Guinness World Records is the global authority on record breaking. First published in 1955, the iconic annual Guinness World Records books have sold over 141 million copies in 21 languages and in more than 100 countries. The organization receives 47,000 world record applications annually from 178 countries and has more than 53,000 current records on its database.
Over the past six years, Guinness World Records has been diversifying into a creative consultancy and digital media company as it continues to evolve in the digital era.
Guinness World Records’ worldwide television programs reach over 750 million viewers annually and more than 2.7 million people subscribe to the Guinness World Records YouTube channel, which enjoys more than 264 million views per year. The Guinness World Records website receives over 19.8 million visitors annually and the organization has millions of followers and fans across the major social media platforms.
The Guinness World Records commercial sales division also provides customized consultancy services for some of the world’s top brands and agencies to help place record breaking at the heart of their marketing campaigns, employee engagement programs, and live and experiential events.
This fundamental change in the make-up of the company meant the existing IT infrastructure was not suited to the new demands placed upon it, necessitating a move to managed public cloud. “Just from record evidence alone we were going from 5MB a month of data to 4TB,” says Guinness World Records’ IT Director, Rob Howe.
For Guinness World Records, everything hinges around SQL Server. All the organization’s bespoke applications are built with the .Net framework and the SQL Server databases support all incoming record applications, content, news articles and case studies. “Everything is built around the SQL Server workloads that we have,” explains Howe. “We needed a cloud environment that could support it, plus the flexibility that we were looking for. And as such we need an infrastructure that gives us flexibility and agility as we expand into new markets and new product ranges.”
Guinness World Records chose to continue its 16-year partnership with Ensono to manage the migration of its business-critical IT architecture to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform from its current managed cloud service.
This is Guinness World Records’ first move to a public cloud environment, with the migration of mission-critical applications; including its capacity to store and manage 4K video downloads, 50,000 applications, 47,000 record enquiries from 178 countries and 6,000 records approved each year.
Howe said: “Guinness World Records is all in on AWS. We have moved everything over to the cloud. We have moved out of the Ensono data center and they are our key partner in this move, and they are continuing to manage and support our infrastructure, but the whole lot is now running within AWS.”
The project ensures the company’s IT systems can manage the ongoing transformation of Guinness World Records’ business from publishing to a digital media agency, which requires a more scalable and agile platform.
For Guinness World Records’ continued growth, it is vital that its IT systems remain flexible and adapt to the changing market. AWS was the best solution for this and catered to Guinness World Records’ demand for scalability.
“We can provide more agility for the business, so we can eliminate huge wait times for projects,” says Howe. “We are going to be able to deliver more content to our key growth markets in China and Latin America. It’s such a key move for us – it’s going to set the business up for many years to come.”