CloudEndure Powers Volusion’s Swift, Self-Service, 700+ Server Migration to Google Cloud Platform

  • Migration

Overview

As a large and rapidly growing eCommerce platform, Volusion recognized that they needed to move their data center to the cloud if they wanted to lower operational overhead and stay apace with the market. Volusion chose Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as their cloud provider. Google subsequently recommended that Volusion use its automated GCP VM Migration Service, powered by CloudEndure Live Migration, to perform this complex large-scale migration of more than 700 servers. After a successful POC with CloudEndure, Volusion launched a seamless self-service migration within three months, with minimal assistance required from CloudEndure or Google. Due to the simplicity and reliability of CloudEndure functionality, all deadlines were met and Volusion decided to migrate additional servers that were originally out of scope.

Company

Volusion is a Texas-based, worldwide eCommerce SaaS company dedicated to helping people build their businesses. They offer an all-in-one platform for business owners, including tools and assistance for website creation, business development, marketing, payment processing, and more. Noted in the industry for their software’s ease of use and integration with other platforms, Volusion currently has more than 30,000 active merchant sites, and has processed millions of orders into the billions of sales dollars to date.

Read More: Compare your migration plans to hundreds of other companies.

The Challenge

Volusion had an aggressive goal: to completely move all 700+ servers to GCP within three months. Their workloads consisted of Windows servers, web servers, and databases, hosting more than 35,000 customer websites. One of the primary goals of this major migration project was to reduce overhead costs by decreasing the number of Windows licenses needed. In addition to the sheer scale of the project, another challenge that Volusion faced was careful handling of legacy applications, databases, and other configurations — since these had not been updated for years, it was important to ensure that nothing broke or was left behind during the live migration.

The original plan was to use an internal tool for this migration, which had only been utilized thus far for on-premises migrations. However, when the team attempted to deploy it for migration to the cloud, they immediately ran into timeouts and performance/compatibility issues, and determined that project deadlines could not be met using this approach. According to Uriah Langley, Windows System Engineer at Volusion, “the team quickly recognized that the internal tool was too slow and it was not going to be feasible to use it for our entire migration. We realized that we were at risk of missing our migration project deadline.”

The Solution

At this point, the Systems team turned to Google for a recommendation. Google recommended CloudEndure Live Migration, which is integrated into the GCP VM Migration Service and available natively within the Google Cloud Platform Console. This service offers automated, application-agnostic migration with near-zero cutover windows and no system disruption during replication — and is provided at no cost to GCP clients.  

The POC with CloudEndure was concluded in a week. In parallel with testing CloudEndure Live Migration, the Volusion Systems team also attempted to get their internal tool operational. “We were initially only going to move only the largest customers with the CloudEndure tool,” said Tim Krajewski, Volusion Systems Engineer, “but as the internal tool became slower and more problematic, it became a leadership decision to use CloudEndure for the entire migration.”

Preparation for the migration project then involved configuration and testing of post-processing scripts and automation tools by the Systems team. Once completed, the team was able to perform the entire migration of all 712 VMs with CloudEndure by simply launching the VM Migration Service from the Google Cloud Platform Console.  “It was just so easy, it felt like it was too easy sometimes,” said Langley.

CloudEndure just works, it does what it’s supposed to do, and it’s reliable.”
Uriah Langley,  Windows Systems Engineer at Volusion

The Results

The VM migration project was completed within the target deadline, without data loss or disruption. Following the migration project, Volusion could shut down the on-premises machines, and immediately realize cost savings on both hardware and software licenses.

The Volusion experts worked with CloudEndure’s support team at the beginning of the project to determine how they wanted their machines to operate once they were spun up. “Not only did the software work, but your support team was also very actively engaged,” said Langley. Once the staging area was prepared and configured in the target region, automatic replication with the CloudEndure Live Migration tool “was simple enough that we could set up 60 servers at a time and have them all run through in parallel; we knew exactly what they were going to do… and it was easy to schedule using the UI,” explained Krajewski.

As a result of Volusion’s success with CloudEndure, Volusion decided to migrate an additional 50+ large stats servers, each holding a terabyte or more, using the CloudEndure/GCP VM Migration Service. As Langley explained, “CloudEndure just works, it does what it’s supposed to do, and it’s reliable.”

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Recommendation

After executing the entire migration project, all of the Volusion System team members agreed that simplicity and usability made the CloudEndure Live Migration tool really stand out. In addition, Krajewski said that he recommends this solution to other companies because of the peace of mind that came with using CloudEndure, adding, “When you’re in a migration process, there are so many things to worry about. CloudEndure is one of the things you don’t have to worry about — you know that your data’s going to go up there and be exactly the same as it was on your on-prem as it is in Google.” Langley added, “Thank you for having a great product.”

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