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Cosmetics retailer Lush migrates e-commerce platform to Google Cloud as part of open source push

By Matthew Finnegan | March 13, 2017
Cosmetics retail company was attracted by openness of Google Cloud

lush image

Cosmetics retailer Lush has migrated its global ecommerce platform onto Google Cloud, part of a wider initiative to embrace open source software across the organisation.

Based in Poole, Lush serves customers in 51 countries, with 900 bricks and mortar stores and an online presence.

The company had previously relied on a a platform as a service content management system from Acquia - running on Amazon Web Service cloud - to support its online sales. Late last year, a decision was made to switch providers as its contract with Acquia neared its end, shifting 17 international websites onto Google's infrastructure as a service platform.

The migration was surprisingly swift, with the entire project completed in less than a month - and just days before the peak Boxing Day trading period for the business.

"All in all we had a 22-day migration window in which we actually did the project," says Ryan Kerry, Global Head of Engineering and Technology, adding that three regions - APAC, Europe and South America - were all brought online over four days.

"It was a pretty fast-paced decision," adds chief digital officer Jack Constantine, whose parents founded the 21-year old company. "We decided on a Friday and started on migrating on a Monday."

Lush's team had been unhappy with the level of service it had with the Acquia deployment, viewed as a 'black box' which offered little control of its core systems and was at odds with a desire to move its applications to a more modern application architecture.

"We were only able to see what Acquia set up and configured," Kerry says. "We didn't actually know how the infrastructure was set up underneath it and what we wanted to do was to start to align our architecture to our vision which is more around service orientated [architectures], with microservices to provide that scalability into our architecture."

Lush has now completed the migration, with its open source ecommerce system hosted on Google Compute Engine. Using virtual machines is only a temporary measure, however, as the team plan to move to Google's open source Kubernetes-based Container Engine, as part of a wider adoption of microservices and containers for all of its internal applications.

"It [moving to Google Cloud Engine] was the only way we could get lift and shift to be as quick as possible. We are moving, and a lot of our internal projects are built on Container Engine, but for us to do that would have required a lot more work, for which we didn't have time."

Open source ethos

The move is part of a wider strategy at Lush to adopt open source software across the organisation and reinvest savings in in-house tech staff.

 

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