La Redoute Takes Control of Cloud Costs with Aiven’s Bring Your Own Cloud on Microsoft Azure

Leading home and fashion e-commerce player moves its data infrastructure to Microsoft Azure to handle seasonal surges in sales

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E-commerce giant La Redoute needed to migrate its data infrastructure from a leading cloud provider to Microsoft Azure for enhanced scalability and improved handling of peak loads during events like Black Friday. Leveraging the Aiven Platform, the company seamlessly transitioned its PostgreSQL, Apache Kafka and OpenSearch clusters to Azure. Additionally, by embracing Aiven’s Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) deployment model, La Redoute achieved substantial reductions in the total cost of ownership (TCO) for its Azure footprint.

Two centuries of reinvention

La Redoute, founded 186 years ago in France as a wool spinning factory, has grown into an e-commerce leader in home, decoration and fashion as part of the Galeries Lafayette group. With over 10 million customers across 26 countries, digital innovation is key to its success. Its online marketplace features thousands of items from La Redoute and 800+ other brands like Adidas, Mango, and Monoprix. By leveraging data insights, La Redoute aims to create superior digital services, delivering an unmatched customer experience and staying ahead in the market.

Surge in sales requires cloud scalability

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and people were spending more time at home, La Redoute experienced a sudden and significant uplift in sales. As transactions in its marketplace increased, the associated data grew exponentially putting pressure on the on-premises PostgreSQL databases already storing a large amount of data such as product prices, SKUs and sellers.

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Already a user of Aiven for Apache Kafka for data streaming, La Redoute turned to Aiven to increase the scalability of its PostgreSQL databases. Diogo and his team moved the databases to the public cloud using Aiven for PostgreSQL, and also started using Aiven for OpenSearch to ingest and analyze all the logs generated by the PostgreSQL databases. La Redoute experienced an immediate increase in the scalability of its data infrastructure and was able to meet the unprecedented demand resulting from the pandemic.

BYOC deployment on Microsoft Azure

Soon after, in late 2022, La Redoute chose Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider in a bid to make the company even more agile, responsive and scalable. This would make it easier for La Redoute to handle the various load peaks linked to major commercial events such as sales, Christmas and Black Friday. Migrating everything to Azure, a complex and business-critical undertaking that typically takes months, became necessary. For Diogo and the La Redoute teams, this included the existing Aiven services as well as other databases and workloads running on both the legacy cloud and on-premises environments.

As part of planning the switch to Microsoft Azure, Diogo and his team forecasted increased costs moving to a new cloud region. They explored the Aiven BYOC model for La Redoute, finding it would allow La Redoute to run Aiven services in its Azure account. Concluding that BYOC would enhance cost control and lead to overall cost reduction, it became La Redoute's preferred data infrastructure option.

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Migrating cloud infrastructure at the click of a button

The company embarked on the multi-faceted migration to Azure. For PostgreSQL, the La Redoute team initially planned to use Aiven tooling, allowing a one-click migration option across clouds and regions. However, as migrations are often used to rework some implementation details, the team took the opportunity to modernize the Terraform scripts used to define the previous cloud platform and upgrade PostgreSQL to the latest version. Due to these changes, the PostgreSQL migration was performed using the traditional setting of building the target infrastructure and then, after syncing the data, switching over.

“Most of our PostgreSQL migration time was spent doing automation, but once we got those sprints down, we had days where we moved 25 databases."

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The rest of the migrations, such as Aiven for Kafka and Aiven for OpenSearch, were much simpler and faster. LaRedoute didn’t need any modifications so relied on the Aiven one-click migration tooling and Aiven team expertise to prepare, execute and monitor the transition.

Reflecting on the cloud migration, Diogo says: “Usually, if an organization decides to switch wholesale to a different hyperscaler, it creates all sorts of headaches. But migrating our Aiven services was seamless. The only hassle was on our side, with our code, and we restructured it. The fact that Aiven is cloud agnostic, and we can change clouds with one push of a button, is a huge win for us and saved us a lot of time.”

Reduced TCO and improved security with BYOC

The BYOC model has enabled La Redoute to reduce the TCO of the Azure cloud infrastructure related to its Aiven services. The company has achieved this by using Cost Savings plans, Committed Use Discounts (CUDs) and other billing and pricing features available from Microsoft.

“By moving to BYOC, we gained control of our cloud costs. We were able to bring the additional cost of moving from a 40% increase to a 14% increase. This was entirely acceptable to the business given the shift to new, more expensive Azure regions. We then launched internal initiatives within the DBA team to reduce this increase to a net positive in savings, one example being the automated shutdown of nonproduction databases out of working hours,” says Diogo.

Another key benefit realized from the BYOC deployment is that it helps La Redoute meet regulatory and compliance requirements like GDPR. “Our security team really likes the Aiven BYOC model. Because the whole database infrastructure — including customer data — is now on our tenant, it’s more easily managed and tightly controlled.”


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Delivering strategic value to the business, faster

The Aiven Platform has enabled Diogo to extend the team’s capabilities to deliver more value to more parts of the business. Now Aiven supports all of La Redoute’s business domains from logistics and marketing to order and payment systems.

“The team used to have a traditional DBA mentality and was spending up to 90% of the day doing maintenance, patching and upgrades. That’s all handled by Aiven now, freeing up the team to focus on business projects and delivering solutions much faster. We can deploy databases in minutes rather than weeks,” says Diogo.

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La Redoute is evaluating other Aiven services. Diogo says, “We’re exploring opportunities in the observability layer with Grafana and OpenSearch and on the database side with MySQL. We’re also really interested in the AI-driven optimization capabilities of EverSQL by Aiven, particularly if that extends to other Aiven solutions.”

Looking to the future

La Redoute has plans to standardize its digital operations across countries to improve efficiencies and to make the rollout of new solutions easier. “We need to build unifying systems that can be used by every country and enable us to respond to the business in a faster and more agile way. A lot of these systems will use the Aiven Platform,” says Diogo.

This sentiment is echoed by João Granja, CTO, La Redoute: “Our commitment to Aiven is more than just a contractual agreement. It’s a partnership that’s built on trust. Aiven has had a transformative impact on our company and we’re excited to see the contribution our partnership will bring to La Redoute’s success in the next few years.”

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