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Playbill Simplifies AWS Cloud Management With Mission Cloud

Executive Summary

Mission Cloud partnered with Playbill to manage its AWS resources and infrastructure during its transition from a proprietary CMS. The collaboration aimed to address challenges such as handling high-traffic events like the Tony Awards and optimizing cost efficiency.

Mission Cloud acted as an extension of Playbill's team, providing expertise in managing AWS infrastructure and optimizing performance. Through that support, Playbill experienced increased productivity, reduced repetitive tasks, and improved cost savings. Mission Cloud's assistance in scaling Playbill's infrastructure during high-traffic events resulted in zero outages. The partnership has been highly successful, with Playbill's chief technology officer, Jon Goldman, praising Mission Cloud's reliability and prompt response, emphasizing the importance of having a strong AWS partner for long-term business success.

Playbill Simplifies AWS Cloud Management With Mission Cloud

Background: Transitioning from a Proprietary CMS

As Playbill prepared to transition from a proprietary CMS, it needed an AWS partner to help manage AWS resources and infrastructure. After conducting thorough due diligence, Playbill chose Mission Cloud based on strong recommendations from its primary development partner.

One of the critical events for Playbill is the Tony Awards, which generates a significant surge in website traffic. Playbill needed to scale its website and database to handle the increased load during the announcement and the awards ceremony. 

Challenge: Managing AWS Resources and Infrastructure

One of the primary challenges Playbill encountered was the transition from a proprietary CMS to a more open system. This shift required Playbill to take on the responsibility of managing its AWS resources, with which it had limited experience. Playbill recognized the need for a partner who could guide it through the intricacies of the AWS stack and provide the necessary infrastructure support.

Another significant challenge for Playbill was the management of its website during high-traffic events, such as the Tony Awards. These events generated a substantial increase in website traffic, putting a strain on Playbill’s systems. Playbill needed a solution that could handle the surge in traffic and ensure the smooth functioning of its website and database.

Playbill also had concerns about cost control and wanted to ensure that it was making the most efficient use of its AWS resources. With a small team and limited technical expertise, Playbill needed a partner who could help it optimize its AWS environment, identify cost-saving opportunities, and provide ongoing support for its AWS infrastructure.

Solution: Becoming an Extension of the Team

To support Playbill in managing its AWS resources and infrastructure, Mission Cloud acts as an extension of the team. It serves as a conduit between Playbill and AWS, taking on the responsibility of monitoring and managing the infrastructure as a 24/7/365 responsibility.

During high-traffic events like the Tony Awards, Mission Cloud works closely with Playbill and its development partners to ensure the smooth operation of its website. Mission Cloud helped Playbill scale its infrastructure to handle the increased traffic, optimizing both the front-end web environments and the database.

In addition to addressing immediate challenges, Mission Cloud also supports Playbill in optimizing its ever expanding AWS environment for long-term efficiency and cost savings. It conducts regular optimization reviews, analyzing Playbill's AWS usage and identifying opportunities to reduce costs and improve performance. Mission Cloud works closely with Playbill to explore new technologies and leverage different parts of the AWS stack, streamlining their operations and enhancing their overall workflow.

Results: Enjoying Smooth Operations and Reliable Service

One of the key outcomes of the collaboration is the reduction in hours spent on repetitive tasks. With Mission Cloud's expertise and support, Playbill's team members have been able to offload time-consuming activities, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives. This has resulted in increased productivity and efficiency within Playbill's operations.

Mission Cloud's assistance in optimizing Playbill's AWS environment has led to cost savings and improved performance. Through regular optimization reviews, Mission Cloud analyzed Playbill's AWS usage and identified opportunities to reduce costs while enhancing system performance. By leveraging new technologies and parts of the AWS stack, Playbill has been able to streamline its operations and achieve greater efficiency.

According to Jon Goldman, Chief Technology Officer at Playbill, "Mission Cloud has been such a good partner to us at Playbill. If it's not in your budget, find a way to fit it into your budget. Having an AWS partner as strong as Mission Cloud is so important to your business. It will save you money in the long run.”

During the Tony Awards and other high-traffic periods, Mission Cloud's support and expertise ensures the smooth operation of Playbill's website. With Mission Cloud’s support, Jon says Playbill experienced “the first year in eight years where we had zero issues during both the announcements and the Tonys, without even momentary outages as things auto-scaled.”

The reliability and prompt response from Mission Cloud have contributed to Playbill's high uptime and overall success. Mission Cloud's monitoring capabilities have allowed it to quickly identify and address any issues, ensuring the continuous operation of Playbill's website. This has instilled a high-level of confidence in Playbill, leading to a strong and enduring partnership with Mission Cloud.

AWS Services Used

During the engagement with Mission Cloud, Playbill leveraged a variety of AWS services, including: 

  • EC2 (Instances, Load Balancers, Security Groups, and more)
  • Relational Database Service (RDS)
  • Elastic File System (EFS)
  • Elastic Beanstalk
  • Code Pipeline
  • AWS Secrets Manager
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Amazon Simple Email Service (SES)
  • Cloudfront
  • Cloudwatch
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Route 53 (DNS)

About the Customer

Playbill, a renowned source for theater enthusiasts, provides comprehensive coverage of Broadway and beyond through its online platform and monthly magazine. Playbill services approximately 330 theaters nationwide with programs for their productions. Additionally, Playbill has a travel arm offering exclusive cruises and bespoke travel services. Users can also build and print their own Playbill program with the PlaybillDER website. 


Playbill®, Playbill Travel®, and PlaybillDER® are all Registered Trademarks of Playbill Inc., used with permission.