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The Client

Based in Silicon Valley, California, the client provides a Digital Transformation Platform for some of the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor, and consumer goods.

Numerous industry leaders such as Nike, Justin Alexander, Michel Kors, and Jimmy Choo use it’s intuitive, user-friendly, and web-based solutions.

The client’s products follow the “single version of the truth” approach to line planning, global sourcing, calendar management, materials management, quality management, collection management, technical design, and continuous improvement of retail execution.

The client’s industry-first PLM mobile apps help product teams capitalize the instant of inspiration and be in-step with development and implementation anywhere they are.

The Challenge

The client offers PLM solutions for small and medium-sized fashion and apparel industries. It initially hosted its applications on its own data centers which customers could then access. However, this presented several challenges. License fees were steep and out of reach for many. Additionally, customers’ across Europe, Australia, and Asia faced latency issues. Also, onboarding customers would take up to 2-3 weeks.

To resolve these challenges, the client decided to move to the AWS Cloud. It hoped that this migration would reduce their hosting costs and make their services more affordable for the cost-conscious SME market.

While it now offered a better end-user experience using Amazon’s multi-region support, the client’s hosting expenses were still high and it was still a very manual process.

The Solution

After an initial analysis, Excellarate realized that it needed to re-platform and re-architect the client’s lift-and-shift move to the cloud. Excellarate dockerizes their existing application such that it can now run on Linux servers. The use of Docker significantly reduced cost and deployment time. Excellarate delivered the solution in the following phases.

Phase 1 – Containerizing the application

The client’s PLM application was monolithic and ran on Windows servers. It used additional software components for image processing and generating PDF reports. Excellarate containerized each component of this application which now runs as a separate docker container on one or more hosts that collaborate.

Phase 2 – Single-click deployment for hosting on a single server

Using Spring Boot, Excellarate built a Saas application that could,

  • Automate infrastructure creation and customer onboarding
  • Create a database and execute all database scripts required for the application
  • Deploy applications
  • Setup necessary access via a load balancer and AWS Route 53
  • Create health check alarms
  • Verify successful application setup using the smoke test

The first two phases substantially reduced hosting costs. However, Excellarate still needed to address the scalability of applications which led to Phase 3.

Phase 3 – Single-click deployment for hosting on a cluster for high availability

Since all services were running on a single server, it quickly became risk-prone as the single point of failure. In this phase, Excellarate deployed the application on three different servers. These servers are available in different availability zones under AWS regions.

Excellarate also leveraged AWS services such as EFS and Data Pipeline to achieve cluster setup. All containers are managed effectively using Rancher as the orchestration engine. With this architecture, the client now sees high availability and scalability along with reduced hosting costs.

The Outcomes

With Excellarate’s solution, the client can now support customer deployment across North America, Europe, and Asia. With the reduced cost of offering, the client can now better compete within the SME market. Within just 24 months, the client on-boarded 22 customers and reduced hosting costs by 300%.

Using Excellarate’s solution, the client was able to host three live customers within the first milestone. The solution was delivered within three milestones in two years and with a team of four engineers.

Currently, the client hosts 23 SME customers using Excellarate’s solution. Customer onboarding time has now improved to 50 minutes from the earlier 2-3 weeks. This strategic move has helped the client make faster forays into the SME market and offer better end-user experiences.