Carussel: Providing a scalable infrastructure for clients from Moscow to Madeira

About Carussel

Carussel provides retailer websites and stock management systems for car dealers as well as digital marketing solutions across 30 European countries.

Industries: Technology
Location: Hungary

About Aliz

Aliz is a Big Data and Machine Learning specialized Google Partner with offices in Budapest and Singapore.

Carussel uses Google Compute Engine to halve its customer page load times and optimize its deployment process, improving its customer service and supporting it to explore new markets beyond Europe.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Enables optimization of the deployment process for faster, easier, and more reliable deployment of new customer sites
  • Provides flexible additional capacity to cope with peaks in demand or enable test instances for innovation and development

Page load times halved from 3 seconds to 1.43 seconds

To keep track of the many brands and models they have in stock, car dealerships need a content management system (CMS) that is easy to update and use. Carussel offers a streamlined online system with stock management and other key functions that is integrated with car manufacturers’ networks. It is currently used by almost 1,000 dealerships across Europe.

Active from Russia in the east to Madeira in the west, as well as an intuitive and integrated management system, Carussel provides innovative digital marketing solutions that complement its CMS. Working with major automotive brands across time zones and multiple dealerships means its own IT infrastructure needs to be able to cope with peaks in demand, and be straightforward to maintain and replicate.

“Working in 30 markets, we need a good response time in all locations, from Russia to Madeira. Our local servers in Budapest were simply too old. We needed a solution that would resolve the issue of response times, and also allow us to expand the territories where we are present.”

Zoltán Vass, Director of Business Development, Carussel

Founded in 2003, Carussel has experienced significant growth in the past few years and is facing new opportunities with the prospect of expanding into markets beyond Europe. Its own in-house hardware was becoming unreliable, resulting in long load times. Moving to the cloud offered Carussel the flexibility it needed to prepare for new challenges and grow the business.

“Working in 30 markets, we need a good response time in all locations, from Russia to Madeira.” says Zoltán Vass, Director of Business Development at Carussel. “Our local servers in Budapest were simply too old. We needed a solution that would resolve the issue of response times, and also allow us to expand the territories where we are present.”

Building a scalable infrastructure

When providing hosted content management services, retailers need those systems to be available whenever they log on, and to load rapidly. Carussel’s in-house hardware was nearing its end of life, leading to load times of up to three seconds for the car dealers using its software. The company wanted to replace its infrastructure without large investments in new hardware in order to resolve its problems with load times, and to make it easier to add new clients.

To do that, Carussel moved its system from its in-house servers to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). With the help of implementation partner Aliz, the migration took place with zero downtime. This was a key factor in choosing Google Cloud Platform, as Zoltán explains: “We had a very good relationship with Aliz and with their support, we felt confident that we could maintain the service for our customers.”

“With Google Compute Engine, a new client site can be created much quicker. The new site is replicated automatically with predefined settings so we are more certain that it will function immediately. Moreover, we have unlimited resources so we don’t have to worry about running out of capacity.”

Zoltán Vass, Director of Business Development, Carussel

Using Google Compute Engine, Carussel now powers its services using 50 Virtual Machines, with the option of doubling the number of VMs when it needs to run test instances or cope with peaks in demand. Thanks to Google Cloud Load Balancing, load times are faster as the CND option caches content closer to users, and with Google Cloud DNS it can easily keep track of the many customer sites it manages.

During the migration, the deployment process was refined in order to simplify the creation of new sites. “With Google Compute Engine, a new client site can be created much quicker,” says Zoltán. “The new site is replicated automatically with predefined settings so we are more certain that it will function immediately. Moreover, we have unlimited resources so we don’t have to worry about running out of capacity.”

Innovative marketing solutions

In addition to its dealership systems, Carussel also offers innovative digital marketing solutions. Since moving to Google Cloud Platform, Carussel has developed an application that generates Google AdWords ads based on the stock information in their customers’ systems using Google App Engine. “This project was run by a development-only team,” explains Pál Dávid Gergely, a DevOps engineer at Aliz. “They could already access the necessary data through GCP and implemented the whole solution without any input from operations. That wouldn’t have been possible using physical hardware.”

Thanks to the increased efficiencies and flexible additional capacity offered by Google Cloud Platform, projects like this are easier to implement. “We can focus more on developments, improvements, and new ideas,” says Zoltán. “We have more time to innovate instead of putting our efforts into setting up new clients or buying new hardware.”

“We have lots of new opportunities, and some are outside Europe — for example, in Far Eastern countries or South America. Previously, we couldn’t think about those opportunities because it would have been such a hassle to do even basic work there. Now, it’s easy to push to new markets.”

Zoltán Vass, Director of Business Development, Carussel

Planning for growth

As well as making it easier to create new client sites, migrating to the Cloud has solved Carussel’s problems with high loading times. “Previously, the average load time was more than three seconds, but after switching to Google Cloud Platform, this came down to 1.43 seconds,” says Zoltán. “Also, our website’s speed rating was 53 percent, and it went up to 82 percent. It was a remarkable improvement.”

Now, with the support of Aliz, Carussel has its eye on expanding into new markets. “We have lots of new opportunities, and some are outside Europe — for example, in Far Eastern countries or South America,” says Zoltán. “Previously, we couldn’t think about those opportunities because it would have been such a hassle to do even basic work there. Now, it’s easy to push to new markets.”

About Carussel

Carussel provides retailer websites and stock management systems for car dealers as well as digital marketing solutions across 30 European countries.

Industries: Technology
Location: Hungary

About Aliz

Aliz is a Big Data and Machine Learning specialized Google Partner with offices in Budapest and Singapore.