Fashionandyou Reduces Costs by 55% and Server Sprawl by 70% with Netmagic’s Cloud Infrastructure
Fashionandyou.com is the brand of Goldsquare Sales India Private Limited, and is a part of Brand Alliance, an international organization formed by major private sales companies in Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Australia, the Middle East, the USA, India, Russia and Switzerland.
The company employs over 350 people across India. Technology is headed by Prashant Shivankutty, CTO at Goldsquare Sales India Private Limited (fashionandyou.com), who manages all e-commerce technology platforms including strategic planning, development, and support of all Web Initiatives.
Fashionandyou.com has a unique way of offering lifestyle brands. Every day there are 15 sales events that goes live which lasts for 2-3 days, which works on a fastest-finger-first model - sale will last till stocks last.
IT @ fashionandyou.com
The core technology platform at fashionandyou.com was developed on Java J2EE technology and MySQL database. Initially,the applications and databases were hosted with a third party provider in USA, a pure-play private data center hosting.
Mid of 2011 they upgraded their application that runs the online store, called it Webshop 2.5, with an advance in-memory resident database platform. It is then that the company also moved out of their hosting provider located in USA, and moved to closer to India. Also, cloud technology was maturing and the company wanted to move their application into the cloud.
In 2012, fashionandyou.com decided to move their core business application into the cloud. "We were facing huge latency issues when were hosted in the US. We wanted to quickly address this issue and so decided to move the application to Singapore Data Center facility of AWS", says Prashant Shivankutty.
Apart from the hosted infrastructure, fashionandyou.com had a local data center setup at their headquarters in Gurgaon. There were about 80-90 servers running their ERP and CRM applications (Microsoft Navision ERP and CRM) and some local applications that various departments were using such as Tally used by Finance department.
Addressing Infrastructure Challenges
Key challenges facing fashionandyou.com were spiraling cost of their data center infrastructure and increasing latency of their transactions.
With the solution provider they were hosted at that point in time, fashionandyou.com was experiencing slow transaction time - transaction lifecycle taking up to 6 minutes to complete, as against their target of 1-2 minutes. There was gap in delivery of services from the solution provider as well as unmet SLAs that added to their woes.
"There was a lack of a capable engineering team that they could bring to table who could understand our business and help optimize the infrastructure better. We always ended up having to buy more servers and thus increasing costs," says Prashant Shivankutty. Cost of running the hosted infrastructure, increasing cost of managed services with the partner, increasing number of servers and instances adding to the cost, were all increasing. There was an urgent need to control this cost by optimizing the infrastructure. Another area of increasing cost for fashionandyou.com was the management and team cost of their local data center.
"The application, Webshop, that we run out of the hosted environment has two parts - the production and staging environments. We were running numerous cloud instances for both these environments. The setup was highly futuristic and low on utilization," claims Prashant Shivankutty. There were over 15 servers for the production environment and another 8-9 servers for the staging environment.
The company was not getting any personalized attention that was needed at their time of realignment of business to support in optimizing their infrastructure.
Another challenge the company faced was aging infrastructure and rapidly going out-of-support hardware at their local data center. "We were looking for some one who can on board our efforts to optimize and realign our IT, understand our business and pain points, advice us like a consultant and take on the responsibility of giving us scalable and reliable infrastructure," exclaims Prashant Shivankutty.
What did fashionandyou.com do to address these challenges?
The first thing fashionandyou.com wanted to do at the time of realignment of business was to optimize and consolidate their infrastructure setup.
"We zeroed in on Netmagic to provide us end-to-end cloud hosting services. For this a team of experts from Netmagic spent 2 days with us discussing various aspects of the setup, understanding of our business and challenges as well as charting path for the next-generation of infrastructure for our business," explains Prashant Shivankutty .
Netmagic team of experts could quickly turn around from information gathering, customer discussion, solution design and finally the delivery.
The journey started off with moving Webshop to Netmagic Cloud hosting. At the same time the company started consolidating their application landscape to have 4 core applications that would run the business at fashionandyou.com - Webshop application, ERP and CRM applications and a legacy system that was their main platform for analytics and report generation.
Mid of 2013 the solution design was ready and the core architecture of the cloud infrastructure was finalized including server capacity, CPU and memory configurations, storage, and backup systems. "The Netmagic team was able to lead us very well, and in many areas were able to cut down our costs and opt for only what was required to run the business," explains Prashant Shivankutty.
The setup was delivered by Netmagic in a short span of time. Starting with Webshop, all applications including ERP, CRM and the legacy was successfully moved to Netmagic’s cloud infrastructure.
"We went through an aggressive round of testing of the provided cloud infrastructure to ensure that required performance level are met. And we did another round of rigorous testing after porting all the applications," says Prashant Shivankutty.
The solution provided included 28 Fixed VMs for Production, 7 Elastic VMs for Staging, Virtual Load Balancer and Virtual Firewall Appliance in High Availability, 100% OS Management, MS-SQL and MySQL Database Management, Internet Bandwidth and PetaVault Disk Based Backup.
- Cloud - SimpliCloud
- Data Center Services - Internet Bandwidth, PetaVault
- Infrastructure Management Services - InfraManage
"Netmagic’s synergy with the complete sales support team (Sales, Engineering, Product, Support) to put a top-quality solution for us, at the same time ensuring quick turnaround-time (TAT) has been phenomenal, and a key reason for choosing them to be our technology partner," claims Prashant Shivankutty.
"Netmagic has been able to understand our dynamic IT Infrastructure requirements all the while delivering quality and timely support so that we can focus on enhancing and upgrading our business application," explains Prashant Shivankutty.
Customer intimacy and accessibility to technical and business resources at Netmagic were other reasons to be chosen to run the fashionandyou.com infrastructure. Response from Netmagic has been spontaneous for all support related calls. Netmagic teams have been able to develop a trustworthy relationship with fashionandyou.com.
"One of the biggest benefits of moving to Netmagic’s cloud infrastructure is the level of scalability we have been able to achieve," claims Prashant Shivankutty. "At various meetings when asked what operational investment is required to scale up to handle over a million hits, I simply tell them - nothing. Because we are designed to easily scale up to 10 million hits," he adds.
Netmagic has been able to help fashionandyou.com optimize their BOM (Bill of Material) and reduce their monthly investments. Cost efficiency was a huge benefit that the company enjoys today. Netmagic’s cloud setup for fashionandyou.com has been able to reduce their total costs by 50-55%.
Fashionandyou.com has been able to reduce server sprawl in their data center infrastructure to a large extend. They reduced the number of servers to about 10-12 combining both their cloud setup and the local data center they had - about 70% reduction in server sprawl.
From a performance standpoint, fashionandyou.com has been able to reach their target benchmark with Netmagic’s cloud infrastructure.
"The discussion and consultation with Netmagic’s team of experts gave confidence to us that we were putting our critical infrastructure in safe hands and that they could feel the pain that we were going through," claims Prashant Shivankutty. Personalized touch to their business and a single window approach are other advantages that fashionandyou.com reap.
Netmagic has been able to create trust factor and intimate relationship with fashionandyou.com to be viewed as an extended IT team.