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Volusion Case Study: Migrating 30,000 Stores to Google Cloud


apps admin blog (22)Recently, the only eCommerce platform specifically designed to support the needs of small-to-midsized companies announced an incredible migration success on the Google Cloud. During the upcoming Google Next 18 event on July 24th to July 26th, Austin, Texas based Volusion will be talking us all through how they successfully migrated more than 30,000 eCommerce stores to the GCP.

Volusion is officially the first eCommerce platform in the current marketplace to make the migration, which means that it's effectively paving the way for future companies to enjoy the same incredible functionality on the Google Cloud Platform. As a customer-success focused company, Volusion believed that the advantages of the GCP, including site-wide security, high network reliability, and improved performance would help them to deliver next-level experiences for their network.

Volusion believed that moving to the GCP was a powerful way for their merchants to access a greater level of productivity. After all, it's hard to imagine what you can't do with the massive scalability and geographic flexibility of the Google Cloud. On the GCP, Volusion services are set to be more secure, faster, and more flexible than ever before. Of course, just like any business making a move through digital transformation, the switch from on-premise to cloud isn't always easy.

To help you get ahead of the keynote sessions, we're going to explore Volusion's migration to the cloud in greater depth and take a look at some of the other sessions you can check out at Next this year if you're looking to make the same migration.

Making a move to Cloud Services

Though Volusion has always done its best to deliver exceptional service to its customers, service availability hasn't always been as great as it could be. DDOS attacks, infrastructure limitations, and service migration issues - among other things, meant that the business frequently faced downtime.

As the years passed by, Volusion has been gradually implementing new engineering talent and inspiring network solutions into their community to help improve the state of their organization. For instance, they've added new circuits to their internet mix and brought DDOS defense services onto the team. Volusion even invested in reusable equipment to create a more robust and reliable architecture.

Ultimately, the process of simply upgrading Volusion took a lot of time in itself - with lots of late night maintenance sessions spread over the course of around a year. After they dealt with the problems of stability that they were facing, to begin with, the started to plan some additional changes to ensure that they could bring more availability to their customers - eventually creating a system that they could be proud of. Then, when everything was set up, Volusion made the somewhat sudden decision to switch to the Google Cloud Platform - moving all of their hosting operations from a center in Southern California, to the cloud.

Why Move to Google Cloud?

So, why would Volusion risk pushing all of their data services into the cloud?

The answer is simple enough really. Just like most companies around the world today, Google believed that cloud was the best option to help them achieve the high levels of performance, scalability, and availability they needed to support their customers. Today, Volusion are thrilled to be the first eCommerce platform delivering on the next-level performance they wanted to bring to their customers. Ultimately, they feel that moving to the GCP wasn't just a way to streamline their infrastructure; it was a critical component in giving their customers the best possible service.

In a press release, Volusion noted that they wanted to have the flexibility that came with the cloud, so that they could bring new technologies and standards to the market, like full-site TSL/SSL and HTTP2. Moving to the Google cloud meant that they could do that while responding to the ever-changing needs of their customers. The Google cloud ensures that Volusion has the opportunity to scale its technology in seconds, with professional tools available in everything from security to network operations.

As a cloud-based company, Volusion can now respond to the rapidly-changing needs of its customers, with enhanced upscaling opportunities and expedient delivery of bug fixes and features. So far, Volusion has already seen:

  • A 15% improvement in average page loading times

  • General improvements to network latency and reduced need for CPU power

  • Every quarter second taken offloading times increasing eCommerce conversion rates

Volusion noted that a customer making around $100,000 per day could see a load time reduction of about one second, and a revenue increase of about $7,000 daily. They're sure to tell us more about their success at Next.

Volusion's Plan for Moving to the Cloud

Obviously, moving 30,000 eCommerce stores to the cloud is no simple feat. Not only do you need to make sure that everything transitions smoothly, but you've got to keep track of security too! Fortunately, when Volusion decided to make a move, they had a plan. After all, they wanted their system to be faster, more secure and more flexible than ever, and that meant approaching the transformation with care.

Volusion outlined 5 phases to their transition, which looked a bit like this:

  • Phase 1: DNS hosting: Currently, Volusion is responsible for hosting DNS for thousands of domains. They wanted to make sure that the DNS they offered was still compliant and secure when they switched to the cloud, so they focused on getting this right first.

  • Phase 2: Secure Proxies: When they got the DNS part of things down, Volusion decided to introduce a high-security proxy service into the mix, designed to bring the SSL and HTTP2 features mentioned above to their customers.

  • Phase 3: Merchant content and database: With a security-packed foundation in place, Volusion was ready to start moving information towards the cloud, starting with individual databases and storefronts. The company chose to test their transitional strategies first, before increasing the migration volume slowly.

