Snapdeal welcomes cost savings, performance gains with 100,000 core OpenStack deployment.


In a year when online shopping is expected to grow 78 percent in India, e-commerce sites are looking for ways to find a cost effective way to create a reliable, frictionless experience for more than 80 million customers.

Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace, just launched its hybrid cloud platform, Snapdeal Cirrus. With OpenStack at its center, Snapdeal Cirrus covers three data center regions with an extensive architecture of 100,000 cores, 16 petabytes of storage and 100G SDN infrastructure.

The New Delhi-based startup offers an assortment of 50 million plus products from luggage and roti makers to saris and mobile phones across 800 plus diverse categories from over 125,000 regional, national and international brands and retailers. With millions of users and more than 300,000 sellers, Snapdeal is the shopping destination for Internet users across this vast country, delivering to over 6,000 cities and towns in India.

Snapdeal has already cornered about a quarter of the Indian e-commerce market, that’s twice as much as Amazon but about half of its largest local competitor Flipkart, in what some are calling the “great race” to rule what may become the world’s largest online marketplace. With the fastest growing e-commerce market, Snapdeal reaches people that brick-and-mortar businesses can’t, since half of its customers live outside India’s biggest cities.

Snapdeal needed an infrastructure that scaled to meet the needs of the boom in online browsers distributed throughout India. By harnessing OpenStack with more than 100,000 cores, Snapdeal has placed itself among the top 4 percent of the largest users (by cores) in OpenStack, according to OpenStack’s April 2016 user survey.

“Snapdeal is the latest company to find that operating an OpenStack private cloud at scale is significantly cheaper than relying solely on hyper scale public clouds,” says Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation “It just makes good business sense, so I expect we’ll see many more companies following this hybrid cloud model.”

Cirrus expands seamlessly to public cloud and abstracts the underlying infrastructure away from the applications, so they can be dynamically assigned to run in different parts of the cloud.The private cloud solution has been built and operationalized in under a year and is well timed to handle long-term growth in traffic.

At the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Gaurav Gupta, the vice president of engineering and Neeraj Goyal, the AVP of cloud platform engineering at Snapdeal will present why they chose hybrid cloud and to offer key learnings from their massive implementation.

One key learning Gaurav shares is the need to plan, plan, plan the migration, as this is where your project will fail.

“Planning the migration is a very critical piece of a successful cloud deployment. Its amazing how much we learned about our own application behavior during this process which drove some fundamental decisions for our infrastructure,” he says.

The launch follows a sustained increase in online traffic on Snapdeal, where millions of users regularly browse, buy, make online payments and track shipments until delivery. This move will enable Snapdeal to ensure that business booms without compromising platform speed, security and stability.

“Snapdeal was born in the cloud, but public clouds stops being cost efficient after a scale, which became the case for Snapdeal sometime last year. In a short span of 10 months, we have succeeded in building an extremely resilient, scalable, and secure solution,” says Rajiv Mangla, Snapdeal’s chief technology officer.

The addition of Cirrus to Snapdeal’s innovative technology platform, is expected to offer great cost savings and lead to exponential performance gains across its applications, further providing a more reliable and seamless experience to customers across India.

“Snapdeal Cirrus is a fully automated software defined data center and cloud platform, where infrastructure is built and managed as code. We are proud of what our team has achieved — Snapdeal Cirrus is one of the few successful examples globally of a large hybrid cloud built at a scale of public cloud, purely using open source technologies like OpenStack and Ceph,” says Mangla.

Cover image courtesy Snapdeal.

Allison Price