Colt assures global connectivity between Farfetch’s sites, data centres and clouds
If your favourite luxury fashion brand doesn’t have an outlet near you, you don’t have to miss out. The Farfetch online marketplace brings clothes, shoes, jewellery and accessories from over 1,200 luxury brands and boutiques to customers in more than 190 countries.
Founded in 2007, Farfetch has rapidly become one of the largest luxury multi-brand companies in the world. Today, it operates webstores and mobile apps in multiple languages and currencies, employs around 4,000 people, and has 17 offices across Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. Until a few years ago, the company had just three sites and relied on local IP providers for connectivity. “As the business took off and we added more locations, that approach became unsustainable in terms of complexity and management overhead,” explains Ricardo Ribeiro, who heads up the company’s global network infrastructure team at its technology headquarters in Portugal.
That’s when Farfetch turned to Colt. “We needed a global solution for high-performance connectivity that could scale quickly to keep pace with our growing business,” says Ricardo. “We found all that and more in Colt.”
Keeping data in sync worldwide
Farfetch uses Colt services to network its offices and clouds, for internet access, and to connect to its cloud environments. A managed private network connects the Farfetch corporate head office and branch offices, and provides users with internet access.
Further Colt services connect the company’s data centres in China and Europe. The data centres host sales, financial and other applications that support the Farfetch online marketplace, as well as the company’s development environment. To keep data synchronised across the data centres, there’s a constant two-way stream of traffic between China — Farfetch’s single most important market — and Europe.
“Colt provides connections with the capacity and availability to allow high throughput and keep our data in sync,” says Ricardo. “Understanding that we can’t afford a moment of downtime, Colt built resilience into those connections with diverse routing via London and Hong Kong.”
“Colt gives us confidence in the reliability and scalability of our network infrastructure, and feels like a partner for the future.”
Ricardo Ribeiro, Infrastructure Manager – Network and Data Centres, Farfetch
Connecting to the clouds
The Farfetch online marketplace is hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud in Europe and China. To keep data flowing between the marketplace and the applications that support it, Colt provides dedicated, redundant connections between the Farfetch data centres and the Azure environments. “The fact that Colt is both a Microsoft Gold Partner and an experienced Azure Express Route partner was yet another good reason for us to choose Colt,” says Ricardo.
When Farfetch launched a data platform on Google Cloud, it once again turned to Colt to provide the connection between the cloud and company’s data centres. “Working with Colt as our single provider simplifies the process of keeping all our workloads synchronised across all our clouds and data centres,” says Ricardo.
Looking to the future
The stability of the Colt solution led Ricardo and his team to roll out further applications, including collaboration tools to enhance the working environment. Now they’re ready to extend the Colt infrastructure to Farfetch data centres in Brazil and the US. “As a network team, we appreciate working with knowledgeable network specialists who deliver what we need and propose new solutions,” says Ricardo. “Colt gives us confidence in the reliability and scalability of our network infrastructure, and feels like a partner for the future.”
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