Haar Built a Fully Managed Private Cloud Solution for AppScenic


• Industry: Dropshipping & Ecommerce
• Location: Huddersfield, UK
• Employees: 10-50
• Company website: www.appscenic.com

About the Company

AppScenic is the world's most advanced dropshipping platform, focusing on automation and connecting retailers with suppliers and their products on a worldwide level. Due to delivering a next generation dropshipping automation platform, the entire selling process between retailers and suppliers needed to be completely in sync 24/7.

With over 100.000 stores, more than 1 million products and supporting retailers globally in different languages and currencies, AppScenic required a secure, reliable and redundant private cloud.

The Background

Founded in 2021, the business built its platform on top of AWS suite of products such as: Database, S3, Elastic Cloud, CodeBuild, Backups, Cloud Watch, Elastic File System, CloudFront, Elastic Load Balancing, Elastic Container Service, DynamoDB, EC2, OpenSearch Service, CodePipeline, Queue Service, Email Service, etc.

At some point, it all quickly became very hard to manage, wrapped around all the ISO/PCI-DSS security requirements. And on top of that, there was the financial reason, as AWS bills increased aggressively with each month.

The Challenge

Haar was challenged to analyse and come up with a proposal, then design and build a private cloud solution that would provide all the tools required to sustain the platform behind AppScenic.

More than that, this solution needed to help the development team grow and accelerate the development process while at the same time saving 35-50% of the monthly cost on a 5 year term.

& Improvements

Haar managed to provide a private cloud solution that gave AppScenic full control over, fully managed and secured so that it would accelerate their growth on a decent budget.

After initial investment on the hardware, on a 5 year financial exercise, the savings are around 43% of the monthly bill. This resulted in over 660.000$ savings with AppScenic being able to access additional certifications, such as SOC2 Type 2.

On top of the savings and flexibility for the security certifications and audits, the new platform offers AppScenic an incredible scalability feature where upgrades and downgrades to the platform can happen on the fly, without any downtime.

Also, the platform is fully dedicated to the AppScenic digital space with resources being 100% allocated to its customers, resulting in overall 2-3s improvements in loading time. The fact that the loading time is so much better with the help of Cloudflare features makes a huge difference both for their customer experience and SEO.

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The Solution

Haar helped AppScenic build a VMWare private cloud in 2 European data centers, managing the full process from hardware acquisition, datacenter selection, ISP and bandwidth management to actually installing, configuring, setting up and onboarding the company departments into the cloud.

The Hardware Solution

This was based on Dell nodes with the latest AMD EPYC CPUs, 1TB RAM and 40Gbits network cards (both internal and external). Using the VMWare ESXI Enterprise plus license, we’ve managed to get a strong suite of features on the deployment such as Tanzu Kubernetes, vSphere Pod Service, NSX-T, Network Load Balancing, Encryption, DRS, DPM, Proactive HA, etc. On the storage side we’ve decided to go with the latest fiber channel Dell storage with NVMEs SSDs.

The Network

The network was deployed on Juniper hardware and was fully redundant in terms of power, line cards and routing engine.

Backup and DR solution

We’ve ensured that the 2 locations act as main and second with daily backups on a fully independent storage powered by Pure Storage.

Software Solution

We’ve used best in class VMWare tools such as Tanzu, K8s, vSphere and vCenter to install, automate and provide all the required features to the development team in order to deploy and maintain the AppScenic platform.

Security Solution

From a security perspective, we have applied multiple layers of protection. First of all, we have enabled Cloudflare enterprise with fully proxy services to the AppScenic platform (including WAF). Secondly, we have applied a strong layer of ACLs on the Juniper routers and switches. And thirdly, we have enabled and performed a final layer of firewalling on the VMWare software and VM linux levels.


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