Who is AO.com AO is the largest online-only electricals retailer in the UK. Their company’s purpose is to relentlessly strive for better ways to ensure their customers are happy. AO started in 2000 with a bet between their founder John Roberts and his friend, JR was insistent that there was a better way for people to buy white goods online that was rooted in the best possible outcome for the consumer. The result of this wager has evolved to the present day as AO, which supports over 3,000 employees in three countries, selling a wide range of electrical items and boasting the world’s best recycling plant in Europe.
Expanding to new markets brings challenges In 2015, AO began their expansion into Germany and the Netherlands. While the logistical effort of delivering products in these new markets was a challenge, they also faced increased pressure to ensure that their website would perform optimally for customers in these regions. AO implemented a well known content delivery network (CDN) to improve site performance across all of their web domains, and to reduce their overall infrastructure costs.
“我们是使用 CDN 的新手，不确定向提供商的基础结构转移多少流量。结果，我们收到的帐单费用之高，远远出乎我们的预料，这使我们质疑该解决方案的整体投资回报。”AO 站点可靠性工程师 Austin Davies 解释说。他们还在这段时间经历了断电，并且在使情况得到充分升级方面遇到了问题。这些事件迫使 AO 开始寻找替代方案，以获取一种更具成本效益、可提供长期支持的解决方案。
When Cloudflare offers a better way AO considered many other offerings before deciding on Cloudflare. Cloudflare offered a technically innovative platform that included security features like DDoS protection by default, and was less expensive, with no overage charges for seasonal spikes in bandwidth.
How AO uses Cloudflare AO primarily uses Cloudflare to improve the performance of their web and mobile properties. Faster websites translate to happier customers, and this is core to their mission. Cloudflare exceeded their performance expectations compared to their previous provider “In almost all circumstances of our performance testing and monitoring, Cloudflare was much faster. I don’t think I can find a single measurement that we track where that wasn’t the case” said Davies. “Once we enabled Cloudflare with features such as Rocket Loader, we immediately saw a 1.7 second decrease in page load times across all of our sites.” AO uses New Relic to track their apdex scoring, and immediately saw a 10% increase in the number of satisfied requests.
他们还部署了具有分层缓存的 Argo Smart Routing，这使 Cloudflare 可以通过最快、最不拥堵的网络路径将流量和请求路由到用户。分层缓存通过利用 Cloudflare 的一级数据中心来提供请求的内容，从而减少了到达源站的请求的数量。“我们之前的提供商相对 Cloudflare 而言似乎已经过时。部署 Argo Smart Routing 和分层缓存等相当功能非常容易，无需对我们的基础设施进行任何更改。”Davies 解释说。
AO 还发现，Cloudflare Workers 可以帮助减轻从以前的解决方案迁移的痛苦。“如果我们不使用 Cloudflare Workers，那么离开我们以前的提供商将非常困难。我们使用了之前提供商的对象存储解决方案，而我们尝试移至 AWS S3 的许多图像文件都包含特定编码符号，在 S3 中将会失效。”Workers 运行简单的业务逻辑，可将自动转换这些文件，以便将它们存储在 S3 中。如果不使用 Workers，他们就要对网站进行大量代码更改，以便以所需的 S3 格式处理这些文件。
Cloudflare 帮助 AO 大大降低了成本，甚至超出了合同规定的服务范围。AO 部署了 Cloudflare 提供的许多 Web 优化技术，例如 Auto Minify 和无损压缩，从而将页面大小减少了 50％。
最后，为了确保站点采用高度弹性的架构，除 AWS ALB 之外，他们还使用 Cloudflare 负载平衡。ALB 支持其 EC2 实例，而 Cloudflare 负载平衡可在 AWS 中断时提供从 AWS 到其同地协作提供商的即时故障转移。
Conclusion AO has been very pleased with the change to Cloudflare. The support teams have been very responsive, and have seen measurable improvements in speed and performance of all of their sites on Cloudflare. “We looked at many other solutions, but at the end of the day, Cloudflare was the only solution that met our technical requirements and delivered the best price performance value” explained Davies.