Enabling Epsilon’s Seamless Migration to AWS

Epsilon calls itself the “first of a new breed of marketing companies,” and it’s undoubtedly an industry leader in data-driven marketing. According to Advertising Age, Epsilon owns the world’s largest CRM network, and the company says it shapes over one trillion real-time digital media decisions across the globe every day.

But Epsilon’s success hasn’t come without growing pains. Last year, IT leaders at its Singapore location found themselves struggling to cope with growing data-management demands. Server costs were rising, performance was declining and infrastructure ROI was falling short. Poor visibility into IT operations only compounded the problems. “We just did not know how much of our capacity we were using at any one time,” says Director of Technology Xinzhan Chen.

Chen and his team realized that migrating to the AWS public cloud would solve most of these problems, but they worried about managing such a technically complex move. Failure would be costly — the scope and granularity of Epsilon’s customer data is a key differentiator. It can’t risk losing that data, or compromising performance or customer experience. But Chen didn’t have a dedicated team of cloud experts.

“We run a lean application team, and I want them to focus on what they do best,” he says. He didn’t want to push them beyond their core areas of expertise or divert them from strategic tasks. Ultimately, he and his team chose Rackspace to manage their migration to AWS.

“We chose Rackspace for a very simple reason — Fanatical Support,” Chen says. Rackspace Fanatical Support for AWS provided a team of AWS-certified cloud migration experts to manage Epsilon’s migration from start to finish. They employed the Rackspace proven migration framework:

  • Assess & Analyze: Carefully examine workloads, server configuration, network topology, and security and governance requirements.
  • Identify & Plan: Identify the right systems architecture from the AWS catalogue given the client’s unique needs.
  • Migrate: Move applications and data and perform post-migration validation. Once validated, go live.
  • Manage & Optimize: Assume responsibility for all ongoing operational work to leverage new AWS features and meet the client’s evolving architectural needs.

During the migration, Rackspace experts offered total transparency into the process, clearly explaining each decision to Chen and his team and answering any questions they had.

“Basically, the migration wasn’t very stressful, because we were in the good hands of Rackspace,” Chen says. “Having an AWS-certified partner with in-depth experience in migration took all the worry and stress out of the project.” The Rackspace team achieved a seamless migration to a scalable, agile AWS platform, with zero impact on customer experience or business operations. Epsilon improved its application performance, cut its server costs and added much-needed visibility into usage patterns.

“With AWS, out of the box there are lots of monitoring tools, and we were able to see how much the load was throughout the day and throttle the number of servers,” Chen says. “By looking at the graphs we could determine when we needed more servers just in time.”

Perhaps most importantly, Chen and his team can reap the benefits of AWS capabilities while focusing on the strategic work that drives Epsilon forward.

“With Rackspace, Epsilon can move much faster, because we can focus on what we do best,” Chen says. Learn more about Rackspace’s industry-leading support for the world’s largest clouds, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMware and OpenStack.

Download our white paper, “Keys to Public Cloud Migration” for a deeper understanding of common migration challenges and methodologies.

Jerry Hargrove is a Senior Solutions Architect on the Fanatical Support for AWS team at Rackspace. He works with Rackspace customers, helping them architect and implement super scalable and highly available solutions in the AWS cloud. Prior to joining Rackspace, Jerry worked as a Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services and as a software architect and developer. Jerry brings more than 20 years of software architecture and development experience to the Rackspace team and has worked in a broad cross-section of the software industry in a variety of settings. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid hiker, climber and back-country skier.


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