microsoft Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) followed shortly, and after a total of eight weeks, Newser was beginning to realize the monthly operational cost benefits of cloud computing.  In addition to the cost savings, Newser can now focus their IT resources on developing new service capabilities and architecture changes.

Benefits

Newser is realizing the benefits of their IaaS implementation, but not stopping there.  They are actively preparing for their next cloud effort-moving to a PaaS solution that will mean additional cost savings, high service availability and the ability to more quickly test and release service updates. 

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