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Metro Brands Achieves 60% Data Compression and Resolves Server Lags by Migrating to Amazon FSx for Windows File Server


Openness to experimentation is indispensable to a future-ready mindset in business. According to a study conducted in the wake of the pandemic in India, 91 percent of survey respondents believe that organizations that experiment often and adopt change are better equipped to navigate future challenges. 

The survey reinforces how the pandemic accelerated digital transformation across industries, with many businesses turning to cloud computing to improve their ability to experiment. Metro Brands, an Indian footwear retailer, is one such company. “Our organization became more digital during the pandemic,” says Rajgopal Nayak, chief technology officer at Metro Brands Limited. “Being on the cloud accelerates the experimentation aspect of the innovation journey, so we can fail fast or scale ideas if concepts succeed.”


With AWS, patching, backups, and file protection are automatic, which makes life much easier. Our teams have greater mind share to work on value-added projects.”

Rajgopal Nayak
Chief Technology Officer, Metro Brands Limited

Seeking On-Demand Compute for Scaling and Experimentation

Metro Brands has been operating for 75 years, and currently serves customers through its 672 showrooms and various online channels. The latter include owned ecommerce sites alongside sales generated via marketplaces such as Amazon. For most of the company’s history, its IT infrastructure was hosted in an on-premises data center, before moving to a colocated environment. 

During the pandemic Metro Brands’ online sales grew and it anticipates continued rapid growth. Looking to boost experimentation and resilience, it began migrating to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2021 for on-demand access to scalable compute resources.

Designing a Cloud Migration Roadmap with a Long-Term Partner

Metro Brands had been running one of its ecommerce sites through a digital agency on AWS and started its cloud journey by migrating this site to its own AWS environment. It formed a cloud infrastructure team and worked with Crescent Technologies, an AWS Partner, on its cloud migration roadmap. “Crescent has been working with Metro Brands for several years and understood the history of the workloads we intended to migrate to AWS. We’ve enjoyed a smooth cloud migration with Crescent Technologies.” Nayak shares.

One of the first workloads migrated was an internal file server containing about 5 TB of data running on Windows Active Directory at full capacity, resulting in slow performance. Users from across the organization requiring regular access to the server complained about lags when retrieving files and while accessing and playing video content.

Resolving Server Lags and Performance Issues for 6 TB of Data

In early 2022, Metro Brands migrated 6 TB of data—from its on-premises server—to Amazon FSx for Windows File Server. The business development team can now directly access files and content of any size on Amazon FSx and present them lag free during virtual meetings and presentations.

Deduplicating to Improve Scaling and Reduce Costs

Thanks to the deduplication capabilities of Amazon FSx, Metro Brands achieved a data compression ratio of up to 60 percent, optimizing cloud storage costs. Amazon FSx automation capabilities have also freed up Metro Brands’ infrastructure team to focus on business initiatives. Previously, backups of the Windows file server were slow and cumbersome, and could only be done outside of business hours at night. With Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) Snapshots, Metro Brands have automated most of its backup processes and have a clear audit trail.

“With AWS, patching, backups, and file protection are automatic, which makes life much easier. In addition to time savings, our teams have greater mind share to work on value-added projects,” Nayak relates. 

Nayak concludes, “We recognize there are many new smart innovations on AWS, including evolving the Amazon FSx functionality for Windows File Server. We’re looking forward to embracing these innovations.”

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About Metro Brands Limited

Metro Brands is one of India’s largest footwear retailers, with 672 showrooms across 30 states and Union territories. Established in 1955, the company also trades online via its dedicated ecommerce sites and six online marketplaces.

Benefits of AWS

  • Lowers storage space by 60% with data deduplication 
  • Spends less time on server backups and maintenance
  • Automates security monitoring for file server
  • Reduces file retrieval time
  • Promotes culture of innovation and experimentation

AWS Services Used

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server provides fully managed, highly reliable, and scalable file storage that is accessible over the industry-standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. 

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Amazon EBS Snapshots

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) Snapshots are a point-in-time copy of your data, and can be used to enable disaster recovery, migrate data across regions and accounts, and improve backup compliance. 

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