Cisco’s Always-On Commerce Renewals Platform
Faster, more reliable, less management, fewer updates, and zero-downtime.
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I had the opportunity to meet with Charulata Sharma, Senior Engineer, Cisco Systems to learn how they are using DataStax Enterprise to power the new Cisco Commerce Renewals platform, a faster and more intuitive e-commerce website that enables distributors, partners, resellers, and direct customers to quote, order, and manage service contracts and software subscriptions.
Cisco’s previous renewals platform, written years ago in Java with a relational database management system (RDBMS) backend, suffered from frequent and lengthy downtime and required significant person-hours for quarterly updates. Cisco needed a cloud-native compatible platform and a highly reliable database that was easy to migrate to, delivered fast searches, and supported an active-active data center model.
As a result, Cisco’s Commerce Renewals platform is fast, always-on, and has experienced zero downtime over more than two years. DataStax has also eliminated the need for the resource-intensive quarterly updates, saving hundreds of person-hours a year. Approximately one million quotes are created in the new system each quarter, with high-dollar revenue running through it during the same period.
“The reliability of DataStax as part of our cloud technology stack has completely eliminated database downtime and has contributed significantly to one of Cisco’s key revenue engines being always up and working. This gives our partners and customers an enhanced experience,” said Charu. “Everything is run in a zero-downtime fashion.”
Cisco selected DataStax as a part of its journey toward a modern cloud environment, which required a technology stack overhaul. The company wanted to move away from relational databases, which proved difficult to use in a cloud environment across multiple data centers. Following several performance benchmark tests, Cisco chose DataStax as its transactional database, because of its speed and simplicity.
DataStax Enterprise 6 delivers three times the throughput with up to ten times reduction in latency as compared to Apache Cassandra, according to a 2018 performance benchmark commissioned by DataStax.
“Our tech stack has to be agile and flexible enough to move clouds at a moment’s notice. We have to design it to allow that to happen tomorrow if we need to,” concluded Sharma.
Today, all details related to customer renewal quotes and orders are stored in DataStax Enterprise. The new technology stack also includes DataStax OpsCenter for visual management and monitoring of DataStax, Apache Spark™ for analytics, Elasticsearch for search, and Apache Kafka® for data streaming. In the future, the new technology stack will play a critical role in enabling Cisco to manage a new recurring revenue model.
“Cisco Commerce Renewals platform is an example of how DataStax integrates with other foundational cloud technologies that are also helping to create the enterprise of the future,” said Steve Rowland, EVP and President at DataStax. “Our always-on, active-everywhere database creates a highly reliable, extremely fast data solution that takes full advantage of hybrid and multi-cloud environments to help our customers deliver on their most complex digital transformation and customer experience initiatives.”
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