90%

Management time savings

25

Days per year of additional productivity

90%

Faster restores

Overview

Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) is America’s largest media company of iconic magazine brands, television stations, and radio stations, including PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle and Allrecipes. Founded in 1902 in Des Moines, Iowa, with 8,000 employees, Meredith has a readership of more than 180 million, nearly 135 million monthly unique website visitors, and a broadcast television reach of 11% of U.S. households.

“Meredith would not be where it is today without technology. All of our intellectual properties, including videos, images, and magazine copy are technology-based, so it is our number one priority to provide a stable architecture to protect this data,” said David Coffman, Director of Enterprise Infrastructure. “As a company, we embrace the mantra of ‘Be bold, together’. So as an IT team, eliminating tape, embracing Rubrik, and migrating to the cloud was a bold decision, but also the right one for Meredith.”

As a company, we embrace the mantra of ‘Be bold, together’. So as an IT team, eliminating tape, embracing Rubrik, and migrating to the cloud was a bold decision, but also the right one for Meredith.

David Coffman
Director of Enterprise Infrastructure

Challenges

  1. Labor-intensive and disparate legacy data management solutions
  2. Clunky and painful upgrades
  3. Unreliable tape-based restore process
  4. Challenges to prove compliance

Solutions

  1. 90% management time savings (2 FTEs to a few hours per day)
  2. Streamlined upgrades giving 25 days of additional productivity back to the business
  3. Near-zero RTOs (from days to minutes)
  4. Seamless data management across data centers and AWS

Business transformation

  1. Rubrik’s management simplicity has enabled Meredith to increase their IT team’s productivity, allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives that increase internal collaboration and enhance consumer experience, bolstering their reputation as a world-class media company.
  2. Rubrik has also allowed Meredith to adopt AWS for long-term retention, ensuring availability of media assets and eliminating unnecessary overhead by migrating off tape, with one unified platform to protect applications across data centers and clouds.

Challenges

Management Complexity with Disparate Legacy Solutions

Prior to Rubrik, Meredith struggled with a hodgepodge of different solutions as a result of multiple acquisitions. “After acquiring Time Inc., we realized the severity of our fragmented environment. With dozens of disparate systems, it was not only labor intensive to monitor and maintain, but we were under a constant upgrade cycle. It got to a point where we just didn’t have the time or resources to upgrade and we were at risk,” said Michael Kientoff, Senior Systems Administrator.

“Furthermore, as a publicly-traded company, we are subject to stringent compliance requirements like PCI and SOX. Previously, we had two full-time employees solely dedicated to just managing backups. Yet, there were a number of incidents over a couple of months with our previous system, after which we struggled to provide proof of compliance,” said Kientoff. “We wanted a solution we could have confidence in.”

With Rubrik’s automated SLA policy engine and intuitive interface, managing backups takes a fraction of the time compared to Meredith’s legacy solution. “Previously, we were spending over 80 hours per week managing and troubleshooting our backups,” said Vasu Gorantla, Data Protection Systems Administrator.

“We chose Rubrik for its simplicity. Now, we spend less than a few hours per day managing Rubrik and it allows our team to focus on more strategic endeavors that bring greater value to the business, like consolidating hardware, closing down data centers, and moving to a hyper-converged infrastructure. Rubrik’s Polaris GPS has been a game-changer for us. GPS allows us to centrally manage our infrastructure with a single pane of glass so that we can identify problem areas instantly and continue to be agile," said Gorantla. 

Previously, we had two full-time employees solely dedicated to just managing backups, yet there were a number of incidents over a couple of months with our previous system, after which we struggled to provide proof of compliance

Vasu Gorantla
Data Protection Systems Administrator


 


Solutions

Cloud mobility with Rubrik and AWS

“The media industry by nature is extremely collaborative– editors, designers, photographers all have to work in tandem to meet hard deadlines. Downtime could mean a magazine edition doesn’t go to print on time,” said Coffman. “So from a business perspective, we see the benefits of adopting cloud as endless.”

“With tape, there’s always a risk of not being able to recover; the cloud is fundamentally more reliable. Rubrik enables us to seamlessly protect our workloads on Amazon S3, allowing for quicker restores and disaster recovery. Moving to the cloud has made it easier for our teams to collaborate, which means we’re doing our job right,” said Coffman.

“We’ve also started to migrate certain workloads to Amazon EC2 as part of our digital transformation efforts, but relied on native AWS snapshot tools which offered no central management capability,” said Kientoff. “So the idea of incorporating Amazon EC2 backups into the same data protection solution as our on-premises backups was a no-brainer. We’re currently protecting JIRA applications with Rubrik on Amazon EC2, but see huge growth potential in this aspect of the business moving forward. We’re excited to see Rubrik continue to innovate with Amazon EC2 protection.”


 

Rubrik enables us to seamlessly protect our workloads on Amazon S3, allowing for quicker restores and disaster recovery. Moving to the cloud has made it easier for our teams to collaborate, which means we’re doing our job right.

David Coffman
Director of Enterprise Infrastructure


The Results

Meredith is using Rubrik to protect their 90% virtualized environment, including SQL and Oracle, and cloud.

90%+ management time savings

“With our legacy solution, we had two full-time employees just managing backups. Now we only spend a few hours per day checking Rubrik, allowing us to spend more time on strategic, value-add work.”

90%+ faster restores

“Previously, recovering data could sometimes take several days depending on if that data was on tape. It was a painfully laborious process that impacted our productivity. Supporting over 8,000 employees is no small feat, but with Rubrik’s Google-like search, we’re able to find exactly what we need and instantly restore in a matter of minutes.”

Seamless upgrades

“Rubrik’s upgrade process is such a tremendous improvement over our previous solutions. We no longer need to coordinate upgrades on multiple backup servers and hundreds of clients; the Rubrik support team handles it all. This painless upgrade process saves us more than 25 days per year to focus on strategic projects.”

Cloud archival to AWS

“Protecting our intellectual property is our number one priority, but it also needs to be easily accessible to our editors, producers, and designers. Rubrik’s support for AWS ensures we’re able to maximize our storage efficiency as we scale our cloud footprint. This also allowed us to migrate off tape, eliminating unnecessary overhead.”

Simplified Amazon EC2 protection

“We’re excited for Rubrik’s innovation in Amazon EC2 protection, particularly the upcoming ability to protect an Amazon EC2 instance by tag. Server administrators will be able to opt-in to backups simply by putting a certain tag on the Amazon EC2 instance, which they can then incorporate into their automated server build process, helping to simplify and bring certainty to protecting Amazon EC2 instances.”

Full visibility and control with Polaris GPS

“Polaris GPS is our unified system of record. It gives us a simple, bird’s-eye view of all of our four sites and allows us to centrally manage our infrastructure by giving us insight into potential short-term capacity issues.”

Streamlined compliance

“We have a number of compliance requirements that have been streamlined with Rubrik, like SOX and PCI. Rubrik automatically delivers end-to-end encryption for data both in-flight and at-rest, which help provide auditors with clear evidence of compliance for backup requirements.”