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iBOOD

iBOOD is Europe's largest deal community platform and stands for 'internet's Best Online Offer Daily'. Every day you will find the best brands at competitive prices. iBOOD is 11x in a row winner of the Website of the Year award in the E-commerce category.

iBOOD: respond flexibly and easily to current events

The challenge

The entire infrastructure of iBOOD ran in a managed hosting data center, which made scalability a challenge, especially during busy times. iBOOD has to do with a fluctuating traffic pattern. For example, the iBOOD Hunt takes place once a quarter: two days on which iBOOD has several hundred offers. Traffic increases tenfold or twentyfold during this event. Server capacity was therefore not flexible enough, which resulted in a loss of income.

The management buyout from Mediamarkt in 2019 was an opportunity for iBOOD to influence the IT infrastructure itself. The contract with the data center expired, and there was a tight deadline to choose an alternative. Because of its flexibility and simplicity, that alternative became Google's Cloud Platform, where the entire infrastructure had to be moved in just a few months.

Besides the stability of the iBOOD website and the underlying systems not being reliable during peak times, the iBOOD team was also vulnerable: they did not have the capacity to provide 24/7 support themselves. There was also insufficient in-house expertise in the field of infrastructure.

iBOOD also wanted to change their way of working. They had already started with microservices and that requires a cloud approach. In that context, they had already started a transition from what iBOOD calls "from classic to go".

The main challenge from the business was to be able to respond flexibly to current events. You are not flexible behind closed doors in a data center. Moreover, there was always a lot of testing to be done, which took a lot of time.

 

The solution

The choice for Google Cloud was already made before g-company came into contact with iBOOD. g-company, as a partner of Google, turned out to be the right fit in the field of culture and planning for iBOOD.

In order to transfer the infrastructure to Google Cloud, a two-stage rocket was chosen. First of all, a re-implementation of the infrastructure was carried out, during which the software was not really adapted. The same components are still there, but these are now scalable. This corresponds to the so-called "lift and shift" method. Subsequently, the infrastructure was redesigned to make it more cloud native, and to enable Google's tools to be used as much as possible. Ultimately, the transfer and redesign of the infrastructure was realized within the intended timeframe. This also immediately solved the most important challenge: scalability at times of peaks.

"Every new technique you touch is much better supported in the Google cloud."

Rogier van Egmond, COO iBOOD

After the first successes with g-company, iBOOD opted for Cloud Customer Care™ with the Google partner. This is a package of services that are purchased through a subscription. In this way, iBOOD no longer has to worry about support and management of the infrastructure: these are taken care of 24/7 by g-company through managed services. In addition, with Managed Instance Groups (MIGs), management tasks (operations) are minimized, so that the infrastructure repairs itself, as it were.

Another important aspect of Cloud Customer Care™ is that iBOOD has been assigned a Customer Success Manager (CSM). This CSM is in close contact with iBOOD, can be called in for issues and knows exactly what is going on and what is important to the customer. For example, advice was given on architecture choices, a new identity management was implemented (Cloud Identity) and Training on the Job took place.

In the meantime, the developers of iBOOD were working on a completely new design of the infrastructure based on microservices, so that it could be further scaled and modernized. Here, too, the help of g-company was called in to make it all production-worthy. This project is currently ongoing; among other things, it is being investigated whether it is possible to build everything completely serverless.

"iBOOD also likes to take the plunge itself, but it is nice for us to involve g-company as an authority in the field of cloud technology."

Rogier van Egmond, COO iBOOD

The result

iBOOD now has ‘better knobs to turn’. They have more control over their IT, now that it runs in the cloud. The cloud-native production environment makes iBOOD scalable and flexible, allowing them to better handle the peaks and increase their turnover. iBOOD’s Marketing Hunts are now largely run in the cloud. This means, among other things, that a Hunt no longer necessarily has to be planned two months ahead, but that the event can also - based on current events - be active within a week. That is a trend that we as a g-company have had a direct influence on and are very proud of.

In recent months, many new team members have joined iBOOD, all of whom are helped by g-company to master the ins and outs of the infrastructure on the Google Cloud Platform. For example, g-company transfers knowledge on a large and small scale and we ensure continuity and acceleration within iBOOD. Partly due to the advisory calls and chats that fall within the Cloud Customer Care package, iBOOD has a very quick answer or the desired support.

Another important aspect of Cloud Customer Care™ is that iBOOD has been assigned a Customer Success Manager (CSM). This CSM is in close contact with iBOOD, can be called in for issues and knows exactly what is going on and what is important to the customer. For example, advice was given on architecture choices, a new identity management was implemented (Cloud Identity) and Training on the Job took place.

In the meantime, the developers of iBOOD were working on a completely new design of the infrastructure based on microservices, so that it could be further scaled and modernized. Here, too, the help of g-company was called in to make it all production-worthy. This project is currently ongoing; among other things, it is being investigated whether it is possible to build everything completely serverless.

"g-company’s involvement is very high, the team is an extension of our organization, shares a lot of knowledge with us, and supports us directly during the Hunts."

Rogier van Egmond, COO iBOOD

The next step

In the near future, iBOOD wants to run the Hunts entirely in the cloud. In addition, the transition to microservices will be continued and a few small projects are still underway.

Mobile-first is very high on the agenda. A new app will be launched shortly. This app is completely created in Flutter, which means there is a smaller code base since there is only one app left to maintain.

A new CTO has recently started at iBOOD, Sander Hoogendoorn. At g-company, we like to challenge Sander to further build on the future of iBOOD and take the next steps in the cloud!

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