Hello everyone and welcome to Adastra’s GCP Podcast called “Mastering Google Cloud Made Easy”. Thank you for joining! My name is Ivaylo Dimitrov and I’m a Google Cloud Solution Architect.
Since the previous episode was dedicated to the importance of data in retail and how to make informed decisions based on true insights, today we are about to cover the infrastructure side of the story. In this episode I will share ideas how to avoid a negative impact on sales because of bandwidth spikes and unpredictable patterns in retail.
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Let’s move to the real case. Retailers are always looking for new ways to improve customer experiences and stay competitive in the ever-evolving shopping shoppers’ environment. By adopting cutting-edge technologies, a retailer can gain advantage and outstand industry competitors. However, before investing and deploying new technologies, it is advisable that retailers ensure their store relies on a strong infrastructure, which can support new and unpredictable demands. I would nail it down to 3 infrastructure segments: network, data centers, and administration.
Now, lеt’s talk about networks. They have become the central nervous system of retailers, as well as the foundation for all in-store technologies. A robust and well-managed network keeps business applications running smoothly, operations flowing efficiently, and customers being happy. A retailer’s network must support flawless machine-to-machine communication, digital signage, inventory management, and a variety of other technologies.
Due to the growing demand on the network, the bandwidth becomes more and more significant aspect when it comes to high availability and reliable performance. To deliver a reliable bandwidth, retailers must estimate not only their current needs, but also unpredictable demands in the future. Without a fast, efficient, and reliable network, retailers are left at a significant disadvantage.
The second segment includes data centers. As discussed in the previous episode, retailers must manage huge volumes of data. From a sensitive transaction information and customer details to inventory and staff records, and they need a storage solution that can manage it.
Retailers must ensure these data centers are resilient, secure, and scalable enough to handle their business needs. While traditional servers are still a viable option, more and more retailers are transitioning towards less costly and more flexible infrastructure solutions in the cloud, which offers flexibility in managing large amounts of data, providing the ability to easily scale up or down depending on the current demands.
Not only does the cloud cover storage needs, but also helps retailers harness their data to uncover the hidden business insights. The more customer information that can be accessed and analyzed, the better businesses can serve their customers.
The third infrastructure segment is administration. Deploying resilient, flexible, and scalable IT systems that can be coupled with top-notch technology delivers exceptional customer services and brings significant competitive advantages. However, knowing how to implement new technology poses a considerable challenge, and many businesses are unsure of how to invest effectively in a new IT infrastructure.
Now, when we know the challenging segments, let me drive you through the power of Google Cloud and how cloud-based technology can put your business on autopilot when it comes to handling infrastructure workloads. As we mentioned earlier, network for the retailers is the nervous system and it needs to be robust and to guarantee seamless connectivity in the scenarios of demand spikes.
Considering the number of internet users worldwide, about 5 billion, Google`s network infrastructure is handling the traffic of over 4 billion. Google`s Virtual Private Cloud network is a virtual version of that same network, implemented inside of Google’s production network via project Andromeda. It could be natively connected to on-premises environment using Cloud VPN or Cloud Interconnect attachments, based on the bandwidth needs that you have. It also ensures your internal and external traffic is properly distributed with the Load Balancers to your data centers. The data centers. They should be highly secured and reliable while operating 24/7 with the highest speed possible.
You can achieve it with Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service options provided by Google Cloud. Compute Engine is the Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution where you can choose between dozens of predefined machine types to match your needs, or to use a custom one. You can spin it quickly based on your demand, or decommission it as quickly as is. It offers also features like the Spot Machines (very useful in stateless node pools), right-sizing recommendations, confidential computing that encrypts and secures your data while being processed, and many more options that can value your business.
Another instance from that you can take advantage is Google Kubernetes Engine (or GKE). It is a containerized, highly scalable environment that can run and orchestrate various size of workloads to power your business. When you run a Kubernetes cluster, you can also gain the benefit of advanced cluster management features automatic scaling, automatic upgrades, node auto-repair, and many more.
As your services are most probably working in multiple environments, it could be valuable to consider migrating to Anthos. Do not worry. If you don’t know how to do it, we can guide you all the way long. It provides a unified way to work with Kubernetes even for non-GKE instances.
You will have a consistent, unified, and secure infrastructure, cluster, and container management, whether you are using Anthos on Google Cloud (with traditional GKE), hybrid cloud, or multiple public clouds.
OK, to wrap it up I would say that one of the biggest challenges for the retailers these days is to grow sustainably, regardless unexpected demand spikes and force majeure circumstances.
The IT infrastructure needs to be reliable and scalable to ensure the outstanding customer experiences and seamless business operations.
Well, that is all for today’s episode of “Mastering Google Cloud Made Easy”. Thank you for joining and I hope you got some important takeaways on how to handle unexpected demand spikes and patterns. Simply, go in the cloud and find a reliable managed service partner to ensure everything is running smoothly 24/7 at optimal performance and cost.
Make sure you subscribe to our channel to always stay tuned with the latest insights we share. Join us again next time to find out how to get better at using data and insights. Goodbye and stay safe.