For Pepperfry, the elasticity of the ecosystem to scale up and down, in tandem with the load being processed, is one of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based ecosystem.
All public cloud systems have created a multitude of services, which help Pepperfry route its development bandwidth to areas that form the company’s core.
“For example, as we make full use of the various queuing systems prevalent in the cloud, we don’t need to set up or maintain our own,” said Netrabile.
At Pepperfry it was decided way earlier that the cost of hosting an on-prem ecosystem – which would mean better visibility on workload elasticity, at the same time, as the company is trying to work on various features and ways that can offer better value and deliver more immersive experiences to the users – would be difficult to match vis-à-vis a cloud ecosystem.
“We were also clear that to move fast, we need to concentrate our development bandwidth in areas that can move the needle. For instance, focus on the core logic rather than working on building our own emailing solution. It was a great hook and still is, to attract talent, who love to work in such an environment, which gives core exposure to like-minded software creators,” he added.
A decade earlier (when Pepperfry was started) there were only two types of server instances that companies could work with. “Either you reserve for more than a year or you bite the bullet and say, to a certain level, we will reserve, over that, let it be dynamic, catering to the workload,”
All cloud systems now have spot instances, which makes it so convenient to have elasticity, at the same time keeping cost under control.
“As time went by, cloud systems came up with managed containers and serverless platforms, which helped us understand how to work with these new-age ecosystems, that helps in our long-term strategy to make our processing layer cloud-agnostic. While the process is elaborate, it helps in moving around, in certain circumstances,” he said.
Netrabile also maintained that cloud storage is another big feature, which cloud providers have given to their users. “We don’t need to buy offline storage anymore, the cost of saving our data in cloud with high level of availability, backups and multi-tier redundancy helps us a lot.”
Talking about the parameters on which Pepperfry evaluates a cloud vendor, Netrabile said, We have been fortunate in getting our feet wet with most of the cloud providers and understanding how to maneuver, making the best use of available resources. In some cases, familiarity which leads to faster implementation, plays a big role and in others, we look at longterm cost vs benefit of moving from one cloud to another. Decision taken early helps as post usage, most of the cloud ecosystems tend to even out, if you look at the cost in totality i.e. including the cost of moving the data from one cloud to another.”
When Pepperfry started off, there was only one public cloud provider and the furniture and home products seller saw a future in being with them, looking at the various systems and support needed to run the servers.
Netrabile further added that at a certain scale, they will have to evaluate their cloud workload and understand if it would make more sense to move to a hybrid system. The cost-benefit analysis of such a scenario is conducted at Pepperfry on a regular basis.