The Copenhagen Initiative
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The Copenhagen Initiative

How we migrated the 6play VOD platform to The Cloud, on AWS & Kubernetes.

About the Book

6play, the replay and VOD platform of M6 and other RTL Group channels, is hosted in The Cloud! Or rather, depending on when you read this, part of our platform is hosted in The Cloud.

Before 2018, our platform was hosted in a Parisian data center. There, we rented a room, racks, servers, network connections. When a disk broke or to add RAM to a server, a technician would drive to the data center...

In 2018, we started our migration to The Cloud: we switched most of our hosting to AWS. We now use managed services when we can and our applications are often deployed under Kubernetes.

This book tells the story of this migration: how did we transform our hosting? What impact did it have on our projects? How did we organize ourselves? What choices did we make throughout the process? What did we learn, what did we make evolve? And maybe even, one or two years later: what would we do differently if we had to do it all over again?

More than "this is our platform, it's perfect", we will focus on "why" and "how".

The first chapters have already been translated from French to English, you will get them right away when buying the book:

  • Introduction: why this book?
  • Our platform, our project: an overview of our platform and applications, our technical background and our migration project.
  • Discovering the Cloud and Kubernetes: why are we migrating to The Cloud and which provider are we choosing? How do we work with containers and what issues will an orchestrator solve? What was our first migration plan?
  • The Copenhagen Initiative: our YOLO idea to quickly gain experience on an application deployed in production.
  • Our AWS setup: accounts, regions and rights management. Infrastructure as Code with Terraform.
  • Our Kubernetes setup: how do we manage our clusters, with kops, and what additional components do we install to make them fully functional?
  • A first migration: we are finally migrating our first application, with a minimalist deployment chain and a safe approach.

The following chapters have been written, in French, and will be translated soon:

  • The beginning of the problems: with an application in production, we finally encounter a first set of problems and we will present the solutions we have developed.
  • A stabilization phase: what improvements have we made to our hosting, how do we manage monitoring, alerting and logging? In short, how have we evolved towards truly prod-ready hosting?
  • Cloud Native Cloud: what impact does The Cloud (Kubernetes, managed services...) have on our projects and our teams?
  • Migrating other applications: what choices have we made to migrate other more complex applications? What problems did we encounter and how did we solve them?

The last chapters have not been written yet (not even in French). They will be published when I'm done with them, which may be in many months:

  • A second stabilization phase: with almost all our applications deployed in The Cloud, we encountered another set of problems. And we made a lot of improvements to our new hosting!
  • CI, CDs and previews: how does continuous integration work for containers? How do we deploy our applications painlessly?
  • Consumption/cost tracking: the ability to launch any type of instance or service is very nice when we code... But after a while, let's look at the cost of our hosting and the optimizations we have put in place.
  • The development environment: we quickly saw that this point was not going to be simple, because we use managed services and deploy containers to Kubernetes...

The published version of the book will of course be updated, free of charge, when these chapters are added or in case of corrections.

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  • Categories

    • Amazon Web Services
    • Cloud Computing
    • Software Engineering

This book is a translation into English of Le Plan Copenhague which was originally written in French.

About the Author


Passionate about development in general and Web and PHP in particular, I am Lead DevOps at Bedrock (ex M6 Web) in Lyon France, where I work on the 6play platform.

I like to share feedback in conferences, I am an AWS Container Hero, I wrote the book "Développer une extension PHP (FR)" and I am co-author of "PHP 7 avancé (FR)". You can also read technical articles on my blog (FR/EN).

You can follow me on @pascal_martin.


The Book
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Get six copies of "The Copenhagen Initiative": one for each person on your team.

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Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    • 1.1 Contents of this book
    • 1.2 Why?
    • 1.3 Our experience feedback
    • 1.4 Transparency and Confidentiality
    • 1.5 Writing Conventions
    • 1.6 About the author
  • 2. Our platform, our project
    • 2.1 Our applications
    • 2.2 6play: frontend, back and videos
    • 2.3 An aging infrastructure
    • 2.4 The future is coming
    • 2.5 The DevOps team
    • 2.6 A public cloud, Kubernetes
    • 2.7 It was a bit fuzzy!
    • 2.8 In summary
  • 3. Discovering The Cloud and Kubernetes
    • 3.1 Why “The Cloud”?
    • 3.2 GCP, AWS, …
    • 3.3 Kubernetes
    • 3.4 Kubernetes on GCP and AWS?
    • 3.5 At what cost?
    • 3.6 First Migration Plan
    • 3.7 In summary
  • 4. The Copenhagen Initiative
    • 4.1 Achieving perfection?
    • 4.2 KubeCon 2018
    • 4.3 YOLO!
    • 4.4 Back down to Earth
  • 5. Our AWS setup
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Regions, zones, HA
    • 5.3 Separate AWS accounts
    • 5.4 Identification and AssumeRole
    • 5.5 The principle: SSO, identification and roles
    • 5.6 IaaS and IaC
    • 5.7 The network
    • 5.8 In summary
  • 6. Our Kubernetes setup
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 EKS
    • 6.3 kops
    • 6.4 A first cluster
    • 6.5 Additional components
    • 6.6 Auto-scaling of pods
    • 6.7 System Metrics
    • 6.8 In summary
  • 7. A first migration
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 The plan
    • 7.3 A simple application
    • 7.4 The poor’s man CI/CD
    • 7.5 Securing the switchover with haproxy
    • 7.6 Finish the switchover?
    • 7.7 In summary
  • 8. The beginning of the problems
    • 8.1 Introduction: in production, but…
    • 8.2 Our starting tools
    • 8.3 Logging, monitoring and alerting
    • 8.4 Some problems: real cases!
    • 8.5 Nodes that restart whenever
    • 8.6 A lack of audit
    • 8.7 Some “concerns”
    • 8.8 Working in / with The Cloud
    • 8.9 In summary
  • 9. A first phase of stabilization
    • 9.1 Introduction
    • 9.2 The AWS setup
    • 9.3 Tags for AWS resources
    • 9.4 Cluster Kubernetes (kops)
    • 9.5 Applications and their infrastructure
    • 9.6 Monitoring, alerting
    • 9.7 The documentation
    • 9.8 In summary
  • 10. Cloud Native projects
    • 10.1 Introduction
    • 10.2 Cloud Native?
    • 10.3 How is it really going?
    • 10.4 The .cloud directory
    • 10.5 Some examples
    • 10.6 What impacts?
    • 10.7 In summary
  • 11. Let’s migrate all our applications!
    • 11.1 Introduction
    • 11.2 Migrating applications?
    • 11.3 An API to know the time
    • 11.4 Image storage and thumbnail generation
    • 11.5 The Events Collector
    • 11.6 Our Catalog API
    • 11.7 User Preferences
    • 11.8 The Web Front
    • 11.9 Backoffices
    • 11.10 It’s a lot of work!
    • 11.11 In summary
  • 12. TODO - A second phase of stabilization
  • 13. TODO - CI, CD and previews
  • 14. Tracking consumption and costs
    • 14.1 Introduction
    • 14.2 Costs, in our context
    • 14.3 Some theory and first steps
    • 14.4 Improvements we made
    • 14.5 Any other ideas for the future?
    • 14.6 In summary
  • 15. The development environment
    • 15.1 Introduction
    • 15.2 What were we starting with
    • 15.3 During our migration…
    • 15.4 And then
    • 15.5 In summary
  • Appendices
    • Acknowledgements
    • Help me!
    • Timeline
    • Some interesting reading
    • Changelog
  • Notes

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