Wanelo

Shopping online today is a primitive experience unless you're shopping with Wanelo.

Wanelo is a community for all the world's shopping, bringing together stores, products, and people on a single social platform. To keep the platform open for business 24x7, Wanelo deployed Enterprise Chef™ to configure its Joyent cloud and execute with a DevOps mindset.
"Chef has helped us reach new levels of speed and efficiency. With Joyent already in place, Chef plugged right in seamlessly. We now have a common code blueprint that dev and ops share, so we're all operating from the same playbook with real-time collaboration." Konstantin Gredeskoul, CTO, Wanelo

The Challenge

Wanelo (pronounced "wah-NEE-lo" from want, need, love) provides an online platform uniting shoppers, products, and stores on a purely member-driven community. The company uses Joyent as the foundation of for its Ruby on Rails-based application, offering extremely high-performance and scalability to support millions of daily visitors. Empowering developers to move at the speed of massive user demand presented numerous challenges:

  • Manage one of the world's largest Ruby on Rails applications, peaking at 200,000 requests per minute, with only one dedicated operations professional and a couple of full stack engineers.
  • Establish DevOps workflow without need for dedicated operations staff, accelerating innovation, while simultaneously reducing risk
  • Create disposable and repeatable infrastructure capable of adjusting to changes in user traffic on-demand

The Solution

Wanelo deployed the hosted service version of Enterprise Chef™ to automate configuration of its many Joyent servers, from bare metal to fully provisioned, delivering a highly flexible, easy-to-manage infrastructure for its online shopping community.

The Results

  • Reduced resource management from days to minutes by automating server configuration across entire Joyent deployment
  • Increased development velocity by empowering development teams with a shared code blueprint for configuring infrastructure
  • Created repository of all changes to infrastructure, enabling servers to be easily spun up, down, or copied as user demand dictates

Recipe for Success

Founded in 2010, Wanelo is reorganizing shopping around users by empowering them to organize their products online in the same way Twitter empowers users to organize information online. Today, Wanelo serves more than 10 million registered users and is adding a stadium's worth of new users per day for users to shop from over 200,000 stores, including major retailers and small independent shops. As Wanelo's business began to take off, it moved its Ruby on Rails-based social shopping application to Joyent Cloud, taking advantage of Joyent's high scalability, high CPU performance, and low cost. To extend Joyent's benefits and enable efficient collaboration throughout the development lifecycle, Wanelo deployed the hosted version of Enterprise Chef to automate configuration management for its entire Joyent infrastructure.

"Joyent provides us with the performance levels and flexibility we need, but we still needed to manage a pretty large installation with minimum resources to leverage, so automation was the obvious choice. Since we're a Ruby shop, Chef made a lot of sense, and once we deployed, its integration with Joyent was pretty flawless."

- Eric Saxby, Senior Software Engineer, Wanelo

Keeping pace with the needs of millions of members all interacting with the same application requires extreme development velocity. However, development and operations are not traditionally aligned to attain hyper-speed.

"Development wants to push change, but operations is traditionally responsible for minimizing change to production, so these groups have different priorities. As we rolled out Joyent and the business took off, we knew we'd need to avoid such friction to be successful."

- Konstantin Gredeskoul, CTO. Wanelo

Wanelo used Enterprise Chef to give development a shared blueprint of code for configuring Joyent servers across development, test, and production - eliminating the need for dedicated operations staff. Instead, a handful of engineers bridge both development and operations roles, making development teams more self-reliant. Using Enterprise Chef, developers can deploy additional resources they need on-demand, since the code for doing so is shared, tested, and approved by all stakeholders. In addition, using code to execute infrastructure changes enables Wanelo to be more flexible and adaptive in responding to user traffic fluctuations.

"Dev gets a better understanding for the underlying systems they use, while ops and engineering better understand how dev works. We share the experience of building and deploying new app changes, bringing us together for a common goal, all with the same code, on the same platform."

- Eric Saxby, Senior Software Engineer, Wanelo

With a repository of reusable code for everything from bare metal configuration to defining server roles, Wanelo has achieved significantly more development velocity and business agility, while concurrently improving system resiliency. Coding its infrastructure means Wanelo can move at the speed of its customers' needs and continue delivering a one-of-a-kind online shopping experience for millions more members in the future.