Gilt reduces storage costs

Gilt reduces storage costs by 85%, increases agility.

Leading online shopping site Gilt leverages Zadara to address scalability, management and total-cost-of-ownership challenges.

About the company.

Gilt is an online shopping destination offering its members access to merchandise and experiences every day at insider prices.

The challenge.

An online shopping destination for the savvy consumer, Gilt continually searches the world for the most coveted brands and products, including fashion for women, men, and children; home decor; and unique activities in select cities and destinations. Gilt releases new products to their website on a daily basis with discounts of up to 70% off retail. The growing business created scalability and management challenges for their entire IT infrastructure. Gilt made the decision to move their compute infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) over managing their own data centers to gain the flexibility and cost advantages of cloud computing.

Lack of scalability and manageability hindering growth at Gilt.

When the time came to look at their storage infrastructure, they wanted the same level of scalability, elasticity and cost advantages. As Anders Holm, Senior Systems Engineer at Gilt in Dublin, put it, “One of the benefits of AWS is that they manage our compute resource for us. We push the headaches to them so that we can focus on our business.” Gilt wanted that same level of “as-a-service” solution for their storage. However, they also wanted the enterprise features that they were lacking in their prior storage solution.

When the time came to look at their storage infrastructure, they wanted the same level of scalability, elasticity and cost advantages. As Anders Holm, Senior Systems Engineer at Gilt in Dublin, put it, “One of the benefits of AWS is that they manage our compute resource for us. We push the headaches to them so that we can focus on our business.” Gilt wanted that same level of “as-a-service” solution for their storage. However, they also wanted the enterprise features that they were lacking in their prior storage solution.

One of the key problems with Gilt’s prior solution 3PAR, was scalability and manageability. When they needed new capacity, they would add LUNs and assign new volumes to the applications. The process was cumbersome and was taking days to complete. Another significant challenge with their prior storage architecture was cost. As the Gilt business grew, the cost of acquiring and managing their storage would not scale appropriately.

The solution.
Zadara: higher performance, lower cost.

With a Zadara virtual private storage array (VPSA), the same tasks now take just minutes rather than days. By taking advantage of Zadara’s Storage-as-a-Service business model, Gilt reduced their storage costs by 85%.

With Zadara we moved from a storage solution that was hindering growth, to one that is enabling growth.

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Anders Holm Senior Systems Engineer | Gilt
The results.
Freeing up time for higher-value activities.

One of the side benefits that was not expected when Gilt made the decision to move to Zadara was that people previously assigned to the mundane task of managing storage could now be redeployed on much higher-value activities. Not only did this increase overall productivity, it made for more engaged employees.

Seamless connectivity with AWS.

Gilt is also pleased with the seamless connectivity between their AWS compute resources and Zadara storage capacity. They are able to connect any of their AWS accounts, regardless of region, to any of their Zadara VPSAs. This has created very powerful data availability options for Gilt. They are now considering replicating data between their key locations and possibly using Zadara’s other data protection features , such as Zadara’s Backup to S3 (B2S3) option that allows users to replicate their data to cost-effective Amazon S3 object-based targets.

“The Zadara VPSA has worked extremely well. It has delivered as promised. Also, the support and service department has been fantastic. Overall, it has been a great experience working with Zadara,” said BeBop CTO David Benson.

Gilt recognized that the traditional model of acquiring and managing IT resources does not scale. Much like electricity and telephone services, IT resources are increasingly being delivered as utilities. Zadara is at the forefront of this movement, providing companies with the advanced data services they require in a reliable and affordable package.

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