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Moving data mountains: migrating large data stores to AWS

We helped point-of-sale marketing specialist Ecrebo embrace the power and flexibility of AWS — without costly downtime or disruption to their services.

Ecrebo is a provider of point-of-sale marketing software for major retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Dixons Carphone, Pandora, and Waitrose. Ecrebo’s OnPoint software enables retailers to engage with 100% of their customers, irrespective of channel, with meaningful, impactful and relevant promotions and no disruption to the point of sale.

Moving several data stores, some in excess of 1TB and growing, is a complex challenge to overcome. Yet, one team’s mountain is another team’s molehill… Read on to discover how we worked with Ecrebo to move a veritable mountain of data to the flexibility and affordability of the cloud.

Shaping the future of retail

Ecrebo’s personalised offers have been a revelation for some of the UK’s biggest retailers. Yet, shaping the future of retail is not without its technical challenges.

To achieve the level of personalisation expected by Ecrebo’s clients, OnPoint must poll substantial customer databases before deciding which offer to produce. It all has to happen before the customer’s card provider has completed the transaction — a window of mere seconds.

Ecrebo OnPoint’s data stores were housed in a traditional co-location data centre, on-premises, but as the business expanded, demand soon exceeded their infrastructure’s capacity. For Ecrebo to affordably scale their infrastructure while retaining the speed and quality of their real-time data processing, Ecrebo OnPoint needed to leave the server room behind and move to the cloud.

An exploratory expedition

As AWS Consulting Partners with years of experience designing, migrating, and supporting software on cloud services, Isotoma was recommended to Ecrebo by Amazon alongside a pool of alternative agencies.

Our collaborative, consultative approach made Isotoma Ecrebo’s first choice. By asking the right questions with professionalism and honesty, we worked quickly to gain an insight into Ecrebo’s solution, service, and infrastructure before delivering impartial advice on the best migration method.

With multiple retailer databases — some exceeding 1TB in size — growing at an average of 10GB a day, Ecrebo needed a robust, scalable infrastructure with the flexibility to support the growth of their business. With many of Ecrebo’s clients operating 24/7, downtime simply wasn’t an option.

Insights at peak performance

Ecrebo’s software helps some of the biggest names in retail to know more about their customers and engage them more effectively.

To provide such powerful insights, Ecrebo’s new infrastructure needed to facilitate sophisticated reporting while preserving the performance of live data ingestion. Using AWS, it’s simple and cost-effective to set up duplicate servers for reporting purposes. That meant Ecrebo could provide genuine insights — without jeopardising the performance of OnPoint’s real-time data processing.

Technologies: AWS
Duration: 3 months
Team size: 3 engineers
Hosted: AWS

Making AWS as simple as ABC

Isotoma’s AWS experts understand the pitfalls of migrating software to the cloud. By consulting with Ecrebo to prepare a meticulous migration strategy, we could identify and account for the idiosyncrasies of their infrastructure and ensure the process was trouble-free.

No time for downtime

The demands of round-the-clock retail mean that Ecrebo’s clients are highly sensitive to downtime. That made minimising service interruptions a top priority. Working with Ecrebo, we developed a rock-solid migration plan backed by clear, consistent communications. The result was a nimble migration, free from disruption.

Out of the box? Out of the question

The project’s largest risk was identified early in the consultation process. While AWS’ database migration tools are ideal in almost all use-cases, the unique design of Ecrebo’s data stores meant that Amazon’s out-of-the-box solution wouldn’t get the job done.

With the standard solution unavailable, it was down to our developers to produce an alternative within the project timeframe.

A software-first approach

While many AWS Consulting Partners have a background in IT operations — think server racks, cables, and cooling fans — Isotoma has a long history in software development. We approach cloud migration services as a software-based challenge. This perspective empowers our team to identify and mitigate potential issues before they materialise.

As developers at heart, we understand the requirements of our clients and the hesitance to transition from traditional server infrastructure to a cloud-based solution.

Our software-minded outlook and skill set means we’re not afraid to work at the coalface of development to address those concerns directly. When it became clear that Ecrebo’s use-case called for a unique approach, our team was up to the task of creating, testing, and implementing a bespoke solution — without costly delays or disruptions.

Mountain: moved

There’s an old proverb: “If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain.” At Isotoma, we’re proud to have proved that when it comes to substantial database migrations, mountains can, in fact, be moved.

Do you have a mountain of data shackled by traditional infrastructure? Contact us to see how we could help you embrace the affordable scalability and comprehensive feature set of AWS.

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Whether it's converting your software to a web-based application, working on a groundbreaking idea, or maximising your cloud-based capacity, Isotoma is experienced with creating boundary pushing solutions for the web. Contact us today to see how we can help:


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