Globo.com is the Internet arm of GRUPO Globo, the largest media conglomerate in Latin America, with offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
It operates the largest vertical web portals in Brazil, focussing on News (G1), Sports (globoesporte.com), Videos (Globo Videos) and Celebrities (Ego).
The company also acts as a service provider for all of the other media businesses in the group , giving strategic and technology support to them for the online elements of their operations. It has excellence on high-volume web distribution and is responsible for the highest simultaneous video streaming audiences in the country.
Globo.com wanted to move its application development and systems management practices from a traditional model, based on stand-alone applications deployed on physical servers, into a true cloud-based framework.
As part of this process they needed to replace their existing in-house virtualisation solution (that had been used for the previous three years to manage their development and QA environments) with a modern, full-featured and scalable solution to handle cloud infrastructure in production.
Globo.com ran an internal selection process to evaluate the solutions on the market and help decide on the best platform for their needs. They started with an assessment of the available products and produced a short list of five candidates for further evaluation, including both proprietary and open source alternatives. These candidates were then invited to install a proof-of-concept solution in Globo.com’s premises, working with their technical team.
Each solution was then used as a test bed to setup and deploy two internal applications, in order to get a real-world feeling of the features, performance, stability and ease-of-use for each product. The tests also focused on how to integrate each IaaS solution with Tsuru, Globo.com’s own PaaS project. This gave them a better picture of how to reach the proposed goal of building a true cloud platform and not only a simple virtualisation layer on top of their servers.
During these tests, CloudStack demonstrated that it matched more closely the approach Globo.com wanted. The reasons for this included: significantly more case studies published demonstrating that CloudStack is production-ready, offering many network models, agnostic, open standard, has a great and mature community ensuring they will have news features developed by community. As a result Globo.com selected CloudStack, as their new cloud infrastructure solution.
Fernando Carolo, Cloud Manager at Globo.com outlined the benefits. “First of all, we found that CloudStack is able to deliver all the functionality we require to manage our cloud infrastructure in a simple, yet comprehensive way.
“After moving to CloudStack, we redirected our internal development efforts away from the maintenance of our in-house IaaS project and towards the integration of other parts of our infrastructure with CloudStack itself. By taking advantage of the built-in extensibility mechanisms provided by CloudStack and the vibrant developer community built around it, we have already made significant progress integrating our new cloud deployment into our current operations, such as the ability to control our internal DNS servers (powered by BIND) through a plug-in under CloudStack. This plug-in has been submitted to the project and accepted for inclusion in the next CloudStack release.”
Fernando continued, “Two key points that influenced our decision to start using CloudStack were the ability to extend and adapt the product for our needs and the fact that it is an open source solution. The ability to extend and adapt it is proving to be extremely valuable to our goal of evolving our infrastructure into a full private cloud solution while taking advantage of several existing services that we already have in place, leveraging much of our previous investments in automation and configuration management.
“On the other hand, working on top of an open source solution gives us the confidence to keep evolving our operations without the risk of becoming trapped inside a single-vendor, proprietary solution. CloudStack is at the heart of our move towards a full cloud-based operation and we will not only increase our reliance on it, but also continue to invest in improving and adapting it to our needs.”