Snapdeal's cloud investment pays rich dividends

Snapdeal’s Cirrus has the capability to handle nearly 11 Billion page views per month. The powerful server architecture enables Snapdeal to offer a personalized feed to each and every user

Snapdeal's cloud investment pays rich dividends - CIO&Leader

Snapdeal’s private cloud - Cirrus - has become an important part of Snapdeal’s fast and cost-efficient growth over the last few years.

Launched in September 2016, Snapdeal’s Cirrus has the capability to handle nearly 11 Billion page views per month. The powerful server architecture enables Snapdeal to offer a personalized feed to each and every user.

Using advanced data science and AI, each user gets a feed of products personalized based on their engagement and history on the platform, which change every time they visit. This allows users to efficiently browse and discover products from amidst the 220 Million + listings on Snapdeal.

This ability to personalize the experience for each user has allowed Snapdeal to open large new segments of e-commerce. The ease of discovery has helped bring online a vast selection of regional and local brands that mirror the depth and diversity available in India’s physical markets. This market for value-priced merchandise - worth about USD 163 Bn - is 3X the market for branded retail (USD 55 Bn).

At more than 100,000 cores and 16 petabytes of storage, Snapdeal’s Cirrus is one of the largest OpenStack deployments globally and has been built to handle long term growth. It is fully equipped to cater to the surging traffic from non-metro cities, which are expected to account for the largest share of the next 400 Mn online shoppers in India. Having its own cloud infrastructure also allows Snapdeal to scale its infrastructure for festive & sales-driven spikes and allows it to seamlessly serve peaks in traffic.

Cirrus is also equipped to serve the needs of extensive and cost-effective experimentation. Having its own cloud has enabled Snapdeal to rapidly innovate and roll out a wide range of initiatives to targeted segments. These include vernacular interfaces, replacing a large part of static photos with product videos and an immersive engagement experience through games and entertainment content. In the last four years, Snapdeal has handled network customization and conducted hundreds of concurrent major and tactical product and process iterations without incurring any additional cost on infrastructure.

According to a Snapdeal Spokesperson, “Through Cirrus we are able to crunch big data in real-time that allows an endless feed of personalized products that makes discovery engaging and efficient for users. We offer a fun shopping experience that enables goods to find buyers, instead of buyers finding goods. Cirrus has enabled us to augment business with platform speed and innovation.”

With Cirrus being located completely within India, all of Snapdeal users’ data also remains within the country.

Snapdeal’s investment in Cirrus paid off within the first year itself. With an annual savings of more than INR 120 Crores, Cirrus has already saved more than INR 500 Crores for Snapdeal since launch. Cirrus is one example of Snapdeal’s focus on creating tech-driven capabilities that allows it to serve a very large and growing market with very lean fixed operating costs. By not relying on leasing large capacities on public clouds, Cirrus also leads to large and recurring forex savings for Snapdeal.


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