Over the last 20 years Ocado has transitioned from an online grocery retailer to a global pioneering technology business.
We now provide an end-to-end platform for smart online grocery to some of the world’s largest grocery retailers. At the heart of our model are automated warehouses which are the most advanced of their kind. Thousands of bots collaborate seamlessly on 3D grids to fulfil customer orders.
The bots are orchestrated by our proprietary control system and communications technology. Historically, our orchestration system was hosted on premise at each of our sites.
In 2020, we took the radical decision to migrate the proprietary real-time orchestration of the bots to the Cloud. Moving one of our most critical systems to the Cloud was a huge decision for us. We had to be confident that the low latency and high predictability that we had achieved on premise could be replicated or exceeded in the Cloud. Compromising either would impact the throughput of our sites and the profitability of our retail partners. Nothing less. It was a team effort across the business; here are just a few examples: - The teams building our bots had to rework all of their applications and modify their deployment pipelines and other processes. - Our Engineering Productivity teams added support for features such as Keyspaces and Network Load Balancers to support low latency comms between the orchestration system and our Bots - The Cloud team helped to facilitate a smooth migration from on-premise VPNs to the cloud. Piece by piece, our team was able to move all applications and data to an aggressive timetable.
Since the migration, there have been no significant outages or incidents – a testament to the planning and execution of the teams involved.