Al Tayer Group Uses AWS to Cut Costs by 79%, Ensure High Availability
Focusing on Scalability, High Availability, and Cost Savings
Al Tayer Group is one of the largest privately held family-run conglomerates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Headquartered in the UAE, the group operates in six countries across the Middle East and manages more than 200 stores. To cater to a young and rapidly evolving consumer base in the Middle East that is increasingly shopping online, Al Tayer’s retail division turned to AWS to accelerate its digital transformation efforts and reliably launched four e-commerce platforms, alongside Android and iOS apps, all within a year. “Today, we manage four e-commerce sites, which have been steadily growing in popularity, gaining a 50 percent increase in website traffic recently,” Mohamed Fayed, senior vice president OmniChannel for Al Tayer Group.
Relying on an on-premises infrastructure had made it challenging for the company to scale websites and ensure high availability. “To manage growth, we needed to add compute capacity more easily while also controlling costs,” Fayed says. The retail division’s small IT team sought a way to more easily manage its overall website environment. “We follow a DevOps model and needed more agility to support that,” says Mustafa Kirimli, lead DevOps engineer for Al Tayer Group. “We wanted to focus on development instead of infrastructure management.”
“Our business continues to grow, but our costs have not increased because of the cost savings we get with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances. We can put the money we save into innovation.”
Mustafa Kirimli, Lead DevOps Engineer, Al Tayer Group
About Al Tayer Group
AWS Services Used
About Al Tayer Group
Al Tayer Group is one of the largest privately held conglomerates in the Middle East, offering products for automobile sales and service, luxury and lifestyle retail, hospitality, perfumes and cosmetics, engineering, and other segments. The Group’s portfolio includes some of the world’s leading brands. Al Tayer Group operates in six countries in the Middle East and manages more than 200 brick-and-mortar stores.
- Uses Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to reduce annual costs by 79%
- Easily adds compute capacity to support 50% increase in website traffic
- Ensures a reliable experience for customers
AWS Services Used
Moving an E-Commerce Platform to AWS
To address its business challenges, Al Tayer Group chose to adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS). “AWS was the best choice for us because it offers reliability and scalability, and AWS understands the business requirements of e-commerce and digital retail,” says Fayed.
Al Tayer Group now runs its e-commerce platform—consisting of four website portals—on AWS, using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) M4, R4, and R5 instance types, powered by Intel processors. The website front ends run on a self-managed Kubernetes cluster for container orchestration, part of the organization’s microservices architecture approach. Al Tayer also uses a Magento content management system, with Amazon Aurora as the primary database service. Relying on Amazon Aurora, Al Tayer cut costs by 40 percent, while also increasing performance by 400 percent, compared with proprietary database technologies.
More recently, Al Tayer migrated its Kubernetes clusters and full website production environment to Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to save money. Spot Instances are spare Amazon EC2 capacity offered at up to a 90 percent discount over On-Demand prices. It also migrated its on-premises data warehouses to Amazon Redshift to further reduce costs and improve query times.
Scaling to Meet New Growth, Launch New Brands
Using AWS, Al Tayer Group can easily scale its e-commerce sites to support the corporate retail division’s launch of digital brands such as Gap, Mamas & Papas, Nisnass.com, and Ounass, a website that is home to more than 150 luxury brands. “Using AWS, we have the agility and scalability to support the rapid growth in website traffic and facilitate the launch of new e-commerce sites for thousands of customers,” says Kirimli. “This helps us enable our company’s digital transformation and ensures we can give our customers the best experience, from order to delivery.”
Lowering Operational Costs by 79%
By running its website production environment and Kubernetes clusters on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, Al Tayer Group has reduced its operational costs by 79 percent, while continuing to add compute capacity to support website traffic growth. “Our business continues to grow, but our costs have not increased because of the cost savings we get with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances,” says Kirimli. “Instead, we can put the money we save into innovation.”
In addition, the company has the high availability it needs to provide a reliable experience for customers buying and selling retail goods around the clock via the e-commerce platform. “High availability is critical for the customers making purchases on our websites, and we can ensure reliability and high availability 24/7 in six countries by running our platform on AWS,” Kirimli says.
By delegating the management of its environment to AWS, Al Tayer has given its developers more time to create new customer experiences. “Our developers no longer spend their time managing the backend e-commerce infrastructure,” says Kirimli. “Now, they can focus on innovation and making our websites even better. As our company keeps expanding our digital presence, this will help us improve the overall customer experience.”
Looking Ahead: Personalizing Retail with Machine Learning
“Our next phase of AWS adoption will include artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies such as Amazon Personalize and Amazon SageMaker to better understand our customers. AWS machine learning technologies will also help us optimize our marketing spend and better predict demand for the thousands of SKUs we offer our customers using our omnichannel retail strategy,” says Fayed.