Wayfair shifts data center to Google Cloud

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Wayfair is migrating its enterprise to Google Cloud.

Wayfair Inc. has completed a full migration of its data center applications and services to a Google Cloud foundation.

As a result, the direct-to-consumer online home furnishings titan seeks to increase business agility and technical innovation, handle burst capacity during major sales events such as its “Way Day” online sales extravaganza, and scale new uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for uses such as fraud detection to personalized customer outreach.

[Read more: Wayfair sets date for annual sales bonanza]

This migration, which represents a shift from Wayfair's previous hybrid cloud strategy to a unified public cloud strategy, included moving all of Wayfair's databases, application datastores, compute frameworks, and analytics and data science tools into the cloud.

In doing so, Wayfair is giving its developers and analysts an increased ability to safely deploy and operate applications; in addition to storing, securing, enriching, and presenting operational and analytical data in the cloud. Wayfair says it completed the migration effort in 16 months without impacting its customers.

According to Wayfair, the migration is helping it perform the following tasks:

  • Adopting Google Cloud's AI solutions, including Vertex AI Feature Store and Vertex AI Pipelines, is helping Wayfair reduce the time it takes to create and deploy fraud and scam detection ML models, which can detect payment fraud, post-order fraud, and other types of scams and abuse.
  • Leveraging Google Cloud AI, Wayfair created an enhanced customer identification model, which is helping the retailer uncover professional customers through real-time ML-models, based on customer onsite journeys and purchase histories. Better identifying professional customers helps Wayfair to increase its B2B orders and revenue per enrollment.
  • Moving to Google Cloud is allowing Wayfair to scale more of its ML models that help the retailer understand individual customer needs and preferences, which drives more effective advertising and outreach to the company's customer base.
  • Google Cloud's data analytics help enable Wayfair able to remove technical development roadblocks and create solutions more quickly.

[Read more: Wayfair extends risk management deployment]

Wayfair's migration to Google Cloud involved migrating or retiring 330,000 CPU cores, 23,000 operating system instances, more than 8,500 applications, and more than 5,700 open-source Kubernetes namespaces (isolated groups of cloud resources within a cluster), as well as retraining staff on the new technologies.

Without the need for on-premises hardware, Wayfair donated its existing data center equipment, including modern servers and networking equipment, to support research work at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

"Google Cloud is a key part of our innovation strategy to adapt and thrive in a landscape that shifts as quickly as consumer preferences do," said Fiona Tan, CTO, Wayfair. "The complete migration of our data center operations to Google Cloud is an essential part of ensuring Wayfair's long-term competitiveness and resilience. With this partnership, we're better able to handle sudden traffic, empower our engineers with more autonomy, and use AI and ML to create a better shopping experience for our customers."

"Being data-driven and agile is synonymous with retail sales success, and technology is the key to unlocking these capabilities," said Carrie Tharp, VP, retail and consumer solutions at Google Cloud. "Wayfair is on the leading edge of retail, and at every stage of our partnership, we've seen them tackle new and bold technology efforts that ultimately delight their customers with better shopping experiences."

In addition to its namesake brand, Wayfair’s portfolio includes Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, Perigold and Wayfair Professional.   

 

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