Wayfair brings products to life through digitally created imagery enabled by ML/AI sciences. Over the last several years, we’ve been investing in building 3D capabilities to achieve this at both a scale and cost not possible with traditional photography. Creation of these 3D renders requires significant computation (rendering) capabilities. In May 2022, Wayfair embarked on a Public Cloud Tech transformation journey from our own on-premise data center to the Google Cloud (GCP) which significantly added to our GCP operating costs.
Through October 2022, Wayfair partnered with the Google team to optimize 3D rendering costs with a holistic plan that targeted reduction in machine hours, right-sizing GCP machines, and implementing smart autoscaling based on demand. Over a period of four months (May-Sept), monthly costs were reduced by 85%, driving almost $10M of savings on an annualized basis.
Finding cost efficiencies like these in our own Technology operations allows Wayfair to pass those savings along to our customers – which results in a better Wayfair.
We are excited to announce that these efforts earned Wayfair a Google Cloud Customer Award for 2023 Retail Industry!
The Transformation Approach
As part of Wayfair’s overall cost reduction strategy, we looked for opportunities to reduce monthly spend, and rendering costs on GCP as one of the areas identified for optimization at Wayfair. The problem was broken into three phases:
Phase 1: Lift and Shift to Cloud
Phase 2: Defining Replatforming, autoscaling and rightsizing Strategy
Phase 3: Identifying Levers to Drive Cost Optimization
Phase 4: Plan and Execute
Total Cost savings: Almost $10M of savings on an annualized basis (85% reduction)
- Reduced avg render time per image by 35% (18 mins to 11 mins)
- Increased farm utilization from 60% to 85%
- Decreased number of nodes in the farm from 600+ to < 250 nodes (at peak) using autoscaling
- Reduce number of images needed (eliminating waste) by 7%
Our speed, level of optimization and results would not have been possible without the hard work and collaboration between Wayfair’s Commercial, Creative and Technology teams and Google’s partnership. Many thanks to the Wayfair teams involved: 3D Imagery, Creative Technology, Render Platform, Visual Media Operations, Centralized Technology & Infrastructure!