SEM: Infrastructure ten times faster, ten times cheaper with Google Compute Engine

By delivering comprehensive targeted online marketing solutions for clients, SEM has enjoyed sustained annual growth of over 50%. SEM analyses data from Google Adwords and analytics tools including Google Analytics to optimise website advertising, SEO and social media marketing. As data processing demands increased in line with company growth, SEM looked to create cost-effective infrastructure that could scale. They did just that with a microservices infrastructure based on Google Compute Engine.

“We work with very big data for major clients, providing services for Google Adwords, social media, search engine advertising, SEO and analytics. Previously, we had seven on-premises servers just to collect and store data, but when something broke down, it could take days to repair it. As a marketing business, we had already worked with Google and knew we could trust the company completely. Choosing Google Cloud Platform was an excellent decision, and so easy to set up and run.” - Erkan Ceran, Head of Software Development, SEM

Making the most of microservices

Collecting and analysing large amounts of data fast is key to the success of online marketing. SEM use effective data analysis to optimise marketing for clients, but its on-premises hardware was slow to scale and vulnerable to costly outages. The company looked to creating a cloud-based microservices infrastructure to improve speed and enhance its potential for growth.

To do that, SEM switched to Google Cloud Platform, advised by its long-time partner Global IT. With Google Compute Engine, SEM can spin up and shut down instances within a minute, providing necessary flexibility for a microservices infrastructure that would not have been possible with on-premises hardware. Coupled with GCP’s pay-as-you-go pricing system, the increased number of smaller servers proved highly cost-effective. With Google BigQuery, SEM creates dashboards and other presentations to tailor the delivery of its findings to clients, and enhanced compatibility between Adwords APIs and GCP make logging into Adwords accounts fast and simple, thanks to OAuth 2.0 authorisations.

"We do a lot of Google Adwords reporting, taking campaign, costs, click and commercial information and recording it on our system. Before GCP, it would take us an hour to generate a periodic report. Now it takes less than 10 minutes, so we can do more reports. We have more than a hundred customers who demand these reports, and this additional speed means we can take on even more." - Erkan Ceran,Head of Software Development, SEM

Cutting costs by 90%

SEM saves $1,200 a month with its microservices infrastructure on Google Compute Engine. Continuing its decade-long collaboration, SEM explores new ways to improve its services with GCP products in monthly meetings with Global IT, such as optimising the use of BigQuery when querying very large datasets.

“Choosing Google Cloud Platform has reduced our infrastructure costs by 90 percent and some of our processes have become ten times faster. Ten times faster and ten times cheaper, so one hundred times better for us! And if we consider that we work now with much bigger data than three years ago, before the switch, we’d be getting an even better deal for the same amount of data.” - Erkan Ceran, Head of Software Development, SEM

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