Global fashion retailer boosts online conversions and cuts costs through a seamless cloud migration

“This was the biggest infrastructure change in the history of the company, and we wanted to do it in such a way that our customers wouldn’t notice the change. Pythian gave us the advice and support we needed to make that goal a reality.”

 

Business Need

From a single store off Carnaby Street in London, AllSaints has grown over the past 25 years into a major online fashion retailer. The brand’s website and app attract more than two million visits a month from customers across Europe, Asia and North America.

As every ecommerce brand knows, online customers do not tolerate the frustration of slow page loads or difficult checkouts. Success depends on a smooth and consistent user experience, even during peak periods. For years, AllSaints met that expectation by running more than 60 servers. Outside of major shopping periods, though, nearly half those servers sat idle, adding unnecessary costs in an industry where margins are already razor thin.
 

Solution

To improve its responsiveness, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, AllSaints made the decision to migrate its operations from a hybrid cloud environment to Google Cloud alone. This wasn’t a simple case of lift and shift. The move required the refactoring of 100 individual services to a new microservices cloud environment. And there was no room for downtime or degradation of performance; the platform had to launch flawlessly, with high availability in every time zone and region around the globe.

The massive scale of the plan made it clear to AllSaints that outside help would be needed, and Google recommended Pythian for the task. As Pythian had already been serving the retailer for two years in a support role, the decision to expand the relationship was an easy one to make.

Together, teams from Pythian and AllSaints set up the chosen technology: Google Cloud SQL via MySQL on Google Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine and Google Cloud Memorystore. This environment autoscales to meet increased demand during peak shopping periods, and the monitoring provided by Google Stackdriver supplements the self-healing properties of Kubernetes.

AllSaints’ in-house developers built all customer-facing services for the AllSaints app. The migration of microservices to the cloud gave the team the chance to build a new CI/CD pipeline with Jenkins and Terraform. This new pipeline has cut deployment times from more than 20 minutes to less than five.

To provide deep insight into the performance of AllSaints’ apps and databases, Pythian recommended and implemented Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM). PMM has the added benefit of delivering alerts simultaneously to both AllSaints and Pythian.

With Pythian’s help, AllSaints is continuing to maximize the possibilities of Google Cloud. Google BigQuery is offering the retailer new opportunities to leverage the huge amounts of data in its possession.
 

Result

After its seamless, all-at-once migration to Google Cloud, AllSaints started realizing the benefits immediately. In the first three months following the move, page load speeds improved by 35 percent, and online conversions at full price were up by 20 percent. In addition, the elimination of AllSaints’ redundant servers allowed the company to reduce its platform operating costs by a full 75 percent.
 

Technologies

  • Google Cloud
  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Cloud Memorystore
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Percona Monitoring and Management
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Google Kubernetes Engine
  • Google Stackdriver
  • Jenkins
  • Terraform