The future of retail: Successful founder shares all

Retailers need ecommerce. The truth is that online will drive retail growth in the years ahead, something successful retailers understand. Of those successful retailers, the majority will use cloud IT to deliver their ecommerce. And of those, a sizable proportion will use cloud service providers to host their operations.

Given this trend, it was a logical step to develop a cloud solution for our ecommerce customers. Nevertheless, it needed some thought because ecommerce is notorious for its sudden spikes in traffic. Think of Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the U.S when sites are hit by thousands more visitors looking for bargains. Basically, reliability and scalability are key if you want to keep selling when the spikes hit.

The only way is up for customers

In Malaysia, we have MYCyberSALE, which is similar to Cyber Monday, and has the potential of generating more than US$18 million in sales every year. We have to make sure our ecommerce cloud doesn’t collapse during MYCyberSALE. Plus, it has to be simple and quick for our ecommerce customers to use.

The first step in creating our cloud solution was to talk to Dell. Dell has been our IT partner for more than seven years and we’ve deployed multiple generations of its Dell PowerEdge servers. We were able to take advantage of the 13th generation Dell PowerEdge R730 servers for this project. This was great news because we retained the stability and performance of the PowerEdge brand and got to take advantage of the latest generation Intel Xeon processors. From day one, we planned to use KVM from Red Hat as the hypervisor for the cloud service and because of Dell’s close ties with Red Hat, we gained a lot of confidence.

This confidence was rewarded the first time MYCyberSALE came around. Our cloud customers reported three times the normal amount of site traffic and three times the number of sales, all with no problems. They simply scaled up their ecommerce clouds for the three-day MYCyberSALE period and scaled them back down afterwards.

ecommerce ready? You bet

Right now we’re adding somewhere between 50 and 100 virtual machines per month to our cloud. Our clients love the price and performance they’re getting, in large part through the competitiveness of the Dell solution. But what’s pleasing for our business is that we’re in a good position to support our customers’ ecommerce operations regardless of any sudden spikes. We and they are definitely future ready when it comes to online shopping.

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