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Trade Me: Iconic NZ website undertakes large-scale cloud migration with Google Cloud Professional Services

About Trade Me

In just over two decades, Trade Me has become New Zealand’s top online auction and classifieds website, with over 650,000 visits every day from Kiwis all over the country. The business employs 500+ people across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch and averages 8 million+ listings on the site at any one time.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: New Zealand
Products: Google Cloud

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With Google Cloud Professional Services, Trade Me is delivering a multi-phase migration from on-premises data centers in Auckland and Wellington to a cloud-based environment that will position New Zealand’s #1 online auction and classifieds website to meet sustained high user demand and entrench its market position.

  • Adapted engagement to the individual approaches and requirements of 10 workstream teams
  • Provided best practices, technical guidance, and code to enable successful project completion
  • Delivered additional technical support to provide support as workloads moved into production

Delivers a complex migration from on-premises equipment to Google Cloud during the coronavirus pandemic

Founded by young computer consultant Sam Morgan in March 1999, today Trade Me is a New Zealand icon and the nation’s largest online auction and classifieds site. An average of 650,000 Kiwis visit Trade Me every day to browse more than 8 million listings. The business employs 500+ people across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. “People can come to us to find a job, a house, a car, a caravan, a part to fix a washing machine, or almost anything else,” says Paolo Ragone, Chief Technology Officer at Trade Me.

Open laptop on desk with Trade Me app onscreen.

Trade Me’s growth prompted the business to consider whether to continue investing in on-premises hardware to run workloads or turn to an infrastructure that could support its plans to become more nimble and meet customer demand at a faster pace. The business opted for a multicloud architecture with most workloads running on Google Cloud and is currently completing a multi-phase migration project.

“Phase one is to move to the cloud from our Wellington data center, phase two is to shift to the cloud from our Auckland data center, and phase three is to leverage cloud-native tools,” Paolo explains.

To complete the project, Trade Me broke it down into 10 work streams, each to be delivered by a dedicated team. Collectively, the teams had to migrate up to 30 large workloads, and several related services, to the cloud.

“We needed a team that could work with us rather than deliver for us, and that is where partnering with Google Cloud Professional Services was very important.”

Paolo Ragone, Chief Technology Officer, Trade Me

A team to work with Trade Me

The Trade Me team recognized that the business needed help migrating to Google Cloud and engaged Google Cloud Professional Services to assist. Google Cloud Professional Services’ mission of enabling customers to maximize the value and performance of Google Cloud products by providing dedicated Google expertise, recommending solutions based on proven methodologies and best practices, and delivering training and certification to customer teams, meant it was the ideal partner. “We needed a team that could work with us rather than deliver for us, and that is where partnering with Google Cloud Professional Services was very important,” Paolo says.

Google Cloud Professional Services provided consulting, planning, design, hands-on technical engineering support, and decision-making, varying its inputs to accommodate the structures and approaches of each of the 10 work steam teams. For example, some teams created dedicated migration units that Google Cloud Professional Services team members could embed into, while others distributed the migration work across multiple team members. Google Cloud Professional Services worked very closely with Trade Me’s core infrastructure team to codify the foundations of its cloud architecture and direct the various work streams in the right technical direction. Overall, Google Cloud Professional Services helped Trade Me determine the most logical way to move its products and workloads into the cloud.

“With the help of Google Cloud Professional Services, we ensured the pandemic did not significantly impact delivery of the project.”

Paolo Ragone, Chief Technology Officer, Trade Me

Delivery tested by the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic and associated government restrictions provided a severe test of Trade Me and Google Cloud Professional Services’ ability to execute the project on time and within budget. Just two months into the migration, the parties had to adjust quickly from face-to-face and on the ground work to remote collaboration over video conferencing applications such as Google Meet. Through a shared cultural working style and Google Cloud Professional Services’ adaptability, the transition proved painless. “With the help of Google Cloud Professional Services, we ensured the pandemic did not significantly impact delivery of the project,” Paolo says.

Close collaboration between Trade Me and Google Cloud Professional Services, combined with structured program governance, ensured both parties shared information and remained abreast of developments. Furthermore, Trade Me signed up to Google Premium Support, which included access to a Technical Account Manager who supported TradeMe’s production workloads, shared advice and best practices on cloud architecture, and acted as a single point of accountability.

“The knowledge Google Cloud Professional Services brought to the migration was second to none. Its people had a wide skills base and were extremely easy to work with. I found Google Cloud Professional Services one of the best partners I’ve worked with in a very long time.”

Paolo Ragone, Chief Technology Officer, Trade Me

Skilled and knowledgeable consultants

With the Google Cloud Professional Services engagement ending at the end of November 2020, Paolo describes the organization’s consultants as “incredibly skilled.”

“The knowledge Google Cloud Professional Services brought to the migration was second to none,” he says. “Its people had a wide skills base and were extremely easy to work with.

“I found Google Cloud Professional Services to be one of the best partners I’ve worked with in a very long time.”

Overall, Google Cloud Professional Services support and assistance is enabling Trade Me to deliver a complex project and ensure its team members acquire the skills to manage and optimize a cloud architecture. “Everyone in Trade Me who has been part of the migration has been learning on the job alongside those skilled Google Cloud Professional Services consultants,” Paolo says.

With Google Cloud Professional Services’ work on the project complete, Trade Me is looking to adopt a partner support model. “Through the Google Cloud Professional Services engagement, Google introduced partner Sourced Group to augment its team,” Paolo explains. “We’ve now created a direct engagement with Sourced, including signing up two of their cloud engineers full time to support the infrastructure build, and added a database consultant from Servian to support the shift of our database—our largest workload—into Google Cloud.”

Woman in a high-tech office presses elevator button: Trade Me signage is on the far wall

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

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About Trade Me

In just over two decades, Trade Me has become New Zealand’s top online auction and classifieds website, with over 650,000 visits every day from Kiwis all over the country. The business employs 500+ people across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch and averages 8 million+ listings on the site at any one time.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: New Zealand