When the 24/7 news cycle gets to be too much, it’s nice to know you can change channels to enjoy the comforting pleasures of lifestyle programming and focus on delicious food, beautiful homes, and luxurious travel destinations.

Some of the most popular lifestyle networks, such as Food Network, HGTV, and Travel Channel, have one thing in common—they are all operated by Scripps Networks Interactive, a leading purveyor of engaging lifestyle content in the home, food, and travel categories for television, the internet, and emerging platforms.

It’s no secret that the TV industry is experiencing massive changes these days. In response, this Knoxville, Tenn.-based media company is constantly evolving to deliver the content its customers want, wherever and however they want to consume it.

scripps networks interactive logoWhen that evolution required shifting its websites and mobile apps from an on-premise data center to a multi-cloud environment, Scripps Networks turned to New Relic to keep its content flowing throughout the transition.

Simplifying monitoring tools

Delivering content across multiple platforms to millions of viewers each month requires close attention to detail. “When a small problem suddenly extends to 20 million people, it becomes a big problem very fast,” explains Mark Kelly, director of cloud and infrastructure services architecture for Scripps Networks. “So trying to find the memory leaks or code effects that might be the culprits becomes a top priority.”

As they prepped for the move to the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Mark and his colleagues recognized that continuing to use 50 to 100 different monitoring tools was no longer an option. “We had a mind-boggling number of tools and not enough expertise or knowledge to keep everybody aware of them,” he concedes. “We knew it was time to simplify.” Scripps turned to the New Relic platform to help track and optimize application performance before, during, and after the migration.

Streamlined and effective troubleshooting

Scripps Networks was excited to see just how tightly integrated with AWS the New Relic solutions were, and how quickly they delivered valuable application performance insights. Mark and his team also appreciated the extent to which New Relic could be customized for specific undertakings.

For example, as the team migrated the Adobe Experience Manager content management system to a cloud environment, “we worked with Adobe and New Relic to come up with the proper ways to deploy APM and the Adobe system with monitoring points that would allow us to troubleshoot code deployment issues much faster,” says Mark.

Soon, Scripps Networks was harnessing the power of New Relic across its entire technology stack. “Since most of our environments are deployed with New Relic instrumentation built in—and we try to make these environments as identical as possible—our troubleshooting efforts have become much more streamlined and effective,” he says.

HGTV magazine and website

Microservices for multi-platform development

Beyond the cloud, another part of Scripps Networks’ ongoing evolution is building entertainment experiences that are consistent across all platforms—including web, mobile, and other emerging technologies. For Marcus Irven, lead architect for mobile and emerging platforms, tools such as New Relic Synthetics and New Relic Insights are key to staying competitive in this fast-changing arena.

“To ensure our application logic is portable and reusable across platforms, we develop and deploy using a microservices-based approach,” he says. “We use New Relic Insights to gain visibility into the interactions among all our services. This has greatly facilitated our multi-platform development efforts.”

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The next challenge for Marcus and team is developing a brand-new serverless application that runs on AWS Lambda. As that project progresses, New Relic Infrastructure is proving essential.

“AWS cloud services monitoring data combined with application monitoring data is immensely powerful—we get a full picture of our application delivery stack performance all in one place with New Relic,” Marcus explains.

Making the most of multi-cloud

Now that the Scripps Networks environment is firmly established in the cloud, Mark Kelly is excited to take the next step—a multi-cloud approach. Specifically, that means expanding the company’s use of Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform alongside AWS.

“I want to be able to run code for any application using the cloud platform that makes the most sense for the use case while keeping costs optimized—be it Microsoft Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud Platform,” says Kelly. “New Relic’s growing support for leading cloud services providers gives me that single pane of glass from which to monitor my applications no matter where they are running.”

For a more complete look at how Scripps Networks has made New Relic a part of its lifestyle—and details on how the company reduced delivery times for new products and features from as long as six weeks to as little as 15 minutes—read the full customer case study: Scripps Networks Interactive Keeps the Digital Content Flowing.

 

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B.J. Hinshaw is a freelance writer based in Northern California. View posts by .

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