Machine Learning

Wayfair migrates data center applications & services to the cloud

World-leading retailer of home goods completes transformative data center migration to operate fully in the cloud with Google

Google Cloud today announced that Wayfair (NYSE: W), one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home, has completed a full migration of its data center applications and services to the cloud, with Google Cloud as the foundation of its overall cloud strategy. The move helps the retailer increase business agility and technical innovation, handle burst capacity, and scale new uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for scenarios ranging from fraud detection to personalized customer outreach.

Migrating 100% of its cloud applications to Google Cloud is a key milestone in Wayfair’s technology strategy to support 24 million active customers who rely on the retailer to create their feeling of home. The migration—which represents a shift from Wayfair’s 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. Perhaps most impressive of all, the large-scale migration effort was completed in 16 months with zero impact to Wayfair’s customers.

“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, chief technology officer, 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.”

Google Cloud is now helping Wayfair to:

  • Rapidly scale: Migrating fully to the cloud is helping the company handle burst capacity and ensure a smooth customer experience during times of heavy web traffic. This includes major sales events, like Wayfair’s annual Way Day sales, and the anticipated peak holiday shopping season ahead.
  • Accelerate fraud and scam detection: 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 machine learning models, which can detect payment fraud, post-order fraud, and other types of scams and abuse.
  • Increase B2B orders and revenue: With 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.
  • Personalize customer interactions to increase overall traffic and conversion: 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 growing customer base.
  • Amplify engineering effectiveness: In the highly competitive world of retail, responding to changing business needs and challenges in real time is a high priority for Wayfair. With the use of Google Cloud’s data analytics, Wayfair is now better able to remove technical roadblocks its developers face, and create solutions more quickly for its customers and partners.

Wayfair’s migration to Google Cloud was a technically complex and massive effort that involved successfully migrating or retiring 330,000 CPU cores, 23,000 operating system instances, more than 8,500 applications, and more than 5,700 Kubernetes namespaces, as well as retraining Wayfair staff on the new technologies. Without the need for expensive, on-premises hardware, Wayfair donated its existing data center equipment, including modern servers and networking equipment, to fuel research work at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Being data-driven and agile is synonymous with retail sales success, and technology is the key to unlocking these capabilities,” said Carrie Tharp, vice president, 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.”

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