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Cosmetics retailer Lush migrates e-commerce platform to Google Cloud as part of open source push

By Matthew Finnegan | March 13, 2017
Cosmetics retail company was attracted by openness of Google Cloud

"Licensed software is dying - there is no doubt about it. [Adopting open source] is not even a decision, it is just like 'this is the world now, how do you deal with it'," says Constantine.

The company has relied on various proprietary software providers across its operations - including Sage finance and an ERP system from QAD - but plans to create its own tools in future.

"A lot of that stuff comes with sizeable maintenance contracts and ongoing upgrades, costs and fees," says Kerry.

"What we are trying to do is look at how we can develop some of that stuff internally. We have the ability through the infrastructure as a service that Google provides us with to be able to incorporate all of our ecosystem together. That is what containers and Kubernetes and other features like that are enabling us to do now going forward.

"So we are building that internal engineering effort, bringing it all in house and then we can start to develop it."

Choosing Google Cloud

Kerry says that the openness of Google's cloud - with the vendor releasing tools such as Hadoop to Kubernetes to open source communities in the past - was one of the key reasons for choosing the platform.

Another is Google's pledge to use 100 percent renewable energy in its data centres - an area of importance to Lush.

"[We want to align] the digital business with what we do in the rest of the business as well. Google making that commitment is a massive factor [in the choice of cloud provider]," Kerry says. "The amount of renewable energy is three times the amount of the next three competitors added together."

However, there were technical reasons for choosing Google Cloud over AWS too.

"Google's network is considerably faster," he adds.

"We did some load-testing and other tests against both systems, we found that Google's network is a lot quicker so we could consolidate five data centres down to three.

"So most of it was a cost saving exercise, we halved our run rate of what we were paying originally by moving to Google Cloud Platform as well. What that does is also allows us a lot of different options to then play with in regards to innovating faster and being able to reinvest into more research and development projects and drive the business forward."


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