Fastly > Case Studies > Gannett's Digital Transformation: Enhancing News Delivery with Fastly's Edge Cloud Platform

Gannett's Digital Transformation: Enhancing News Delivery with Fastly's Edge Cloud Platform

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Technology Category
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Application Development Platforms
  • Sensors - Level Sensors
Applicable Industries
  • Cement
  • National Security & Defense
Applicable Functions
  • Logistics & Transportation
Use Cases
  • Traffic Monitoring
  • Transportation Simulation
Services
  • System Integration
  • Testing & Certification
The Challenge
Gannett, the largest news publisher in the U.S., faced a significant challenge in maintaining its competitive edge in the fast-paced world of digital news publishing. The company's previous content delivery solution relied on a time-to-live-based method for purging content, which resulted in a delay of 45 to 90 seconds before a piece of content could go live. This delay was a significant disadvantage in an industry where being the first to publish a story can significantly impact future traffic to a site. Additionally, Gannett's previous solution did not provide the granular control and visibility needed to handle large traffic spikes effectively. The company also faced challenges in deploying configuration changes, which required a minimum of 60 minutes and often involved going through their previous provider. This process was inefficient and limited the ability of Gannett's developers to make changes quickly and independently.
About The Customer
Gannett is the largest news publisher in the U.S., with nearly 300 local news brands and a national publication, USA Today. The company reaches more than 150 million users with its Pulitzer-Prize winning content, consumer experiences, and benefits. Gannett prides itself on building an exceptional user experience and is committed to being the first to publish breaking news stories. The company is also dedicated to innovation and is always looking for ways to improve its sites and apps. Gannett was an early adopter of Fastly's edge cloud platform and has used it to build significant efficiencies into its pipeline and secure the end-to-end user experience.
The Solution
Gannett addressed these challenges by switching to Fastly's edge cloud platform. This platform enabled Gannett to push content live in an average of 150 milliseconds, significantly improving its ability to be the first to publish breaking news stories. Fastly's Instant Purge functionality was a key component of this improvement. Gannett also built a custom load-balancing solution using Fastly's edge dictionaries, VCL snippets, and backend health checks, which provided the granular control and visibility needed to handle large traffic spikes effectively. Fastly's platform also enabled Gannett's developers to deploy configuration changes in less than five seconds, a 98.86% improvement over the previous platform. This change empowered Gannett's developers to manage their own configurations and streamline workflows. Additionally, Gannett used Fastly's Image Optimization product to store a single asset at the edge and deliver it to multiple publications in any defined crop, resulting in cost savings and faster user experiences.
Operational Impact
  • The switch to Fastly's edge cloud platform has had a transformative impact on Gannett's operations. The company is now consistently first to press with its instant publish platform, which has led to increases in traffic and engagement across its properties. The custom load-balancing solution has given Gannett the ability to control the flow of traffic between each region as needed, eliminating the need for overprovisioned resources at origin. The ability for developers to deploy configuration changes quickly and independently has streamlined workflows and eliminated bottlenecks. The use of Fastly's Image Optimization product has also simplified the process of delivering images to multiple publications, resulting in faster user experiences. Finally, the use of Fastly's Web Application Firewall has enhanced the security of Gannett's digital properties without impacting the user experience.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Gannett can now push content live in an average of 150 milliseconds, compared to a delay of 45 to 90 seconds with the previous solution.
  • The time required to deploy configuration changes has been reduced from a minimum of 60 minutes to less than five seconds, a 98.86% improvement.
  • Gannett has achieved about 35% in egress cost savings by using Fastly's platform.

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