Redesigning Furniture Retail
Made.com have revolutionised the furniture industry, creating a new way to shop.
By stripping back excess costs and the layers between customer and supplier, they are able to provide stylish and modern designer furniture with up to 70% off high street prices and excellent customer service.
No middleman, no warehouses; they simply offer a unique furniture range direct to consumers.
Due to frustrations with their existing supplier and their inflexible attitude towards shaping standard offerings to match Made.com’s requirements, the decision was taken to look for an alternative hosting partner.
They approached Sleek in search of a new platform and provider flexibility that would deliver a secure and scalable solution with the support necessary for their fast growing, customer focused business.
Flexible, Strong, Expandable
It was essential that the Made.com solution offered the high-performance, reliability and security required to provide their online visitors with a safe, fast and responsive experience.
Scalability was a central consideration, to allow the hosting infrastructure to keep pace with Made’s expansion and growth. The service needed to quickly react to and support periods of high-volume traffic and sales on the website.
Sleek have offered us a refreshing new approach to enterprise-level infrastructure management, far more flexible and usable than larger hosting companies, but without sacrificing technical know-how and on-the-mark operations.
The cloud-based infrastructure offers us scalability and performance without the commensurate sacrifices in stability and up-time found in public cloud solutions.
Andy Skipper, Chief Technology Officer, Made.com
Following a period of review and consultation with Made.com, Sleek proposed a bespoke, private cloud solution.
This framework would ensure a secure, air-gapped platform with the uncontended resource power and flexibility to satisfy Made.com’s requirements.
Virtual resources could be created on the cloud quickly to support periods of intense activity following marketing activity, giving Made the agility they needed to respond to them effectively.
The cloud is built on the foundation of solely dedicated, high-specification HP Proliant servers with the virtualisation handled by the industry leading VMware hypervisor.
This processing power is harnessed and directed into a flexible virtual machine infrastructure, created and controlled via the VMware interface. This cloud structure allows virtual resources to be created and deployed quickly and is used to support areas of the Made.com operation that requires it. It can also be up-scaled incredibly simply, with new server and storage resources added to the cloud ‘pool’, growing in conjunction with the success and expansion of the business.
Storage is handled by enterprise-class NetApp SAS storage with SnapMirror technology providing backups of data and configurations. Pairs of Brocade switches and Cisco firewalls control traffic and protect the platform.
The Made.com team are then fully supported by Sleek’s team of UK based, hosting engineers, available 24 hours a day.
Before we built the platform, a proof of concept period was decided upon to allow the team at Made.com to test aspects of the virtual infrastructure we were proposing.
Following this successful testing, we built the infrastructure outlined above and Made.com then began the migration process, moving their site and systems from their previous hosting provider.
Sleek provided hosting engineer support during this migration to fine tune the platform and respond to queries and requests raised by the Made.com technical team. Made.com’s increasing online sales and visibility is now underpinned by a tailored, agile platform that supports their growth. Their game-changing approach to online furniture sales is proving hugely popular and they are now confident that their hosting platform can support them every step of the way.