Founded in 2006 as the UK’s first comparison website to focus on product features as well as price, GoCompare is evolving its customer offering as well as the energy auto-switching service weflip and Look After My Bills, that finds the best energy deals and automatically moves consumers onto them.
Technology has always been at the heart of GoCompare’s offering as it sought growth in a competitive market and needed infrastructure that would support its ambitious plans to deliver a consistent user experience, particularly when handling spikes in traffic.
These spikes are often less predictable than those encountered by retail businesses. For example, unexpected peaks in traffic can be driven by the news, such as an investigation into how much consumers are paying for utilities. With traffic fluctuations much harder to anticipate, if the site struggled to perform GoCompare could lose out on a major revenue opportunity.
Trusting a longstanding partner with its future growth
With a relationship dating back 12 years, GoCompare selected Rackspace for its migration to a new infrastructure platform. The migration was managed by the Rackspace Professional Services team, supporting GoCompare from consulting around cloud architecture through to delivery. Using its depth of Microsoft Azure experience and expertise, Rackspace helped GoCompare accelerate its cloud journey.
Kieron Nolan, Group Director of Technology at GoCo Group, said: “We trust Rackspace to guide us through the challenges ahead, be transparent and work with us to come up with solutions. Using the team’s insights from other projects they managed for us, as well as current and upcoming IT trends that might affect us means we are fully equipped with the right expertise to succeed. It’s a true partnership in every sense of the term.
“Choosing Microsoft Azure was not just about being able to meet our current requirements but also to unlock new abilities. Having that footprint in place means we can tap into services such as data science, analytics and predictive modelling as we need them.”
Working with Rackspace, GoCompare began a staged migration to Microsoft Azure. This staged approach helped mitigate the risk of downtime: the first phase involved moving disaster recovery systems onto Microsoft Azure, with the next step to open the platform up to its customer traffic. The approach also ensured the migration wouldn’t clash with other internal initiatives and allowed each workload to be tested and trialed separately before all IT operations were moved over.
Making an immediate impact
The disaster recovery workload migration to Microsoft Azure was completed and with zero data loss. GoCompare has also already seen an improvement in the site’s sustainability and availability, with response times improved. Through testing, the ability to automatically scale as needed is also expected to allow the platform to manage 10 times its normal load.
Adam Evans, Director of Professional Services, EMEA at Rackspace said: “GoCompare has worked with Rackspace for 12 years, and acknowledged that our unbiased expertise would support its critical migration project.
“The team demonstrated their understanding of GoCompare’s mission to save its customers time and money through innovative and intuitive services, and delivered a cloud services plan that will help it achieve a more resilient, scalable site.”