About Crate and Barrel

Crate & Barrle logo

Crate and Barrel is an industry-leading home furnishings specialty retailer, known for its exclusive designs, excellent value and superb customer service. In addition to a thriving direct marketing division that services more than 90 countries, the company operates stores throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as international franchise locations in Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Working directly with European ateliers and factories, Crate and Barrel was among the first to introduce affordable household goods and contemporary home décor to American consumers. Founded in 1962, the brand’s essence has translated perfectly to the omnichannel era more than 50 years after opening its first store. The Crate and Barrel family of brands, which includes CB2 and The Land of Nod, is owned by Otto Group, a global retail and services group based in Hamburg, Germany.

The Business Challenges and 2nd Watch Solution

After over a decade of operation on traditional managed hosting platforms, Crate and Barrel’s eCommerce operation was faced with the need for a more nimble and cost effective hosting solution. The decision was made to migrate to the AWS platform, and 2nd Watch was selected as the migration and managed services partner.

Partnering with Crate and Barrel’s development group, headed by Mike Altpeter, Director of eCommerce Systems, the 2nd Watch professional services team migrated all three Crate and Barrel web and e-commerce properties from a traditional hosting facility to AWS, decommissioning one data center and 25 servers, and setting the company up for a successful holiday season. The teams worked through the design and implementation challenges that go along with migrating web properties to AWS, devised a migration strategy, and built the infrastructure in the new AWS environment using AWS EC2, RDS, ELB and S3, including a mix of SQL Server EC2 and RDS instances in both production and non-production environments. The 2nd Watch managed cloud team was selected to support the environment going forward.

The Business Benefits

Crate and Barrel will gain the flexibility and elasticity that comes with an AWS environment. The new environment has the ability to scale up on demand and handle hundreds of checkouts per minute. George Findling, Director of Emerging Technology, noted that the migration performed flawlessly through Black Friday and Cyber Monday without a single technical or operational incident.

By deploying the new environment on AWS, Crate and Barrel is able to take advantage of on-demand compute, scaling up and down as needed for the shopping season without oversubscribed capital purchases. The company anticipates significant reduction in the eCommerce platform monthly operating cost by migrating to AWS with the help of 2nd Watch.

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