AutoWeb Case Study


  • Automotive
  • Mega online presence

Challenges Resolved

  • Cluster and data sprawl
  • Underutilized Hardware
  • Skyrocketing costs

Business Benefits

  • Reduce infrastructure cost 40%
  • Double performance
  • Predictable user experience
  • DevOps agility and flexibility

Business Challenges – AutoWeb Case Study

As the leading automotive search company in the world, AutoWeb has generated over 23M searches online and generated over 500B in sales. Their online revenue yielding search was largely driven by a diverse application ecosystem running on the public cloud infrastructure.

Rapid growth in business resulted in an ever-growing sprawl of cloud resources and mounting costs. Dedicated clusters from each application resulted in a large number of underutilized VMs. Separate clusters also required data to be copied around, leading to lots of data duplications and a large number of storage buckets. Finally, the shared nature of public cloud resources caused unpredictable performance hiccups and sub-optimal user experience.

Mounting searches, growing data, and soaring infrastructure costs made AutoWeb look for a solution that would allow them to keep growing their business without blowing their infrastructure spend.

“We clearly needed a better way to manage our applications and its underlying infrastructure as doing the business the usual way was just not sustainable. Our costs were going through the roof and we were struggling to provide a consistent user experience” said  Fernandojose Boiton, VP Technology at AutoWeb.

Robin Cloud Platform (RCP)

Based on modern container technology and bundled with unique purpose-built container-aware block storage, Robin Cloud Platform enables application and data lifecycle management to plan, build and operate large-scale infrastructure.

With the app-to-spindle QoS guarantee that maximizes application performance and helps deliver predictable user experience, RCP is the ONLY product in the industry that can consolidate even most demanding enterprise applications – such as databases and Big Data clusters- without compromising performance or predictability.

Leverage container-based Virtual Cluster technology – Consolidate most complex distributed applications such as Hadoop or NoSQL on shared hardware in minutes.

Decouple compute from storage – Achieve scale-out storage & data portability, improve data protection, make applications fault tolerant and protect applications from server failures.

Lifecycle Management – Share data across applications and clusters, eliminate unnecessary data duplication and clone application/cluster regardless of the data volume.

Robin Cloud Platform (RCP) at AutoWeb – AutoWeb Case Study

AutoWeb turned to Robin to optimize their public cloud spend by consolidating applications on a shared infrastructure. The use of Robin Cloud Platform enabled them to avoid additional costs while improving the production ready microservices infrastructure, without the investment and learning curve to build from scratch with VMs or on-premise clusters technologies, with the risk of data sprawl.

The fast track to implement and the prototype was obtained thanks to the API level interaction to spin up the infrastructure AutoWeb required by the CI/CD layer, in order to profile and stress the systems – thus helping in 2/3rd cost reduction. In addition, AutoWeb experienced better application performance, a significant reduction in time for provisioning an application environment and gained massive agility and flexibility in their DevOps environments.

Dramatic Cost Reduction through Application Consolidation – Using RCP, AutoWeb was able to eliminate of cluster silos and consolidate applications such as Elasticsearch, Sphinx, Redis, Memcached, among others, on a shared pool of resources. Using RCP’s virtual cluster capability, each application was deployed as a set of containers on a set of SSD based VMs. The use of containers, along with RCP’s Application-to-Spindle QoS guarantee, made sure that each cluster achieved complete run-time isolation and behaved exactly the way it worked originally – but with one big difference – the new infrastructure cost less than half of what AutoWeb was spending earlier.

Reduced Provisioning Time and Data Sharing through 1-Click ProvisioningRCP’s multi-tenant infrastructure and rapid application deployment capabilities brought about significant agility and productivity benefits to application development teams.

Performance – RCP’s compute side data acceleration capabilities helped AutoWeb address the unpredictable application performance challenge. By caching data locally on SSDs, RCP helped avoid slow storage access as well as unpredictable network round-trip. This resulted in an approximate 2.5x gain in read performance.  Overall, the efficiencies unlocked by RCP resulted in potential CAPEX and OPEX savings of up to 40%.

Robin Cloud Platform Benefits at a Glance – AutoWeb Case Study


On AWS Public Cloud Only

With Robin Cloud Platform (RCP)


High spend while profiling undertutilized EC2 compute instances for each application

Profiling and prototyping at any time to improve resources utilization with the ability to run either on EC2 or Robin Clusters

Active risk for unrecognized over spend with Siloed Clusters

Shared infrastructure allowing performance and cost tuning


Mainly HDD

SSD + HDD more close to the physical layer available for High I/O tasks

Underutilized separate S3 data storage for each application

Potential shared commodity storage

Compute tied to Storage

Compute Storage separation

“Robin has been a huge help to us. The use of Robin’s containerization platform helped eliminate infrastructure inefficiencies and lower our infrastructure costs. Our applications are performing better and we are able to deploy new applications significantly faster than before.”

Fernandojose Boiton,

VP Technology at AutoWeb

Check out Robin Cloud Platform (RCP) for Big Data, NoSQL Databases and Relational Databases