UncommonGoods Improves Website Performance 10x and Gains Scalability for Future Growth with an Engineered System
 
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UncommonGoods Improves Website Performance 10x and Gains Scalability for Future Growth with an Engineered System

UncommonGoods is an online marketplace and catalog offering creatively designed, high-quality—often handmade—merchandise at affordable prices. The online marketplace and catalog include special features that make shopping with the company an entertaining and convenient experience. It highlights the stories of its artists and designers and posts interesting facts and information related to product categories and featured items. It also donates a portion of each order to the customer’s choice of several nonprofit organizations.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from UncommonGoods

  • "Oracle Database Appliance is an optimal solution for our growing online marketplace. It provides the world’s most stable database, running on Oracle hardware, optimized for performance in an easy-to-deploy and maintain appliance. It met our needs perfectly for scalability, performance, and rapid deployment in advance of the holiday season.” – Casey McCarthy, Chief Technology Officer, UncommonGoods

  • Upgrade and evolve the architecture supporting the online marketplace and catalog business to replace end-of-life hardware and move to supported software versions
  • Improve data infrastructure performance to allow the business to continue to scale and expand its e-commerce presence
  • Deploy the new data infrastructure quickly to meet upcoming holiday season demands
  • Ensure high levels of redundancy as well as the uptime and performance that today’s online and catalog shoppers demand

Solutions

  • Deployed Oracle Database Appliance as the company’s new data infrastructure foundation, providing it with a robust, fully supported, and highly available platform to ensure high performance and enable continued growth
  • Improved performance by 10x for elements of the online Web store, elevating the customer experience
  • Cut processing time from minutes to seconds for queries from core business systems, such as marketing, warehouse management, and shipping applications— improving productivity and organizational agility
  • Ensured zero downtime for the company’s 24/7 Website as well as other critical business systems with Oracle Active Data Guard
  • Enabled the company to offload reports to a standby database using Oracle Active Data Guard, creating a robust, real-time reporting database that allows users to run business reports without IT team assistance
  • Transitioned to the new architecture in a single, four-hour, late-night window—including time for application testing and validation—minimizing disruption to the business in advance of the busy holiday shopping season
  • Reduced hardware and software costs with the optimized engineered solution
  • Gained the scalability to meet peak demands during busy shopping seasons and beyond as the company continues to grow
  • Ensured system performance, streamlined IT management, and reduced support costs through proactive system monitoring, service request creation, and health checks with Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control

Why Oracle

“Our legacy architecture ran Oracle Database 10g Release 2 with Oracle Real Application Clusters on Oracle’s Sun hardware,” said Casey McCarthy, chief technology officer, UncommonGoods. “We firmly believe that Oracle Database is the most stable and reliable database on the market. Oracle Database Appliance, which combines Oracle Database within a single, easy-to-deploy, and manage system, is engineered for simplified deployment, maintenance, and support of the database and application workloads.”

Implementation Process

Oracle Database Appliance, combined with Cintra’s implementation blueprint, ensured that UncommonGoods could deploy its new data infrastructure significantly faster than it would take to build a custom architecture. It completed the deployment on time and in advance of the holiday season, cutting over to the new environment in a single, four-hour window.

Cintra continues to provide 24/7 remote database management and support services, which ensure high availability and stability.

Partner

Cintra, an Oracle partner, performed a rapid, detailed architecture assessment, which included analysis of business, capacity, and load requirements. Cintra then compared various architecture options, including custom server builds and engineered systems, and concluded that Oracle Database Appliance would provide UncommonGoods with the greatest performance boost while limiting exposure to high deployment and software costs. The group then created a roadmap that included recommendations for a migration to two Oracle Database Appliances and strategies to minimize downtime throughout the deployment process.

"Cintra delivered a high-performance, highly available database architecture with minimal Oracle licensing costs in time to meet the demands of the busy 2012 holiday season. We have confidence that Oracle Database Appliance will allow our business to scale to meet future growth projections," McCarthy said.