Infrastructure migration under vshosting~ was one of the best managerial decisions of recent years. It arrived just in the nick of time.
The transfer of Lékárna.cz to a fully administered hosting solution with Kubernetes.
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At the end of 2019, on the back of positive references, we were approached by one of the largest Czech online pharmacies, Lékárna.cz. They were looking for an improved hosting solution for the whole of the Pears Health Cyber group to which Lékárna.cz belongs. A server infrastructure that would better meet the needs of such a large and fast-growing project through availability, speed, and the technologies used.
At the same time, they needed to combine a range of other projects and websites which operated separately to the Lékárna.cz e-shop into one infrastructure (for example the portals Ordinace.cz, euni.cz, the accounting system, and others). Each of these projects was different, in various stages of development, and using several different technologies.
From three physical and 41 virtual servers they wanted to switch to a conceptually conceived architecture, to a solution that would unify all their projects and technologies and facilitate further development. Another dimension of the transformation was their interest in joining the popular Kubernetes platform.
Until that point, they had no experience with Kubernetes itself, since it was relatively new on the scene. In terms of development, they had previously used Docker but were looking for a partner that could help them with a move to Kubernetes. For this reason, they contacted vshosting~, who treats each client as an individual and offers advice on how each solution should be prepared so that migration runs smoothly even for demanding projects.
The brief for vshosting~ was clear. Unify the infrastructure for all the projects with the help of migration to Kubernetes and generally provide a top solution for a modern e-shop of their caliber. Operating in high availability mode and taking a proactive approach with experienced administrators was a must.
An invaluable aspect of working with Lékárna.cz was and still is that they act as partners and we fine-tune everything together. There is a discussion before every fundamental change relating to hosting. The Lékárna.cz developers can benefit from the many years of experience that our senior administrators have. The result is harmony between the applications and hosting solutions.
Even today we work together on upgrades and prepare the infrastructure for seasonal spikes or marketing campaigns which could have an impact on load times. Due to this high level of communication, and other factors, we consider Lékárna.cz one of our top clients.
One of the largest online Czech pharmacies value not only the professional approach of our senior administrators, led by Jakub Lánský, but also consider the switch to vshosting~ one of their best decisions in recent years. The move itself brought them the required conceptual approach, consolidation of services, speed improvements of all disk arrays, an infrastructure suitable for a modern e-shop set up of their caliber, and also transparency of resources used. They can immediately see which service uses the most power and have no need to worry about application overload.
When the previous solution collided with the new solution we set up a progressive pricing system for the client in order to eliminate any duplications in the financing of the infrastructure operation. A hybrid model was therefore born, in which everything was gradually rolled over to vshosting~ infrastructure without drastic price increases. Since the migration was spread across several parts, Lékárna.cz were also able to thoroughly and simply test each element before moving on to the next piece of infrastructure.
We suggested an extensive managed cluster with Kubernetes as the most suitable solution for Lékárna.cz. We also prepared a fully-fledged test environment that completely copied the production structure and where automated testing was carried out. Naturally, they had a CDN and central storage.
We also arranged the complete transfer to Kubernetes including training. Two months after the completion of the migration we also carried out a hardware upgrade to more powerful servers which led to roughly a doubling of database speed.
The result of our cooperation is an improved and more powerful infrastructure which impacts not only Lékárna.cz’s business outcomes but every individual developer who now, when they develop something, immediately sends it to Git and testing, with one-click deployment automatically carried out. As a result, they are able to develop and launch new features more quickly and develop the whole project in a more agile way.