commercetools: creating scalable eCommerce solutions with Google Cloud Platform

By adapting its SaaS ecommerce solutions to each client’s needs, commercetools has rapidly built up a customer base across Europe and America. As commercetools’ business expanded, so did its need for a reliable and scalable cloud-based infrastructure. When the company went looking for a cloud provider to match its ambitions, Google Cloud Platform fit the bill.

“In our business, we have the challenge of extreme peaks in scalability. There are people on social media, for example, who have millions of followers. If one of them puts our customers’ products on Instagram because they happened to like it, those followers are going to swamp our customers very quickly. Traditional commerce platforms have a fixed capacity of hardware. But with Google Cloud Platform and specifically Kubernetes, we can scale very quickly so we like it a lot!” - Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer, commercetools

Robust performance, rapid scalability

Creating, hosting and supporting a full-service ecommerce platform requires a rock-solid infrastructure capable of withstanding extreme spikes in activity without compromising on performance. By late-2016, commercetools needed an infrastructure that could scale globally, offer the highest levels of security and provide advanced support for Kubernetes, the core of commercetools’ platform. With the company’s existing infrastructure strained and subject to costly outages, commercetools knew it would have to migrate.

After evaluating several options, commercetools chose Google Cloud Platform as the clear winner. In their view, its reliability, security, cost and support for Kubernetes trumped all other choices. commercetools’ engineers used third-party provisioning tool Terraform to automate much of the process, preparing for the migration over three months. When the time came, commercetools migrated its stack to Google Cloud Platform in just 30 minutes with zero downtime in its service. With Google Kubernetes Engine, commercetools can manage Kubernetes with ease, while Google Cloud Storage allows the company to automate many of its dynamic processes, boosting flexibility and cutting response times. In addition, with Google’s pricing plan, commercetools pays only for resources that are actually used, making a significant cost saving.

"Who better to run our stack than the inventors of Kubernetes? With Kubernetes Engine, we get phenomenal, enterprise quality support without having to do any of the boring infrastructure stuff. We provide value to our customers when we create beautiful APIs. We don’t provide value to them when we spend our time managing core infrastructure components.” - Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer, commercetools

Lowering costs, eliminating outages

With Google Cloud Platform, commercetools has made huge savings, cutting monthly per gigabyte costs by over 70%. The company can invest in even more powerful infrastructure, further optimizing its performance. Since the migration, there have been no outages due to incidents on GCP infrastructure, which means no expensive downtime for customers. By contrast, the day after commercetools’ migration, the backups on the old infrastructure went down. The migration could not have come any sooner. With Kubernetes Engine, commercetools can provision new containers within seconds, helping ensure a responsive, smooth service. As the company expands, it has started to examine Google’s suite of machine learning tools to optimize its processes even further. With Google set to roll out more cloud regions across the world later this year, commercetools can expect to rely on a truly global infrastructure.

“Google gives us the foundation we need for our future growth. We're doubling in size every 18 months or so, so it’s important we have an enterprise quality infrastructure that can grow with our businesses. Google Cloud Platform instils our managers, our board of directors and our external stakeholders with the confidence that we can handle whatever comes next.” - Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer, commercetools