Moonpig

Moonpig is one of the worlds most popular personalised greetings card retailers with almost four million active customers and shipping over 14 million cards per year.

The Challenge

Moonpig needed to relieve technical debt built up in a traditional data centre facility and to provide additional failure and backup options, which were non-existent at project inception. Cloudreach was brought in to develop a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) environment in Microsoft Azure.


Moonpig required Cloudreach’s assistance in developing a solution that would not only deliver the BCDR requirements but also allow for scalable burst workload to the cloud at peak periods.

The Solution

At the outset, the Moonpig made it clear that it was interested in using the cloud on a wider scale and that the introduction of and potential failover to the new DR environment could be a stepping stone to a wider adoption of cloud-based technologies. The proposed solution had to provide fast, reliable BCDR options, with a customer base large enough to capture a 90% market share.

Cloudreach designed and implemented a scalable warm standby disaster recovery application stack, as well as recommending disaster recovery best practices and processes. The solution leverages Azure Scale Sets to automatically provision the Web and Application tiers according to the load on the VMs (see diagram below).

Card_azure

F and G series VMs are used for image rendering and database applications, with premium storage for blazing fast database performance and file storage.

The design includes network segregation into public, private and shared-services VNets, with each service protected by network security groups. The customer made good use of the VPN Gateway technology to connect to its current on-prem infrastructure enabling database records to be synchronised.

In the event of the disaster recovery process being invoked, zero data loss is expected, with the recovery site becoming fully operational as soon as the scale sets reach their production levels.

The Partnership

Cloudreach worked in close collaboration with the Moonpig’s technical team and with Microsoft to ensure that a well-rounded solution was provided.

As the complexity of the work increased, Microsoft funding was sought to allow Cloudreach to deliver a more comprehensive platform for the customer to failover to. Once the environment was built, Cloudreach provided full DR Failover Runbook documentation and assisted with financial modelling to allow the customer to make tactical decisions as to how feasible it was to failover and stay in the cloud in the event of a DR scenario.

The Outcome

  • Moonpig now has a fully functioning and documented BCDR environment. Should the event arise where its on-premise solution is compromised, it can failover to the Azure platform whilst maintaining business processes with minimal technical and financial disruption to its services.
  • Having experienced the flexibility and scalability of Azure, Moonpig aims to further develop its cloud capability by redesigning its application stack as a microservices platform run entirely on Azure in the near future.
  • Moonpig has gone from zero recovery capability to being able to recover its main business website within an hour, with no loss of data.
  • Moonpig can now take the decision to failover to its Business Continuity Disaster Recovery environment, which is not something it had the capability to do until Cloudreach designed and built the Azure platform.

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