UPDATE: Tenzing is now operating as Pivotree, a global commerce and information management services firm.
Oracle Commerce is a leading platform for powering online stores, omnichannel retail strategy, and B2B eCommerce applications. For those running Oracle Commerce or ATG, we recently announced the upcoming launch of “Oracle Commerce Optimized Managed Services on Amazon Web Services (AWS).” In this article, I’ll discuss the significance of this new service, what it will provide, and the main advantages.
Not long ago, high-end eCommerce hosting was the sole domain of the fully dedicated IT environment. In the majority of cases, a better option than doing it in-house given the resources and specialized expertise needed. But, flexibility, application support, and cost were still obstacles in most cases.
Temporarily scaling up a production site for an upcoming holiday season, for example, is difficult and not very cost-effective in the dedicated server infrastructure world. To balance this, customers often over-provision their physical infrastructure which means that most times during the year, they are paying for unused capacity.
Case Study Example
Three years ago, we had an Oracle Commerce client who ran their store in our data center on traditional physical infrastructure. Anticipating the year-end holiday rush, we meticulously planned their capacity based on the projected campaigns and were well-prepared. What we didn’t know is that the merchant would run a flash sale, discounting a product usually sold for a few hundred dollars to a mere few dollars. Customers came in droves, and within 15 minutes the traffic spiked by over 800%. This severe strain on the system caused some issues.
After that holiday season, we re-grouped with the client to discuss the situation and their evolving business strategy. After the analysis, a cloud-based approach seemed like the best option for their needs, so we agreed to customize and support a solution running Oracle Commerce and Endeca on AWS.
The next cyber holiday campaign and ad hoc promotions ran flawlessly, and the VP of Ecommerce was thrilled with this new level of flexibility. We seamlessly scaled them up to meet their peaks with zero downtime, and it was the same story a year later. Through this experience, we realized that this model, combined with our optimization and support of Oracle Commerce would be valuable for others as well.
Fully dedicated infrastructure does have some advantages, but given the current trend, it’s clear that using the cloud for some or all of the solutions, is becoming the preferred choice for most.
Ecommerce in the Cloud
In the past, two specific concerns about the public cloud revolved around performance and security. Companies were hesitant to run resource-intensive applications like eCommerce for fear that performance wouldn’t keep pace with a shared model. Security was also a detractor in the early days.
However, the technology has reached the point where for most IT leaders, these concerns have sharply decreased. In fact, when it comes to security, many experts now believe cloud has advantages as outlined in this article by David Linthicum. The fact that some of the largest video streaming sites, SaaS, and mission-critical enterprise applications run on cloud infrastructure, clearly demonstrates that cloud is prime-time for eCommerce.
Oracle Commerce on AWS
Our new Oracle Commerce Optimized Managed Services on AWS services will deliver the following key benefits:
- Flexibility: Clients can choose cloud-based or dedicated environments in one of our top-tier data centers, leverage AWS entirely, or build a customized hybrid solution that will meet their exact requirements.
- Geographic Location: We help merchants get close to their shoppers as the physical infrastructure can be located in one of many data centers around the world.
- Elasticity and Scale: This is ideal for scaling temporary or semi-permanent environments that will be used for:
- Migrating and cutting over resources during application upgrades
- Development, Staging and User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
- Load and performance testing
- Security testing
- Rapid Deployment: The ability to provision and build production sites much faster than it takes using the dedicated infrastructure. Plus, deploying the types of systems listed in the point above is quick and easy.
- Cost-Effectiveness: The utility pricing model ensures that clients only pay for the resources used. If properly managed, the cost impact is significant.
- Disaster Recovery: Robust and affordable Disaster Recovery (DR) with many inherent aspects of DR already built into the platform.
Running at Peak Performance
Running Oracle Commerce, Endeca, and other related technologies on AWS provides strong benefits in terms of the infrastructure. But that’s only the foundation. Monitoring, managing, and continuously improving a sophisticated system such as Oracle Commerce takes experience, skill, specialized tools, and diligence.
Oracle Commerce Optimized Managed Services on AWS is an end-to-end solution that will offer many advanced services layered on top of Amazon’s global data centers and infrastructure. Some of the core components include Oracle Commerce application management, security, and compliance, comprehensive 24×7 monitoring, along with proactive AWS capacity planning and management.
The Support Factor
The combination of Tenzing’s Oracle Commerce managed services, and AWS infrastructure is powerful. But, any complex service offering depends on support. Ongoing accessibility to expert teams, responsiveness, and proactivity are all essential. But, we believe this is the starting point.
Our goal is to get far beyond the infrastructure and work with clients in a business-driven approach. A dedicated Customer Success Manager coordinates our internal resources and works closely with Oracle Commerce customers in a consulting capacity.
For example, every year before the US Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping seasons, we publish a detailed Ecommerce Holiday Preparation Guide filled with IT and marketing best practices. Our experience helps merchants better prepare for the demands of the holidays. We also work with clients to temporarily scale their production sites to meet the increased traffic and help them with security and other components of the system.
We are projecting early adoption migrations to be completed in the first quarter of 2017 and currently offer “suitability assessments” for those interested in running Oracle Commerce production sites on AWS. We can also migrate test, development and non-production environments immediately.
To learn more, or request a free suitability assessment, call us at 1-877-767-5577 x 1.