OneDayOnly chooses Azure for scalability, security and redundancy

Johannesburg, 22 Jun 2022
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Leading South African e-commerce site OneDayOnly has achieved scalability, redundancy, improved security and platform for future modernisation, thanks to its move from a hybrid on-premises environment to Azure.

Held back by on-premises

Fact sheet
Solution: Microsoft Azure
Industry: E-commerce
Provider: Crimson Line
User: OneDayOnly

OneDayOnly’s solid growth from a single deal a day site to a leading e-tailer offering over 250 deals a day, with highly popular discounted offers during sales such as Black Friday, meant an increase in traffic variances in recent years.

OneDayOnly’s hybrid environment depended largely on on-premises infrastructure, which did not offer the power and scalability the e-tailer needed to cope with high demand days and unpredicted variances. The on-premises environment also meant OneDayOnly was paying for infrastructure designed to handle peak loads 365 days of the year, while it only utilised 30% of it for 364 days of the year.

During particularly high traffic days, OneDayOnly’s site became unstable, causing customer dissatisfaction and resulting in lost revenue.

On the most important online shopping day of the year – Black Friday – OneDayOnly called Microsoft Gold Partner Crimson Line to assist in restoring their hybrid environment, which had failed. Crimson Line assisted them with resolving the issue and afterwards recommended moving the whole environment to Azure.

To mitigate the risk of repeated incidents, OneDayOnly appointed Crimson Line to provide them with a hosting solution with high scalability that could handle traffic on big demand days like Black Friday.

Number of users of the implemented solution

Hundreds of thousands of customers’ data in the financial services industry.

Customer profile

OneDayOnly is South Africa's original daily deals website, having launched in 2010 offering a single discounted deal a day. The site has grown to offer over 250 deals a day, with products ranging from technology and clothing, to daily essentials. The business now has over 300 full-time staff in three offices, with the headquarters in Cape Town and distribution centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Key priorities

In addition to the need to scale for peak traffic days and unpredictable day-to-day variances, OneDayOnly needed to address key priorities: reliability, speed and security.

For OneDayOnly, it is crucial that the website is up 24/7, since it offers limited time access to deals and many of its customers visit the site only once a day.

Systems must run as efficiently as possible to ensure that content and deals are delivered to customers as quickly as possible. Security is also paramount for OneDayOnly, as the company needs to ensure that customers feel safe browsing and purchasing on the site, and that customer data and information stored on its infrastructure is always safe.

“We didn’t have the control we wanted over the scalability and speed of our infrastructure, and this was something that was giving us problems over the years. The move to Azure addressed all of those problems for us,” said Charl Greeff, Head of Engineering.

Seamless move to Azure

OneDayOnly assessed multiple cloud options and settled on Crimson Line’s recommendation of Azure as the solution best met its requirements for scalability, security and redundancy.

Aiming for a straightforward ‘lift and shift’, Crimson Line encountered a challenge when OneDayOnly’s previous service provider did not allow them access to their infrastructure. Thus, Crimson Line adapted to the new set of parameters while still providing a premium experience throughout the migration process.

“E-commerce demand and traffic is very unpredictable, and that’s something Azure solves for you. The additional benefit is you only pay for what you use,” said Louis Koen, Owner of Crimson Line and specialist Microsoft 365 and Azure project manager.

These restrictions meant that refactoring needed to be done. This extended the project planning timeframe, but allowed time to make adjustments to OneDayOnly’s applications to build in redundancy and enable them to handle surges in traffic.

Following extensive planning by Crimson Line, the migration to Azure was a smooth one, with the bulk of the system moved within the space of an hour, and no impact on the site or operations.

With stress-testing carried out periodically ahead of Black Friday on 29 November 2021, OneDayOnly was ready for its highest traffic day of the year. OneDayOnly reports that Black Friday 2021 was its best ever, with no glitches and seamless scaling to accommodate the dramatic increase in site traffic on the day. The move to Azure has made it easy for OneDayOnly to scale both pre-emptively and on-demand.

Future-proof foundation

The move to Azure has given OneDayOnly scalability, redundancy and improved security, and has also enabled easier access to its test environment and opportunities to modernise across the business.

The increased ease with which OneDayOnly can manage its infrastructure means the company spends less time focusing on day-to-day infrastructure management and more time focusing on innovation and improving customer experience. Cost savings have also been achieved, since OneDayOnly now pays only for what it uses.

Having discovered the capabilities of Azure, OneDayOnly now aims to harness the advanced Azure Cloud tools and services available to them to build on the Azure platform and ultimately grow the business.

Crimson Line will continue to support OneDayOnly as it modernises its infrastructure.

“The customer was excited and has now started to see this is not where it stops. There are a lot more advanced services they can utilise, building on the Azure platform to ultimately grow their business,” said Edmund Lombard, Channel Sales Manager, Azure at Microsoft.

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