Case study

Transforming eCommerce with AWS: From Monolithic to Microservices

Travis Perkins’ journey from monolithic to microservices with zero downtime releases on Amazon Web Services led to improved efficiency and increased revenue for their retail platform

AWSCloud & DevOpsPlatform DevelopmentRetail

Project snapshot

With a rich history spanning over 200 years and a wide network of branches, Travis Perkins is a leading force in the European construction and home improvement sector. Catering to both B2B and retail customers, the company provides an extensive range of building materials, landscaping supplies, and interior design products across Europe. Travis Perkins is dedicated to digital transformation, placing a high priority on ensuring a seamless and user-friendly eCommerce experience. The company is constantly evolving to offer its valued customers a modern and convenient journey.

In collaboration with Intellias, Travis Perkins developed an innovative AWS-based microservices platform. This transformative project prioritized zero-downtime releases, resulting in increased website availability. The platform enables multiple daily deployments, significantly enhancing the user experience through faster response times, superior search engine optimization, and reduced maintenance costs.

Business Challenge

The legacy eCommerce platform could no longer meet the demands of Travis Perkins users. The online store was running on a monolithic application with server-side rendering that took too long to load, causing poor customer experiences. In addition, platform upgrades required long downtimes, during which the website was unavailable. This resulted in missed revenue. To minimize downtime, Travis Perkins rarely updated the platform, but this made it difficult to adapt to market trends and changes.

Travis Perkins also faced high licensing and maintenance costs to continue using their eCommerce platform. The company needed a more flexible solution capable of improving customer service, streamlining maintenance, and reducing operational costs.

Transforming eCommerce with AWS: From Monolithic to Microservices

Solution delivered

Consulting. The Intellias consulting and software engineering team worked closely with Travis Perkins to identify their pain points, gather requirements, and design a solution that could address them while helping the business gain a competitive advantage. Intellias experts outlined two main design principles aimed at creating a high-performance, scalable, and user-friendly online shopping platform:

  • Zero-touch operation focused on maximizing automation and implementing infrastructure as code solutions
  • Customer-centric design prioritizing the end-user experience by continually reassessing customer needs and expectations

Infrastructure migration. To provide our client with next-level scalability and performance, we leveraged the capabilities of AWS cloud services and migrated the on-premises infrastructure to a virtual environment. A cloud-based solution offered multiple optimization opportunities, improving platform scalability and reducing maintenance costs through subscriptions to necessary cloud services with the pay-as-you-go model.

Microservices approach. Another fundamental enhancement was the selection of microservices over a monolithic approach. To achieve the required process concurrency, we took advantage of the extensive library of AWS services, choosing those that allowed us to build a robust, dynamically scalable, automation-loaded solution that gives our client the freedom to innovate and upgrade as necessary. An integrated infrastructure including CloudFront, WAF, ALB, S3, RDS, and EKS became the foundation for a multi-component platform where individual application services could be developed, updated, and deployed separately without causing general downtime.

Platform deployment. To provide even greater platform stability and robustness and to enable interface and customer experience updates separately from business process changes, we built the platform with two main layers: an application layer and a core business logic layer. With Helm for EKS and Terraform for AWS, we achieved ultimate scalability and dependable disaster recovery. The EKS service also provided runners needed to ensure high system availability.

This architecture gave Travis Perkins room to experiment with its website by enabling easy rollbacks and safe testing made possible by the microservices solution. Additionally, the two-tier architecture facilitated PCI DSS certification by efficiently organizing network perimeters and publicly available integration endpoints.

Finally, with AWS CloudFront caching, the website shows reduced latency, and its SEO score has improved significantly.

Embrace agility and scalability. Transition smoothly from monolithic to microservices on AWS with Intellias.

Solution Diagram

Transforming eCommerce with AWS: From Monolithic to Microservices

Business outcomes

Implementing a microservices platform using AWS technologies yielded significant advantages for the retail website, resulting in enhanced business performance and cost reductions.

  • Greater website availability. With deployment of EKS, the website’s availability increased from 97% to a remarkable 99.9%, ensuring a seamless user experience and reducing downtime.
  • More efficient deployment. The platform’s ability to perform zero-downtime deployments even during peak loads allowed for multiple daily releases, ensuring rapid bug fixing and continuous improvement.
  • Improved scalability. Integration of CloudFront and EKS ensures that the website can handle 10 times the previous load while maintaining high resource use during periods of low demand.
  • Cost savings. The transition to a microservices platform achieved a 30% reduction in infrastructure costs and a 50% decrease in maintenance team expenses compared to the previous EC2 setup with a monolithic application.

These outcomes have benefited Travis Perkins, enabling their website to trade more effectively, generate higher revenue, increase the completion rate, and improve response times and search engine relevance scores. Reduced maintenance costs also allow the company to focus more on its business objectives.

99.9%

website availability

10 x

greater load capacity

50%

maintenance cost reduction

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