Tokopedia Reliably Connects Millions of Businesses in Indonesia to the Digital Economy with AWS

Reaching a global customer base is a challenge for many small and medium businesses today. This is especially true in Indonesia, where less than four out of 10 offline merchants stayed in business throughout the pandemic. Tokopedia launched in 2009 to help millions of businesses connect to the digital economy and sell globally.

As an Indonesian technology company with the largest domestic marketplace, Tokopedia currently contributes more than 1 percent of Indonesia’s GDP. This makes it a pivotal player in helping local businesses thrive throughout the country.

“We took advantage of AWS’s managed database services, which are easier to scale and provide high availability.”

Vijay Patil
Vice President of Engineering, Tokopedia
Ensuring High Availability for Merchants and Sales Events

Serving millions of merchants, and helping to democratize commerce through technology, requires Tokopedia’s platform to be highly available. This is especially important during its monthly online sales event, Waktu Indonesia Belanja (Indonesia shopping time), when merchants concurrently hold sales promotions from the 25th until the last day of the month. However, issues resulting from unreliable network connections and difficulty scaling its IT environment, particularly databases, were negatively impacting uptime on the ecommerce site.

To provide a more consistent level of service, Tokopedia began migrating from its locally leased data centers to the public cloud. It adopted a multi-cloud strategy, using Amazon Web Services (AWS) for mission-critical workloads including payments, as well as storage of millions of product images and database backups on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

“We recognized AWS as a more mature, reliable infrastructure platform supported by world-class technology. We were confident the migration would address our availability challenges and make our lives simpler,” says Vijay Patil, vice president of engineering at Tokopedia.

Enhancing Security with Modern Operating Systems

During the migration, keeping the Tokopedia site running 24/7 was essential. Tokopedia also wanted to ensure its engineers could pursue ongoing site development work without getting bogged down in the technical details of a large-scale migration. The company engaged AWS Partner Cloud Comrade and AWS Professional Services to help formulate and execute a migration strategy.

Cloud Comrade first took the time to understand Tokopedia’s IT landscape. It then set up an AWS Landing Zone for a multi-account environment on AWS. “We worked closely with the AWS Professional Services team to establish a secure foundation and detailed plan for an agile migration from a complex on-premises environment,” says Muadz Abdurrohman, country manager at Cloud Comrade.

Modernization went hand in hand with cloud migration. Tokopedia was using older versions of operating systems in need of upgrading on AWS to comply with inherent platform security features. “We moved to a newer operating system alongside the AWS migration. Our security posture has improved with this upgrade on AWS,” Patil adds.

Embracing Managed Databases with Near Zero-Downtime Migration

In total, Tokopedia migrated over 30 applications across hundreds of virtual machines to AWS over the course of seven months. During this time, Tokopedia’s engineers could continue updating features on its ecommerce site. Most importantly, Tokopedia experienced near-zero downtime during the migration.

As part of the process, Tokopedia migrated from multiple self-managed databases to managed database services on AWS, to achieve higher levels of automation and uptime. Its on-premises databases comprised of MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and Redis engines, which were migrated to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Aurora, and Amazon ElastiCache for Redis.

“We took advantage of AWS’s managed database services, which are easier to scale and provide high availability,” says Patil. To that end, Tokopedia has automated patching and upgrades of individual database engines, both of which were manual processes on premises.

Scaling Up Core Capabilities with Enterprise Support

Tokopedia also engaged AWS Enterprise Support to assist with scaling and provide ongoing technical guidance. The company’s dedicated AWS technical account manager (TAM) attends monthly meetings to help prepare Tokopedia’s infrastructure for flash sales events and double-digit sales days the following month. “We never have to worry about how much we can scale on AWS,” says Tahir Hashmi, technical fellow and SVP growth engineering at Tokopedia.

As part of the support package, hundreds of Tokopedia engineers received training on AWS. Post-migration, Tokopedia’s TAM and AWS solutions architects continue to seek ways to help the company optimize its cloud infrastructure with enhanced security and governance controls. Patil says, “The maturity of the tech stack on AWS gives us confidence to grow our business. We can rely on AWS infrastructure and no longer worry about managing a complex environment.”

Learn More

To learn more, visit Digital Commerce Solutions on AWS

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