Cloud computing costs reduced by more than 40%
Recite is a software as a service (SaaS) offering which provides retailers with the ability to archive public web pages. Retailers use Recite to walk their online store, review past promotions as part of campaign planning, remember historical design changes, and track changes to public-facing policies and terms over time.
Recite’s solution was launched in 2014 on AWS using static EC2 compute instances to perform archiving services and run its customer-facing website. The solution persisted data to both S3 and a custom MongoDB deployment which also ran on EC2. All solution monitoring was performed using internally developed tools which read and reported on data from site and system logs.
“Recite’s demand for compute resources fluctuates over the course of the business day. It’s difficult for us to predict when peaks will occur. The auto scaling capabilities of Google’s serverless architecture seamlessly manages this for us and saves us money.”
— John Duane, Founder, Recite
Recite allows retailers to schedule the frequency and timing of page archiving based on their preferences. “This flexibility means Recite’s demand for compute resources fluctuates over the course of the business day,” says John Duane, Founder of Recite. “It’s difficult for us to predict when peaks will occur.”
Recite decided to move to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as the new foundation for its next-generation platform. The goal of the migration was to lower costs and decrease operational overhead while also improving scalability.
In late 2019, Recite engaged Fearless Technology Group (FTG) to lead the migration of its services to GCP with a focus on leveraging serverless computing. FTG began the engagement by assessing Recite’s existing architecture and code base to determine the best options for a next generation system.
“We don’t believe in forcing a platform or specific technology on a customer,” says Chris Cummings, CEO and Founder, Fearless Technology Group. “We always start out with an open mind and listen to the customer so we design a solution to fit their unique needs. In Recite’s case, we found that AWS was not the root cause of their problems. They had not invested in their platform for 5 years and their technology needed a refresh to take advantage of more modern techniques.
“Given our past experience with Google Cloud, we were confident that migrating to serverless would allow Recite to eliminate the static resources they were paying for. We also knew we could automate much of the manual effort Recite put into monitoring their service and ensuring its health.” — Chris Cummings, CEO and Founder, Fearless Technology Group
“Given our past experience with Google Cloud, we were confident that migrating to serverless would allow Recite to eliminate the static resources they were paying for,” says Chris. “We also knew we could automate much of the manual effort Recite put into monitoring their service and ensuring its health.”
FTG worked with Recite to identify workloads that could simply be lifted-and-shifted to GCP and to identify solutions better served by refactoring to a more modern architecture. Key deliverables included a React based Front End Website powered by Node.js running under App Engine, a serverless Archive Engine leveraging App Engine and Cloud Functions, and a serverless Persistence Layer using MongoDB Atlas and Cloud Storage. All microservices were loosely coupled using an Event Architecture powered by Cloud PubSub and Cloud Scheduler.
Work was completed using an agile methodology to iteratively release the new platform with no downtime.
Thanks to a successful migration to GCP and serverless computing, Recite realized the following benefits:
With Recite’s AWS implementation, they were locked into both fixed throughput and fixed costs. “Because of this, we had to provision enough EC2 instances to handle the maximum load we’d see during the week. Everything is dynamic now,” says John. “The auto scaling capabilities of Google’s serverless architecture seamlessly manages all this for us and saves us money.”
Many of Recite’s demand peaks are short-lived so it was important for them to be able to scale down dynamically to save money. Recite’s overall cloud computing costs were reduced by more than 40%.
Less Maintenance, More Innovation
One key deliverable from FTG’s engagement was to decrease Recite’s operational overhead. “We leveraged out of the box GCP features like Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring to automate manual work performed by Recite and we fed alerts into Slack. I think the team was surprised by how streamlined the integration was and by the capabilities available in these tools,” says Chris.
“Bottom line, I’m pleased that we get to spend more time on innovation and less time worrying about infrastructure,” says John.
Recite provides software as a service (SaaS) to empower retailers with the ability to archive public web pages. Retailers use Recite to walk their online store, review past promotions to plan new campaigns, remember historical design changes, and track changes to public-facing policies and terms over time.
Fearless Technology Group helps retailers modernize their technology architecture, solve critical business problems, and capitalize on business opportunities in an evolving landscape.