Prezzybox AWS implementation
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Prezzybox casestudy
That’s Zen thinking
Zen and Prezzybox -
Moving the Store to
For this fast-growing online retailer, aging servers couldn’t keep up with demand.
Zen helped it migrate to a more flexible, reliable cloud platform.
Prezzybox is an award winning retailer that has grown rapidly to become a leader
in the online gifts market, offering customers a choice of thousands of unique and
exciting gifts, along with features that make it easier to buy the perfect present.
The website was running on five-year-old servers which, while upgraded with
faster processors and additional RAM, were running at the limit of their capabilities.
Continual success and rapid growth were fuelling the business, yet the technical
team were concerned that the site was only months away from becoming too big
for its physical platform. There were fears of a catastrophic failure, with knock-on
effects for the company’s commercial stability.
The Prezzybox business model is highly cyclical, with huge peaks in demand during
significant events such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Typically in the
run up to Christmas, daily unique visitors to the Prezzybox site grows from approximately
15,000 to well over 100,000. As you'd expect, the 200 daily transactions will also rise
each day. This means that any physical infrastructure designed to cope with the
sharply during the same period, with the site taking a staggering 3000 orders every single
Such demand means that any physical infrastructure designed to cope with the needs of
Christmas for instance would be under-utilised for the remaining ten months of the year.
A cloud-based solution seemed the smart way forward, but the team at Prezzybox
knew the migration had to be handled with care.
Prezzybox is a family-run business
that launched in 2001. Today they are
a leading website for the online gifts
market and an award winning retailer
• Scalable infrastructure
• AWS cloud based solution
• Fully-managed hosted Cloud
• Stable, resilient, scalable and
• Scalability and flexibility
• On-demand solution creates
• Improved performance
Sandbrook Park, Sandbrook Way, Rochdale OL11 1RY
Tel: 01706 902000 Fax: 01706 902005 Email: email@example.com Web: www.zen.co.uk
©Zen Internet Limited 2015. All Rights Reserved v1.1 16.01.15
Our portfolio provides organisations
with the ability to communicate,
operate and transact with confidence.
We provide the application delivery
infrastructure required to compete in
today’s highly connected world with
a range of service options that scale
from micro businesses through to
enterprise and multi-site operations.
In addition to Business Broadband,
Fibre Optic Broadband, Business Talk,
IP VPN, Leased Lines and Ethernet, our
portfolio also includes:
• Managed Firewalls
• Domain Names
• Web Hosting
• Dedicated Servers
• Data Backup
• Managed Cloud Hosting
Zen proposed moving its servers and associated back-end infrastructure to a fully-
managed hosted Cloud environment based on Amazon Web Services (AWS) which
offers a complete set of infrastructure and application services to provide a stable,
resilient and responsive platform. Resources can be allocated on-demand, and even
automatically in direct response to shifts in utilisation. It also runs on a pay-as-you-
use business model, making it more cost-effective than a fixed cloud-based solution
with a set monthly fee.
The whole solution is designed, implemented and managed by Zen’s own Managed
Services teams, enabling Prezzybox to focus its resources on improving the core
business and boosting its presence on the web instead of worrying about
Zen worked with Prezzybox to plan the migration, meticulously planning every stage,
with a member of the team working in-house as the platform went live. Throughout
the process, the Managed Services team responded to feedback and kept the in-
house team informed. “Zen worked very hard identifying problems and laying out
a robust architecture to stage everything on” says Prezzybox’s Craig Lager. “They
have also been excellent in dealing with unforeseen problems, identifying and
implementing potential improvements to our configurations, and answering any
questions that we have.”
The key benefits of the new solution are scalability and flexibility. The AWS cloud
scales automatically, on-demand as traffic levels grow and transactions mount up,
giving Prezzybox the resources it needs during the pre- and post-Christmas periods.
Prezzybox only has to pay for the resources it uses, lowering operating costs, and
being driven directly by customer demand.
What’s more, if Prezzybox needs to change configurations or add more servers, AWS
makes doing so easy, using customisable templates designed by the Zen Managed
The AWS solution is inherently more reliable. With a highly redundant, geographically
diverse configuration the platform responds rapidly to any loss of service, ensuring
Zak Edwards, Managing Director, Prezzybox
The great thing about working with Zen is that they worked
extremely closely with our Technical Development team and
were on hand pretty much 24/7 to ensure the migration went as
smoothly as possible. This was hugely reassuring in what was a
tense time. Obviously there were teething problems, but they were
dealt with quickly, efficiently and with an urgency that we found
comforting and one which ultimately gave us the desired results.