Cross-Region Replication on AWS

The Tie Bar optimizes AWS cloud deployment with CloudBasic

The popular online menswear retailer uses CloudBasic’s RDS Multi-AR for Cross-Region DR and RDS SQL Server Readable-Replicas on AWS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Tie Bar, an eCommerce retailer specializing in fashion accessories managed to disrupt traditional menswear stores with its innovative business model, attractive pricing, and vast online inventory. After experiencing fast business growth, the company migrated on-premise SQL servers to AWS. Taking advantage of CloudBasic’s advanced replication technology, the client optimized its cloud deployment with cross-region read replicas to off-load primary RDS and improve efficiency.

The Client

The Tie Bar in an online retailer, specializing in premium quality neck ties, bow ties, belts, socks and moreThe Tie Bar is an ecommerce fashion retailer, specializing in the design of fashion accessories for men. The company’s website went live in 2004 and was strictly an ecommerce venture. As the company grew, it also opened a flagship brick and mortar retail store in Chicago.

Since its founding, the brand has gained substantial popularity among consumers, along with notable recognition in the media. The company philosophy is centered on the concept that quality fashion items should not be cost prohibitive. Offering a broad range of wallet-friendly fashion accessories for men has clearly been a successful strategy.

The stellar management team, which blends executives formerly associated with top business names like McKinsey, Nordstrom, Topman, and Trunk Club, has managed to disrupt traditional menswear stores, and turn the startup into a serious business, carrying over 10,000 stock keeping units, and generating over $20 million in annual revenues.

The Case

Helping a guy change his look and feel great without breaking his wallet is not just a matter of picking the right fashion accessories. From a technology standpoint, in order to successfully tap into the fast growing US Menswear market, a business requires a robust eCommerce infrastructure.

Selling products and services online is the quintessential use case for the cloud, and this innovative retailer chose Amazon Web Services for its industry leading public cloud infrastructure. The company was particularly attracted by the RDS Multi-AZ package, planning to take advantage of the mirrored database instance for reporting and analytics.

The IT Team discovered that AWS RDS Multi-AZ for SQL Server does not provide access to the read-replica. The resulting implication is that all database analytics and performance reports would have to be run against the live primary RDS instance. Not an optimal situation.

The Solution

View a sample cloud replication scenario to compare cost and benefits:

AWS RDS Multi-AZ vs. CloudBasic RDS Multi-AZ-AR (SQL Server)

To optimize their cloud deployment, the company chose CloudBasic’s RDS Multi-AR server replication solution, which was designed specifically for AWS. It allows them to enable Multi-AR(Multi-Avaialblity-Region) Read-Replicas to off-load the primary RDS and for DR and HA, mirroring RDS Single-AZ SQL Servers in Virginia to CloudBasic RDS Multi-AR in Oregon.

The CloudBasic solution replicates asynchronously allowing the replica instance to be located in another region, as well as the replica SQL Server type size to be running on a less expensive EC2 instance type/size, with processing capabilities sufficient to satisfy the reporting and API read-loads. In the event of a fail-over the mirrored instance can be quickly promoted to primary and upgraded to a larger instance.

The Results

The Tie Bar optimized their cloud deployment with cross-region replication. Specifically, they scaled up their mirroring from Zone-to-Zone in the RDS Multi-AZ case to Cross-Region with RDS Multi-AR, by taking advantage of CloudBasic’s advanced Geo-Replication functionality.

The client originally had RDS db.M4.Large Multi-AZ SQL Servers, costing $1.955/h per server and offering only zone-to-zone DR, and no readable replicas. With CloudBasic, they upgraded to RDS db.M4.XLarge Single-AZ SQL Server Web Edition and added Cross-Region DR, and Readable Replicas with CloudBasic's RDS Multi-AR. The total cost is just $0.44/h per server more, for a total of $2.401/h.

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