Merchize Cuts Computing Costs by 70% with EKS on Spot Strategy on AWS


Empowering Small Businesses and Retailers to Sell More

Vietnam is experiencing a big boom in ecommerce, with 51 percent year-over-year growth recorded in 2020. The number of domestic online merchants and aspiring ecommerce merchants is rising, with many businesses looking to introduce products made in Vietnam to markets abroad.

Merchize is a technology company established in 2019 providing manufacturing, fulfillment, and web development to ecommerce businesses and individual retailers. Most of its customers are in Vietnam, but the business has a growing presence in the US and Europe. Customers can choose from à la carte service offerings for their specific needs, such as setting up an ecommerce storefront or end-to-end support including order fulfillment. Merchize currently manages thousands of unique ecommerce sites for its customers.

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Since migrating to AWS and using Spot Instances, we’ve reduced our overall infrastructure costs by 43 percent. We’re already seeing significant compute savings with this change and expect further cost reductions in the future.”

Nguyen Duc Tung
Chief Executive Officer, Merchize

Ongoing Support for Infrastructure Optimization

In 2020, Merchize migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS) from another cloud provider. “We heard from partners in our industry that AWS could provide better service quality and value-added pricing,” says Nguyen Duc Tung, chief executive officer at Merchize. “Optimizing our infrastructure costs allows for increased benefits and lower fees for our customers.” Merchize charges a subscription fee based on the service options each customer selects. Prices start at just $6.99, and the company strives to keep costs low to maximize its reach to ecommerce merchants.

AWS introduced VTI Cloud, an IT outsourcing company in Vietnam and an AWS Partner. VTI Cloud helped Merchize plan and implement a successful migration to AWS over a period of 6 months, which was well within the project timeline.

Merchize also benefited from dedicated strategic guidance from the AWS account team. “We were impressed with the amount of support we got from AWS solutions architects, specialists, a dedicated customer solution manager, and the VTI Cloud team. They worked closely with us to ensure the migration went smoothly and our architecture was efficiently built from the start,” Tung says.

Phased Approach Ensures Smooth Migration

Merchize took a staged approach to migration, moving clusters of 100 ecommerce storefronts at a time, monitoring for stability and performance before migrating the next cluster. It’s using Amazon CloudWatch to monitor operations logs and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store logs. It also uses Amazon S3 buckets to store 500–600 TB of customer and product data, querying for anomalies with Amazon Athena.

Before migrating, Merchize relied on Kubernetes to manage its fully containerized backend. As part of the shift to AWS, it began using Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to automate orchestration and provisioning. It set up its Amazon EKS infrastructure to run mostly on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances to optimize costs. The company is now running more than 80 percent of its Amazon EC2 workloads, including production workloads, on Spot versus On-Demand Instances, gaining significant monthly compute cost savings of 70 percent.

Preventing Service Interruptions on Ecommerce Sites

When Merchize was setting up its architecture using the Amazon EKS on Spot strategy, it initially had 40 separate microservices running on one Spot Instance node. However, when the business experienced node interruptions, this would affect the availability of customers’ sites.

In working with their dedicated Customer Solutions Manager and Compute Specialists teams at AWS, Merchize’s engineers were able to diversify the way in which nodes were established so that two pods are attached to each node—the primary pods on a Spot Instance and the secondary backup pods on an On-Demand Instance. This created a fault-tolerant architecture where if a Spot Instance were interrupted, the node could failover to the On-Demand Instance to keep systems up and running. Merchize also set up Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling to ensure high availability during peak shopping periods on its customers’ sites.

Multi-AZ Architecture Supports Stability and Expansion

Running its architecture in AWS’s Multi-Availability Zone (Multi-AZ) provides high availability for Merchize and its customers. Merchize chose AWS US East (Ohio) as its primary AWS Cloud region, which supports the company’s expansion strategy in the US. “With Multi-AZ deployments on AWS, we have 99.99 percent uptime and consistent speed across our customers’ websites,” Tung says.

Merchize has completed its migration to AWS and is currently ironing out the finer points of its AWS Cloud infrastructure to improve efficiency. The company consulted with AWS and VTI Cloud to rearchitect its platform into a multi-tenant rather than single-tenant environment. “Since migrating to AWS and using Spot Instances, we’ve reduced our overall infrastructure costs by 43 percent. We’re already seeing significant compute savings with this change and expect further cost reductions in the future,” Tung says. The company has also subscribed to a Compute Savings Plan to reduce costs over the mid- to long term for longer-running workloads.

After Merchize completes its optimization exercises, it plans to explore data and analytics on AWS to better serve its customers at home and abroad. The company is growing about 20 percent each year and is confident in its ability to scale its systems as it serves a rising number of customers.

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To learn more, visit Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

About Merchize

Merchize is a technology company based in Vietnam that helps businesses with all aspects of ecommerce. It manages thousands of ecommerce storefronts on behalf of its customers and offers complimentary services such as manufacturing and fulfillment.

Benefits of AWS

  • Ensures 99.99% high-availability, fault-tolerant architecture
  • Reduces monthly compute costs by 70% with Spot Instances
  • Cuts overall infrastructure costs by 43%
  • Optimizes costs with multi-tenant deployments
  • Receives dedicated support from technology specialists
  • Migrates thousands of ecommerce storefronts in 6 months
  • Stores 500–600 TB of customer and log data

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) gives you the flexibility to start, run, and scale Kubernetes applications in the AWS Cloud or on-premises.

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Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud. Spot Instances are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices.

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Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

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Amazon Athena

Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage, and you pay only for the queries that you run.

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