“Metal Toad was instrumental in architecting Sony Crackle’s cloud infrastructure, providing an environment that is reliable, scalable, and offered faster deployments.”
— Chuy Wong, Executive Director of Platform Operations, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Business problem: An out-of-date legacy platform
In the competitive landscape of over-the-top (OTT) streaming entertainment, Sony Crackle was delivering popular content in the US, Canada, and Latin America—and they were anxious to increase their reach. They needed an infrastructure that could scale at the pace of their business. Because OTT media delivers content directly over the internet, there should be unlimited ability to grow. But Sony Crackle’s legacy platform—built piecemeal over many years—constrained their ability to expand into new regions. Its legacy code was unwieldy to maintain, taking two days just to sync databases. The infrastructure was also time-consuming to expand, requiring long lead times to build capacity for new regions.
Technology solution: Automation for rapid expansion
Metal Toad designed and built a new platform rooted in the idea of infrastructure as code (IAC)—an approach that automates and replaces many manual operations with programmed automation. Now, the team can launch a new region with just a couple simple steps—the infrastructure builds the new region automatically in just hours.
We combined several leading-edge Microsoft Azure features in new ways. Because there was little existing documentation for how these systems interface, Metal Toad led the way in coding a new approach to streaming technology.
Impact: Faster, more reliable, and ready to grow
With 21 countries in seven streaming regions—and many more on the horizon—Sony Crackle is now poised to expand quickly across the globe. Processes that once took days or weeks now take merely hours.
The app’s reliability has also exponentially increased. Whereas the legacy system was time-consuming to fix when problems arose, the team can now identify and easily solve issues in real time.
The new platform also opens the possibility of an entirely new revenue stream for the enterprise: Sony Crackle as a service for other stations. Sony can leverage their streaming infrastructure to create a new channel for any of the properties they own—or even license the platform to other OTT media providers.