Vorwerk Perfects Production Readiness with StormForger

StormForger is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner

Make Cooking Effortless and Delivering Thousands of Delicious Recipes Instantly

With the launch of Cookidoo® in 2016, Vorwerk connected the Thermomix® to a world of 60,000 official recipes. Vorwerk itself places the highest demands on the quality of its products and Cookidoo® is no exception. The platform behind Cookidoo® has to be highly available and very responsive to ensure an excellent consumer experience with Thermomix® every day.

To meet the growing demand in countries like Australia, Taiwan, and Mexico, Vorwerk built an Edge Layer consisting of hundreds of microservices in multiple AWS regions (including Europe, Sydney, and US East) to bring Cookidoo® closer to customers.

Backed by 90 million search requests per week, almost 60,000 recipes are now available on Cookidoo®, and every day millions of meals are cooked with Thermomix®.

300 Million Requests Per Day Handled by 18 Self-Contained Systems in the AWS Cloud

Vorwerk started using AWS in 2015 with Elastic Beanstalk. New services are regularly evaluated to drive innovation and services like DynamoDB, S3, and CloudFront were adopted.

One reason for choosing AWS is the large number of reliable and mature products and services. Furthermore, AWS understands the high standards Vorwerk needed to deliver to customers worldwide. 80% of all Vorwerk's workloads are delivered with AWS.

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Stefan Motz, Alexander Heusingfeld at StormForger’s Customer Success Event “Enterprise Performance Lab”.

Vorwerk used to rely on interconnected, monolithic components which began to cause problems with organizational scaling. A self-contained systems (SCS) approach was chosen to decouple Vorwerk’s services and components to increase its ability to innovate at a significantly faster speed. Adopting DevOps methodology was also identified as a key driver for success.

To support teams at Vorwerk and allow them to focus on business value delivery at the demanded quality, Vorwerk's teams are encouraged to rely on SaaS products (like StormForger for Performance Testing) for every step of their development process. This gives all teams at Vorwerk the ability and confidence to carry out a “You build it, you run it!” approach.

Deliver Self-Contained Systems in High Quality at DevOps Speed

While transforming from monolithic components to microservices to finally to a consistent SCS approach, Vorwerk was challenged to continuously deliver high quality software in short release cycles. While connecting hundreds of thousands of Thermomix® TM6 devices to the Cookidoo® platform, ensuring high performance and cost efficiency became ever more business critical – not only for Cookidoo® but also future products.

Performance testing is a crucial practice to ensure Vorwerk’s high quality standards. Performance testing on a regular basis is the only way to deliver consistent high quality in an ever-changing environment.

Perfect Services for a Perfect Experience

AWS helps speed up the delivery of new features and releases by providing flexibility and a large number of services for all kinds of use cases. Environments can scale automatically to serve consumer needs while DevOps teams can access all AWS services to improve their systems at any time.

When it comes to assessing performance aspects like application response time, capacity, scalability, and reliability, Vorwerk trusts StormForger – a software-as-a-service (SaaS) for automated and continuous load and performance testing.  

“StormForger is an integral part of our production readiness strategy. Empowering our teams to assess the performance of each release within their continuous delivery pipeline, the teams not only understand the risks related to their changes, but it also enables us to run capacity planning and sizing for our Kubernetes cluster on AWS all the time.” 

- Alexander Heusingfeld, Head of Digital Architecture & Infrastructure, Vorwerk International

Continuous Performance Testing Using CI/CD Integration

StormForger empowers Vorwerk DevOps teams to work in a self-responsible and agile way. Cross-functional teams get the ability to perform automatic tests using StormForger for all builds and releases – while reducing organizational dependencies to a minimum.

With every test, teams increase the understanding of their system’s behavior to detect possible bottlenecks and issues early on in their development and release processes. Furthermore, the size and capacity of Kubernetes pods and nodes is based on detailed utilization data gathered in many load test experiments.

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Stefan Motz, Alexander Heusingfeld at StormForger’s Customer Success Event “Enterprise Performance Lab”.

Teams are enabled to verify non-functional requirements on their own and create quality gates for their production-ready delivery using StormForger’s SLO verification features. This is an important building block to ensure the high quality standards that Vorwerk has set itself.

StormForger has become an integral part of Vorwerk’s production readiness strategy. Automated load and performance tests are being performed on a regular basis by integrating them into the development processes and continuous delivery pipelines (CI/CD). All teams are now able to test their releases independently and run experiments to guarantee excellent service for every customer around the world.

High Flexibility for the Benefit of All Parties

The AWS Cloud offers the portfolio required to ensure a flawless Thermomix® and Cookidoo® experience.

StormForger’s SaaS solution empowers Vorwerk DevOps teams to make use of a perfect testing approach that fosters autonomy and independence. The solution also helps with organizational scaling by democratization of performance testing and providing access to every single team member. DevOps teams can run tests at any time, with any level of load, against any target system, from any region in the world, and with everything fully managed by StormForger SaaS.

Performance tests in StormForger are written as code (StormForger’s JavaScript DSL) to further foster an automated DevOps culture. Creating test cases used to take days, but now teams can start conducting their first tests within minutes. Shift-left testing is something that follows automatically.

Vorwerk benefits both from an increase in software quality and its teams gaining more confidence in systems they are responsible for. As a result, a culture for performance, efficiency, and sustainable resource utilization evolves naturally.

Being able to uphold Vorwerk’s quality standards is something that not only benefits Vorwerk itself, but also everyone who uses and loves Thermomix® and Cookidoo®.

Vorwerk

About Vorwerk

Vorwerk is a family-owned business founded in 1883 and one of the most iconic German brands for high quality and user-friendly household appliances. Today it is mostly known for Kobold vacuum cleaners and Thermomix®. In 1980 the first Thermomix® hit the market and made food preparation much easier and more convenient. 

CHALLENGE
Vorwerk needed its DevOps teams to run performance tests against its microservice-based web applications to ensure high speed of delivery and consistent quality, while increasing awareness for infrastructure sizing and cost. 
SOLUTION
The company chose StormForger to empower DevOps teams to autonomously test for non-functional requirements of its systems. This way aspects like performance, scalability, and right-sizing of infrastructure are ensured. Consistent quality is ensured by regular performance testing through fully automated testing with StormForger's CI/CD pipelines. 
BENEFIT
  • With StormForger, Vorwerk democratizes performance testing and lays out the foundation to create a sustainable culture grounded in performance, efficiency, and cost-awareness 
  • The “time to first test run” is dramatically reduced (<1hr) which leads to increased test coverage and frees up time
  • Overall quality is increased and operational costs are optimized, while confidence in business-critical use cases is strengthened

About StormForger

StormForger empowers DevOps and agile organizations to embrace automated and continuous performance testing of AWS hosted applications to comply to the AWS Well-Architected Framework (Performance Efficiency Pillar). Performance testing helps to explore the whole power of the AWS Cloud infrastructure by learning about a distributed system’s behavior and how to improve it.

Published October 2020