Sainsbury’s Groceries Online Migration

The challenge

The Sainsbury’s Groceries Online (GOL) website was hosted across multiple data centres, on mostly dedicated hardware. Embracing DevOps would: increase quality, environment availability and unlock business agility by improving release frequency.

The key migration drivers were to:

  • Increase the rate of change to GOL.
  • Create reusable assets & automation.
  • Allow creation of environments on demand.
  • Reduce time to provision.
  • Improve disaster recovery capability.
  • Improve resilience and overall availability.

Sainsbury’s and Daemon have enjoyed a 10 year partnership which recognises Sainsbury’s knowledge of their people, processes and systems, alongside Daemon’s expertise. Sainsbury’s also has a strong reputation as technology leaders in the retail sector.

The Solution

We proposed to migrate the groceries e-commerce platform, from a legacy on-premise solution into EC2.

As part of the solution DevOps best practice was applied including: building infrastructure as code, continuous integration (CI) and deployment pipelines.

Daemon led a multi-supplier team from design, through engineering, production migration and into transition to operational support.

The project migrated the existing IBM WebSphere Commerce and Oracle RAC solution to a modularised cloud implementation, still utilising WebSphere commerce but migrating the database to Oracle RDS.

Through iterative testing we were able to prove that RDS was not only fit for purpose, but also that huge benefits would be gained. These included; reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the database, and improved RTO (Recovery Time Objective). Additionally, downtime was reduced through the highly automated failover process.

The end solution incorporated a number of fundamental cloud services as well as the fact that some of the key functions in the solution are now serverless - managed by Lamdba functions. Two significant use cases for serverless were, monitoring and alerting triggers, and the complex manipulation of batch processes.

A key challenge of the project was the live data migration from on premise to the cloud. DMS was chosen to load and manage updates into RDS for the significant volume of data (7TB+), which was constantly growing and changing. This was a typical example of how we identified challenges beforehand, addressed them with a plan and executed in partnership with the whole team, including other suppliers, the cloud provider and Sainsbury’s.

The DevOps solution for this project included Infrastructure as Code, the creation of pipelines and automation.

The Infrastructure as Code provided the ability to build new environments rapidly and reliably to a consistent pattern.

Pipelines were created to allow the deployment of the complex WebSphere application set in a dependable and repeatable manner.

This automation allowed Sainsbury’s to release code with greater regularity and reduced cost overhead.

The Outcome

The success of this project provided numerous benefits to Sainsbury’s including:

  • Faster deployment of changes.
  • Creation of new environments to support innovation in less than a day.
  • Improved uptime through enhanced resilience and DR.