ASOS use KEMP in Microsoft Azure to handle 167 million website visits on Black Friday

ASOS and KEMP Load Balancers

European online fashion giant ASOS caters for 12 million active customers via an entirely online business with no bricks and mortar retail stores. The ASOS corporate goal is to be the number one worldwide fashion destination for all shoppers in their twenties.

Business Built in the Cloud

As a fully online business, the need for continuous uptime all year round is vital. Any downtime or slowness from the store can lead to lost sales and an impact on customer loyalty. As part of an improvement project to ensure availability of service, ASOS re-engineered their online store to convert it from a monolithic platform running in legacy data centers into a suite of interacting microservices deployed on the Microsoft Azure Cloud. This allowed them to run the core store functions in the European and North American Azure instances, where most of the customer base resides, and also to deploy time critical components to Asian Azure instances as required. The move to the global Azure Cloud infrastructure also provided ASOS with the ability to deliver the best performance possible to customers by using local Azure resources and also allowed them to maximize availability by load balancing globally across the Azure instances.

KEMP Delivers for ASOS

ASOS turned to us for solutions and expertise in designing and delivering global application delivery fabric across the Azure Cloud infrastructure.

ASOS’s main requirements for an application delivery solution were:

  • Load balance across multiple geographic regions
  • Be fully supported in the Azure Marketplace
  • Provide a scriptable interface for deployment and management
  • Provide flexibility to scale on demand and support continuous delivery

KEMP LoadMaster easily met the requirements with integrated Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB), full support across all Azure marketplaces and a RESTful API to enable rapid provisioning and configuration of Application Delivery Controller (ADC) instances.

Working closely with KEMP Professional Services, ASOS designed and deployed a global load balancing solution that has delivered premium performance and availability during peak shopping periods. Online retail has periods when site visitors and transactions are much higher than normal. For example, in the run up to the December holiday season or events such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’. During one such event, the ASOS store had 167 million site visits and handled up to 33 orders per second via the KEMP and Azure solution.

In addition to the better customer experience, our Metered Licensing (MELA) addressed the requirement for scalability and flexibility. MELA allows ASOS to use and pay for the traffic throughput per month irrespective of the number of ADC instances that are deployed. This allows the fabric of the network to flex based on traffic needs and not be hampered by the number of licenses available. MELA is ideal for businesses such as ASOS who deal with seasonal events and meet the test and development requirements of continuous delivery.

Conclusion

By using us to globally load balance their Azure microservices based store, ASOS eliminated the challenges associated with downtime and traffic spikes due to busy shopping periods and retail events. The adoption of the MELA model also allowed ASOS to only pay for the capacity they needed without having to estimate in advance the number of ADCs and licenses needed.

KEMP and Azure are a perfect combination for all organizations who need a flexible and elastic infrastructure fabric to deliver applications and websites to their user base. Whether fully committed to the Cloud, deploying a Hybrid Cloud solution with Microsoft Azure Stack, or just starting the journey to the Cloud, our solutions and Professional Services can assist with the journey.

Alan O'Grady

Alan O'Grady

Alan O’Grady is a Limerick, Ireland based Product Marketer working at KEMP Technologies. He has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and USA. Alan is customer focused, with data network and mobile experience gained at smaller managed service providers and larger telecoms operators such as Deutsche Telekom and Singtel.

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