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Wayfair shutters datacentres and ends hybrid cloud strategy with Google Cloud move

Online home furnishings retailer Wayfair has completed a 16-month datacentre shutdown project that has seen it migrate all its applications and workloads to the Google Cloud

Online home furnishings retailer Wayfair has ditched its hybrid cloud strategy by shuttering its datacentres and shifting all of its applications and workloads to Google’s public cloud infrastructure.

The migration involved moving Wayfair’s entire database, application data stores, compute frameworks and data analytics tools to Google Cloud and took 16 months to complete.

According to Wayfair, the migration involved moving or retiring 330,000 CPU cores, 23,000 operating system instances and more than 500 applications, as well as retraining Wayfair’s workforce on how to use these new technologies.

The company has also donated the datacentre hardware that became surplus to requirements as a result of the move to the US-based Rochester Institute of Technology to support its research efforts.

The project has seen Google Cloud described as providing the foundation for Wayfair’s overall cloud strategy and is intended bolster the firm’s business agility and its ability to scale, so the firm’s app and website can cater to the needs of the 24 million active users that rely on it to buy products for their homes.

This capability is particularly important during sales days and high-traffic periods, such as the lead-up to Christmas, which typically see an uptick in the number of visitors its site and app have to cope with.

The company said the project would also enable it to make use of Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities, to enhance its fraud detection and customer outreach activities, for example.  

Where the latter is concerned, the company is taking steps to better personalise the shopping experience for Wayfair customers using machine learning to drive sales.

Fiona Tan, chief technology officer at Wayfair, said Google’s cloud technologies would play a “key part” in its overall innovation strategy in the years to come, while ensuring it is well-placed to respond quickly to the changing tastes and demands of its customers.

“The complete migration of our datacentre operations to Google Cloud is an essential part of ensuring Wayfair’s long-term competitiveness and resilience. With this partnership, we’re better able to handle sudden traffic, empower our engineers with more autonomy, and use AI and ML to create a better shopping experience for our customers,” Tan added.

Carrie Tharp, vice-president of retail and consumer solutions at Google Cloud, said retailers were increasingly seeing the positive difference operating a “data-driven” IT setup could have on their sales.  

“Wayfair is on the leading edge of retail, and at every stage of our partnership we’ve seen them tackle new and bold technology efforts that ultimately delight their customers with better shopping experiences.”

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