From Elasticache to Redis Enterprise in less than 3 weeks

Executive Summary

Netmeds is an online pharmacy that ships products to every corner of the Indian market. The pharmaceutical’s omni-channel sales approach supports product orders via its website, mobile app, and call center. As the three-year-old company ramped up its marketing efforts in the very new space of pharmaceutical e-commerce, the resulting traffic spikes caused its AWS ElastiCache instance to fail. In an effort to push past the limits of its PHP platform, Netmeds turned to enterprise-grade Redis from Redis Labs. Redis Enterprise was not only able to meet the high availability and performance required by Netmeds’ hundreds of thousands daily users, it was also able to do it in under three weeks.

Why Netmeds Selected Redis Enterprise

Netmeds needed a fast fix: With weeks to go before a planned marketing event, Netmeds was plagued by failure issues. Their current instance was incapable of managing the huge spikes in traffic and as a result, Netmeds would experience downtimes of up to an hour. Netmeds would average 750 orders every 30 minutes and predicited much higher numbers for their planned events. Netmed’s Amazon ElastiCache for Redis implementation did not provide the high availability and failover capabilities necessary for its e-commerce platform to run without interruption. With time quickly running out, Netmeds connected with Redis Labs and successfully migrated its caching and session store operations from ElastiCache to Redis Enterprise.

Requirements

High availability. Netmeds’ Amazon ElastiCache for Redis implementation did not provide the high availability the fast-growing pharmaceutical required. Clustering and sharding. To seamlessly handle the doubling of user traffic generated by e-commerce sales and marketing events, Netmeds requires enterprise-level scaling capabilities. Fast time to market. Netmeds had less than three weeks to resolve the significant downtimes plaguing its existing Redis deployment.

Redis Enterprise Benefits

No-hassle high availability. Redis Enterprise’s automated management, scaling, and failover capabilities allow Netmeds to provide its e-commerce pharmaceutical platform without interruption. Zero downtime. Since deployment, Netmeds has experienced zero downtime and zero issues. Redis expertise. In under three weeks, Redis Labs’ knowledgeable support engineers were able to migrate database operations from ElastiCache to Redis Enterprise and eliminate all downtime issues.

 

“We had less than three weeks to go live with a resolution before our big marketing push, it was a huge relief to learn that Redis Enterprise’s connection pool manager supported every Redis command and that this would resolve our issue for the short term.”

Advait Suhas Pandit
Director of Technology
Netmeds

An Encroaching Deadline Required a Fast to Market Solution

With just three weeks to go before a big marketing event designed to deliver a significant increase in user activity, Netmeds was desperate to resolve the failure issues that were currently plaguing its open-source Redis as delivered via Amazon ElastiCache. “Huge spikes in user traffic were choking Redis with too many connections, causing it to fail,” said Advait Suhas Pandit, Director of Technology at Netmeds. “As a result, we would experience downtimes of up to an hour that easily lost us 750 orders every 30 minutes.”

Netmeds initially thought the issue could be resolved through clustering on ElastiCache, but the company’s PHP platform did not support clustering of Redis. Next, NetMeds evaluated connection management solutions as a way to reduce the number of open database connections. “We looked at Twemproxy, Netflix Dynomite, and HAProxy in an attempt to set up connection pooling,” said Pandit. “But none of these solutions supported every command that Redis supported.”

A Fast and Furious Solution

A simple Google search brought Redis Labs to Netmeds’ attention. Pandit reached out immediately and received a response from Redis Labs the very next morning. “We had less than three weeks to go live with a resolution before our big marketing push,” said Pandit. “It was a huge relief to learn that Redis Enterprise’s connection pool manager supported every Redis command and that this would resolve our issue for the short term.” In under three weeks, Redis Labs and Netmeds worked together to successfully migrate its caching and session store operations from ElastiCache to Redis Enterprise. Netmeds’ entire application system runs on AWS, with Redis Enterprise now sitting just behind the web app servers.With connection pooling in place, database downtime issues have been eliminated. “We literally couldn’t handle our current levels of traffic if not for Redis Enterprise,” said Pandit. “It’s given us tremendous confidence to continue promoting our innovative product, knowing we can handle the enthusiastic customer response.”

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Unleashing the Full Power of Redis Enterprise

Long term, Netmeds sees clustering and sharding as the permanent solution for high availability and performance. To that end, Pandit and his team have begun re-architecting their platform to get around its current clustering limitations. “We’re looking forward to unleashing the power of Redis Enterprise’s clustering and sharding features,” said Pandit. “The Redis Enterprise architecture is very intelligently put together and we have no doubt there will be many cool things for us to do once we crack open the black box of our PHP platform.”