  • Phase 4: Shared integration services: With the storefront migration ready to go, Volusion started to migrate shared integrations onto the cloud, ensuring that everything worked exactly as it should.

  • Phase 5: Platform management: Finally, Volusion started to migrate the tools they were using over to the platform, cleaning up any services that weren't essential to their plan to cut down on clutter.

Obviously, Volusion had a lot to do, and not a lot of time to do it in. That's why they made sure that they had already spent thousands of hours training their engineers before they ever got started. They also decided to go through their systems carefully and make sure that they were only migrating the things they really needed. According to Volusion, too many migrations fail because companies try to do too much at once. However, Volusion didn't want to do this, so they kept their Google transition exceedingly simply, without missing anything that their customers might need.

To protect their users as much as possible, Volusion also integrated real-world testing to make sure that their migration concepts worked before they began to roll them out. With rollback plans in place to ensure that they always had something to turn back to if something went wrong, Volusion took a highly strategic approach to their move to the cloud. They broke the project down into consumable bites and made sure that they had the security and support that they needed in place every step of the way.

Perhaps that's what made the Volusion migration such an incredible success.

Follow in Volusion's Footsteps

Feeling inspired by Volusion's journey to the cloud?

We know we are, that's why we can't wait to hear more at the Google Cloud Next event.

Volusion will be just one of the companies taking to the stage on Wednesday, July the 25th to talk about how far they've come thanks to the scalability and flexibility of the Google Cloud. At 4:35 pm, Volusion will discuss how their 35k customers are now making the most of one of the largest global networks in the world, with massively scalable storage and computing resources, peerless flexibility, and a lot more.

Volusion has always been an impressive company, with eCommerce sites that have processed over $29 billion in merchant sales around the world. However, with Google Cloud to support them, Volusion is now growing bigger than ever. If you want to learn more about migrating to the cloud, like Volusion, we recommend checking out at least some of the following sessions from Google Cloud Next:

  1. Google Cloud Platform 101

  2. Embracing Hybrid Cloud

  3. Go Transform

  4. The Easiest Transition in the Universe: Migrating from On-Prem to G-Suite

  5. The Value of G-Suite

  6. Marketo's Migration Story

  7. Shopify's Data Platform Migration to the Cloud

Start with a quick introduction into what you can accomplish with Google Cloud Platform. The Google Cloud Platform 101 session is all about exploring everything the cloud has to offer, with a discussion of some of the major features of GCP, and what you can accomplish as a company migrating to the cloud. The session takes place on July 24th at 6:05 pm.

Want to take advantage of the cloud, but not ready to give up on all your on-premise investments yet? We understand. Fortunately, that's why Hybrid cloud services exist to help you out. Whether you're an enterprise, startup, or a mid-sized company, you can explore all the opportunities that come with hybrid cloud on Google. In this session, you'll learn everything you need to know about common hybrid strategies, practical approaches to the cloud and more! The session runs on Wednesday 25th at 12:35 pm.

If like Volusion, you're interested in starting your digital transformation journey with Google Cloud, then this session is the one for you. "Go Transform - an Immersive Business Transformation workshop" is a two-hour experience designed to help you discover what it takes to make a move to the cloud, no matter how big or small your business might be. During this session, you're sure to find plenty of opportunities to ask your questions about digital transformation and solve the problems that might be holding you back from a life on the cloud. Check out the video reel here.

Another great session for those looking into the migration to the cloud. This session is a high-reward solution designed to help you make the most of the cloud age. You'll learn how you can upgrade your environment and ensure that your users continue to get the same incredible experience. Check out Adler Planetarium's approach to migrating into the cloud while you're here. The session will run on July 25th at 3:15 pm.

You've discovered how a company like Volusion can move to the cloud and impress its users, now check out how an entire state managed to make the cloud transition. The State of Colorado adopted G-Suite in 2013, and it's been saving millions ever since. This session discusses how the State of Colorado saved more than $24.5 million over the last five years by switching to the cloud. Tune in on July 24th at 1:55 pm.

A wonderful success story about a move to the cloud, Marketo's migration story comes from a monitoring-driven perspective. The session covers how complex it can be to make the move to the cloud, particularly when you need complete visibility over your network. Fortunately, Marketo managed to migrate their application into the Google Cloud, and in this session, you can find out how. The discussion will take place on the 25th of July at 3:15 pm.

Finally, join Shopify in their discussion of how they managed to take their on-premise data platform into the Google Cloud. Shopify made the migration with a cluster that runs 80,000 queries per day. In this session, they'll be discussing the details of their migration strategy, what they built, and how they made the most of the Google platform. The session runs on July 25th at 3:15 pm.

We can't wait for you to join us at Google Cloud Next 18 this year to hone your Cloud skills, as your technical questions, and learn more about successful migrations into the cloud environment. In the meantime, if you're interested in being the next success story we talk about - just like Volusion - contact Coolhead Tech today!