Orange Digital moves to Amazon cloud

Citing its previous infrastructure as being expensive to run and time consuming to maintain Orange Digital, which manages the online portals for EE, has moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The firm claims that by moving to Amazon’s cloud, it is better able to support spikes in traffic and capacity and reduce costs by £2m over a three-year period.

Through mergers and acquisitions, Orange Digital inherited a legacy physical infrastructure that was no longer adequate to meet the needs of the company and its clients.

“Our infrastructure was expensive to run and time consuming to maintain,” said Neil Jennings, lead enterprise architect, at Orange Digital.

He added that the firm’s traffic profile is variable in nature, which resulted in an oversized infrastructure 90 per cent of the time.

“In addition, we had many EE micro sites and applications that needed rapid and temporary hosting. We were also in a period of expansion, and with traffic on our Orange and mobile home pages climbing to four billion requests monthly, we became limited by our fixed infrastructure.”

To scale up a physical infrastructure would present a massive upfront cost and a long time to market for deployment, he added, so the firm sought alternative solutions. The software architecture team at the firm therefore looked at alternatives to their existing infrastructure, including evaluating cloud service providers.

“Outside of cost, we chose AWS for its ability to scale up and down quickly. The application programming interfaces (APIs) gave us granular control over the virtual infrastructure, supported with solid documentation,” said Jennings.

Matt Dean, lead infrastructure architect, added that using the AWS Cloud has allowed Orange Digital to allocate staff more productively.

“Our infrastructure and support team has gone from nine people to four, freeing up the other five to spend their time on developing software and adding value, not just operational maintenance.”

Moving to AWS has reduced the time to market for new products, added Jennings.

“Previously, this process took at least three months. AWS has removed a barrier, so time to market is dependent almost entirely on developing software and deciding what we want to do.”

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