In 2009, the ecommerce site Casa & Video asked Concrete Solutions to help it optimize its infrastructure. Concrete Solutions is a Brazilian IT company providing middleware-related products, solutions, technology, and consulting. In the decade since it was founded by a group of young entrepreneurs, according to Concrete Solutions, it has accrued approximately 800 thousand hours of development, has expanded to include over 100 associates, and has established clients in more than fifteen countries.
Casa & Video is one of Brazil’s largest ecommerce retailers for electronics and home-related products. As such, the purpose of the infrastructure overhaul was to improve performance in multiple areas of the retailer’s platform—from completing purchase transactions, to handling a vast inventory, to communicating with suppliers around the world. In addition, the new infrastructure has to adapt to annual traffic fluctuations.
To meet Casa & Video’s requirements, Concrete Solutions turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Daniel Ferreira, Infrastructure Manager at Concrete Solutions, says, “The elasticity and robustness of AWS attracted our attention, especially the elasticity that could quickly leverage the business and respond to seasonality that, in our case, happens on holidays. Also, Amazon.com uses the same infrastructure that AWS sells as a service, so it shows reliability.”
Initially, Casa & Video’s infrastructure incorporated Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) with Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes and Elastic Load Balancing for traffic distribution between multiple Amazon EC2 instances. In addition, an Amazon EC2 Extra Large instance hosted the retailer’s Oracle database.
Concrete Solutions’ developers have since expanded Casa & Video’s AWS feature stack to include Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon EC2 Elastic IP Addresses, and the monitoring service Amazon CloudWatch. All of these features are integrated into the infrastructure using only the AWS Management Console, without any external programming languages, tools, or software development kits.
Both Concrete Solutions and Casa & Video are pleased with this arrangement because it reduces the time necessary to introduce improvements to the market, while providing a level of redundancy that is difficult to achieve with traditional infrastructures. Mr. Ferreirais also happy with the financial benefits for all involved, saying “AWS allowed me to give more to my clients with less from their pockets.”
In the future, Concrete Solutions plans to utilize AWS for more of its own needs and those of its clients. In fact, the company is dispersing information about Amazon Web Services throughout its departments and is already migrating several of its own internal control systems, such as time sheets, to AWS.
Although Concrete Solutions’ ultimate goal is to help its client Casa & Video improve its ecommerce platform, the company itself benefits from the experience of working with emerging cloud technology. Mr. Ferreira explains, “For me, the greatest lesson was the paradigm shift created by changing from an in-house cluster to a cloud cluster that uses AWS. This change promotes asynchrony, elasticity, and also robustness.”