Rakuten Deutschland GmbH
Das im Februar 2007 von den beiden Geschäftsführern Tobias Kobier und Beate Rank unter dem Namen Tradoria gegründete Unternehmen, ist nun Teil des japanischen E-Commerce Konzerns Rakuten. Die E-Commerce-Plattform, speziell für individuelle Shopanbieter und Powerseller, ist Gewinner des „Startup des Jahres 2009“ Awards sowie des „Innovationspreis 2008“. Rakuten bietet sowohl eine Lösung für e-Commerce Einsteiger, als auch für konventionelle Einzelhändler auf der Suche nach mehrkanaligen Absatzmöglichkeiten. Zwischen Kunde und Verkäufer stellt Rakuten ein Bindeglied dar und bietet über seine Plattform umfassende Transaktions- und Versandabwicklungsdienste an. Rakuten setzt sich aus einer webbasierten Shopsoftware, einem Shopping-Portal und einer dazugehörigen Marketing-Plattform zusammen. Somit ist Rakuten ein Marktplatz, der mehr als 2.000 Shops unter einem Dach vereint. Dabei können die Kunden mit nur einem Kundenkonto bei Rakuten und allen angeschlossenen Shops online einkaufen. Möglich wird das durch den gemeinsamen Bestellvorgang, an den alle Shops bei Rakuten angebunden sind.
Success Story: Flexible Systems for Rampant Growth at Rakuten.de
Once a start up platform, now an online shopping portal with over 24 million items and 7,500+ shops – Rakuten.de has maintained exponential growth since its beginnings in 2007.
From image and database innovation to high availability clusters and decoupled architecture- NETWAYS has been there all the way, offering flexible solutions to grow with the business.
FROM START UP TO OUTSIZED
First christened as Tradoria, Rakuten.de started as a small start up. “Small” however, did not last for long. Within its first two years alone, Rakuten.de grew to house over 2000 retailers. By its 7th year the platform featured over 24 million articles.
Such accelerated growth presents a challenge for any IT platform. And yet, during this period of development, Rakuten.de managed to maintain 99.99% availability.
STRATEGY TO SCALE
Anticipating steady growth, Rakuten.de decided to outsource their IT resources from the get go. For this, load balancing, high availability and scalability were top priorities.
NETWAYS Managed Services’ ticked all the boxes. Their experience with complex clusters for large platforms such as European social network StayFriends, gave Rakuten.de additional confidence.
Most importantly however, NETWAYS presented the start up with a strategy for growth. It would involve a cost-effective entry plan and infrastructure that could scale as Rakuten.de did.
" We needed more than just hardware and maintenance. We needed a partner we could trust to help us grow our IT infrastructure as our business grew. That’s why we went with NETWAYS. "
Daniel Kirstenpfad, CTO
Rakuten Deutschland GmbH
SINGLE SERVER TO HIGH AVAILABILITY CLUSTER
The lone LAMP-stack server served Rakuten.de for the first year well. All while expanding to 650 shops, the platform could boast zero downtime.
By the second year, it was time to upgrade to a failover cluster. 1.5 TB in NetApp SAN storage, load balanced Xen application-, Request Tracker ticketing- and SOLR search servers were confgured alongside a database cluster.
This high availability set up kept Rakuten.de going for the next couple of years, enabling the easy addition of servers when necessary.
With thousands of shops come millions of images - not to mention, terabytes of data. Thousands of storeowners uploading multiple photos of their wares in various sizes, can create a file load that is crippling for any standard shopping portal.
For Rakuten.de however, the NETWAYS team came up a new image management schema: automated image scaling. Shopkeepers need only to upload one large image, and Rakuten.de would display the photo in any desired size – and within milliseconds from user click to scaled image.
Based on just two image servers and two high-speed SAS NetApp flers, the image management system can handle an incredible load. More than 500 images are scaled per second, with 8000 images being viewed by Rakuten.de users at any moment.
Rakuten.de’s innovative image management system
Thanks to its simplicity an extra image server can be added when needed, giving Rakuten.de the peace of mind that shops and articles can continue to grow while storage costs are kept at a low.
But image management is just one facet of Rakuten.de’s adroit IT platform. With its millions of users making changes by the millisecond, database reliability is essential.
To equip Rakuten.de with the highest availability, NETWAYS confgured a multi-tiered database cluster, which provides 7 live copies their data at any moment. Should an error occur, data restoration is as quick as a flip between master and slave database nodes.
DECOUPLED ARCHITECTURE, UNBOUNDED POTENTIAL
Above all, Rakuten.de’s high availability cluster is scalable on demand. Capacity can be expanded in response to peak traffic and scaled down again for optimal resource use. Scaling can even be executed while the shopping platform goes about its business of selling wares.
Combined with NETWAYS 24/7 support, Rakuten.de and its partner merchants need not worry about even a second of downtime. This is invaluable during promotion events such as Rakuten.de’s annual Super Sale, where marketplace and shop traffic often multiplies within a couple hours.
NETWAYS achieved this architectural responsiveness by gradually decoupling processes and applications. Once sub domains, processes in applications such as the marketplace checkout were isolated and buffered to enable their independent execution. This brought about immense efficiency gains, not to mention flexibility in resource use.
Ultimately a cloud-like environment was achieved, and the Rakuten.de platform could utilize resources more like services. Alongside database, image, ticketing and search services; monitoring, firewall, load balancing and backup are all provided in their service-based environment.
Thanks to this decoupled architecture, Rakuten.de is best equipped for stability, security and availability as they multiply in size each year.
"Over the last 5+ years we’ve experienced exceptional growth. All along the way, NETWAYS has offered invaluable expertise and all-inclusive support - simply a Hosting and Managed Services partner that we can rely on."
Daniel Kirstenpfad, CTO
Rakuten Deutschland GmbH
E-commerce platform Rakuten, is one of Germany’s leading providers of online shop solutions (with associated shopping portal) and offers a diverse product range that continues to grow. There are currently more than 24 million products from over 7,500 active merchants for visitors to www.rakuten.de to choose from. Offering an all-inclusive solution, Rakuten is ideal for ecommerce beginners or as a powerful distribution channel for existing online stores. Represented by www.rakuten.at in Austria, it is also a perfect multi-channel solution for conventional retailers.
Founded in 2007 and previously known as Tradoria GmbH, the award-winning online shopping portal was acquired by Rakuten, Inc., in July 2011.
Rakuten, Inc., is one of the world's leading Internet service companies which provides a variety of products and services for consumers and businesses, with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content. In both 2012 and 2013, Rakuten was ranked among the world’s ‘Top 10 Most Innovative Companies’ in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Rakuten is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 11,000 employees and partner staff worldwide.