Recharge migrates subscription management solution for enhanced autoscaling and security

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Recharge migrates subscription management solution for enhanced autoscaling and security

Companies selling products or services online are rapidly embracing subscription-based business models to pave the way for lasting customer relationships that boost revenue and increase customer lifetime value.

Since 2014, Recharge has been helping ecommerce merchants of all sizes launch and scale their subscription offerings. Recharge’s subscription billing and payment solutions are designed to help merchants improve their business and enhance customer loyalty while reducing operating costs and churn.

“Subscriptions have evolved into a critical tool for merchants to provide consumers additional options, such as further discounts and access to new products,” says Oisin O’Connor, Co-founder and CEO of Recharge. “Brands are able to build a relationship with their customers through recurring touchpoints. Those customers, in turn, become their biggest advocates and supporters.”

Today, Recharge powers subscriptions for more than fifty million consumer subscribers across fifteen thousand merchants, including fast-growing brands such as Verve Coffee, Bokksu, Who Gives A Crap, Keap Candles, and Bumpin Blends.

Business challenge 

Mark Hatch, Director of Infrastructure at Recharge, supervises three IT groups: Database Administrators, who oversee relational database management systems and key-value stores; DevOps, which is responsible for continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines; and Infrastructure Operations (InfraOps), which manages runtime and day-to-day metrics reporting. When Hatch began working for Recharge four years ago, they contracted with a cloud infrastructure-as-a-service platform provider.

“Back then, we had five servers doing everything; when you wanted to add a machine to a workload, you had to deploy code, provision the machine, and then deploy code again,” says Hatch. “It was very, very messy. Every machine had a public IP address, which I couldn’t control for. And we didn’t have any configuration management capabilities.”

To prepare for anticipated company growth, his team identified several scaling and environment security issues that needed to be addressed. Hatch determined that the best approach to accomplish these critical tasks and take their existing technology to the next level would be a complete migration to a modern platform that contained a full and advanced feature set. 

Solution

After evaluating multiple cloud providers, Recharge decided to go all in on Google Cloud. The company’s complete infrastructure migration to Google Cloud with Cloud SQL and managed instance groups (MIGs) on Compute was accomplished in just three months.

Soon after the initial migration, Recharge partnered with SADA, a multiple-time Google Cloud Sales Partner of the Year, to evaluate its Cloud SQL architecture, navigate Google Cloud’s committed user discounts (CUDs) and other savings programs, and suggest new components to optimize their platform performance on Google Cloud.

SADA recommended and helped Recharge evolve onto Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and was also able to leverage a closer working association between Recharge and relevant Google Cloud internal teams. This enabled delivery of new features like A/B testing and the ability for progressive deployment. 

Through SADA, we have met Google Cloud Engineering Managers, Product Managers, the GKE team, the networking team, and the Cloud SQL team,. SADA used their deep relationships within Google Cloud to get Recharge access that we might not have been able to get otherwise.

Mark Hatch | Director of Infrastructure at Recharge

Additionally, Recharge leveraged Google Cloud’s on-platform security protections and deep integration with Google Workspace. “With IAM and integration with Google Workspace for email and directory services, users are all centrally managed,” says Hatch. “I don’t have to manage them on the fleet, greatly reducing the effort required for administration.”

Results

As a result of working with SADA and Google Cloud, Recharge received prompt relief of their system constraints and broad timing improvement. They went from five nodes on the previous host to 50 nodes on GKE when autoscaling kicked in and cut response time during high loads from 800-900 milliseconds to 320-340 milliseconds. 

“When we migrated to Google Cloud, we immediately alleviated 100% of our previous performance and scaling problems, and we did so in a persistent manner,” says Hatch. “We cut our average response time by 4X across the board and spikes are now about 3X less. All these improvements are about delivering the best customer experience.”

SADA played an instrumental role in elevating Recharge’s relationship with Google Cloud by introducing them to Google Cloud engineering and product teams. Recharge was able to attain technical and product information they may never have had without SADA. Additionally, SADA’s knowledge of the Google Cloud pricing model enabled Recharge to achieve a more cost-effective solution.

SADA definitely helped Recharge improve our bottom line. There’s no way we could have achieved the cost savings that we received without SADA.

Mark Hatch | Director of Infrastructure at Recharge

Recharge now operates with a more modern infrastructure with programmatically delivered resources, allowing services and dependencies of those services to be delivered through CI/CD pipelines in a very seamless manner. Recharge plans to continue to push boundaries with new machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI/ML) tools being released by Google Cloud. Overall, SADA helped Recharge:

  • Deliver infrastructure improvements and enhancements
  • Optimize autoscaling and security
  • Transition workloads from MIGs to GKE
  • Reduce operational support and account management overhead

/ AT A GLANCE

INDUSTRY Digital Natives

DECREASED Response time by 4X

INCREASED Autoscaling by 10X

We don’t do anything on Google Cloud without talking to SADA first. They provide a deep bench of resources, professional services, and expertise in many different areas. SADA’s independent insights and best practices–from having worked with other customers in similar situations–has proven invaluable.

— Mark Hatch | Director of Infrastructure at Recharge

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