GoGrid's Cloud Powers Artizone's eCommerce Platform
A magnet for the gourmet seeking one-of-a-kind foods or ingredients, Artizone brings together the best offerings into a single online storefront. It’s like being able to shop at all the top specialty stores at once, with web-to-doorstep delivery thrown in. Instead of visiting a dozen separate stores, consumers in select cities can choose their favorite products online. Artizone picks up the orders from individual shops, creates one shopping basket, and delivers the food. Using Artizone's service, specialty food makers can connect with a wider audience, and food lovers no longer need to drive all over to enjoy gourmet delights. People who live outside Artizone's direct delivery areas can get shipments of handmade pasta, exotic spices, and other nonperishable items. Artizone chose to use GoGrid to provide the cloud-based infrastructure that powers its service, gaining access to both an infrastructure that can scale on-demand and support from experts who understand eCommerce.
"With our service, customers can buy cold cuts from their favorite deli, loaves of French bread from a bakery across town, and exotic cheeses from yet another shop," says Dudu Shmaya, director of research and development for Artizone. "We collect their order and deliver it. Artizone makes it easier for the people who produce handmade 'artisanal' products to reach customers. And GoGrid's cloud hosting solution provides a reliable, flexible platform on which to run our eCommerce business.”
A Trouble-Free Platform
Artizone got started with a pilot offering that it ran on a dedicated server hosted by GoGrid. After the successful pilot, Artizone decided to move to a cloud-based solution instead of dedicated hardware.
Eyal Peretz, application lifecycle management team leader at Artizone, explains the decision: “With cloud infrastructure, you get complete flexibility in terms of scaling. We wanted to be able to add and subtract servers quickly. Plus, using dedicated hardware can be expensive for eCommerce because you need enough machines to accommodate occasional peaks in demand. As a startup, we didn’t want to tie up budget in capacity that we’d rarely use, but we did want to be able serve customers during the busiest times of the year.”
eCommerce in the cloud: Cloud Servers scale quickly to match demand, and Firewalls provide security to meet the needs of eCommerce.
Artizone designed a rigorous selection process that included doing proofs of concept with leading cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers before choosing a partner. The company created test sites on the cloud servers of the prospective IaaS providers, including GoGrid. Artizone liked the fact that GoGrid's service was less proprietary than many of the other IaaS providers it tried. Just as important, GoGrid offered multiple data centers, experience with eCommerce, and helpful customer service.
“Propriety technology didn’t appeal to us,” says Peretz. “We didn’t want to be forced to build our service so it only ran well on one IaaS provider. Basically, GoGrid lets us use machines as machines, not as components bundled into a proprietary platform. So we can develop our solution without those limitations. We also like the control and ease of use we get with the GoGrid management console.”
A Flexible Infrastructure
From production through to development and testing, Artizone is using virtualized cloud servers from GoGrid in every part of its business. In its production environment, Artizone can add servers as needed with the click of a button. The company can reduce the number of servers in use and change application content just as quickly. Load balancers distribute traffic across the servers. Firewalls keep Artizone's eCommerce environment secure. An identical configuration supports Artizone's development and testing processes. This setup gives the Artizone team an instant development platform, making it easier to detect and fix bugs pre-production. As Artizone expands its geographic coverage, the company plans to add a redundant production environment in other GoGrid data centers, which will provide faster load times thanks to reduced coast-to-coast latency.
Poised for Growth
Since launching its delivery-based service in Dallas, Texas, Artizone has expanded to the Chicago metropolitan area and has plans to grow to additional cities as well. It also ships items with a long shelf life throughout the US. Each phase in the company’s growth has meant a huge jump in the number of food makers and customers Artizone serves.
“We’ve grown without any worries about adding, maintaining, or sourcing hardware,” says Sagi Briteman, Artizone's vice president of research and development. “It’s liberating to be able to focus on our online store and user experience—and let GoGrid take care of the infrastructure. When we have questions about how to get the most out of our infrastructure, we just ask. The people at GoGrid really understand our needs, and their advice has helped us make better decisions, faster. As a result, we were able to build a robust website more quickly.”
Shmaya points to Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance as an area where GoGrid has been particularly helpful. He says, “We’ve started out using PayPal as the payment option for customers. As we grow, we’ll manage our own payment provider service. GoGrid has given us advice that’s helped us implement a PCI-compliant environment, so we’ll be ready when it’s time to expand our payment options.”
Focusing on Customers
Artizone is confident its cloud-based infrastructure is more than ready to accommodate its future growth—even extreme spikes in traffic. For instance, when Artizone's marketing team decided to use Groupon to attract new users, they asked if IT could handle the traffic associated with many new customers getting started with the service at the same time.
Shmaya explains what happened: “With cloud servers, we’re able to scale much more rapidly, so we’re confident about being able to respond to surges in traffic around promotions or peak periods like the holidays. With GoGrid, we know we can add more servers—virtually any number of servers—in minutes. Being able to add and subtract servers so easily lets us keep our costs aligned with our real needs.”
Using GoGrid, Artizone.com has been able to:
- Focus on enhancing its service
- Grow without worrying about infrastructure limitations
- Prepare for PCI compliance
- Control hardware costs
"It’s liberating to be able to focus on our online store and user experience—and let GoGrid take care of the infrastructure."
– Sagi Briteman, VP of Research & Development
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