In our latest Customer Case Study, see how Analog Devices uses SearchStax Managed Solr to ensure that their Sitecore website is operational 100% of the time for their customers who need to search their product catalog which contains more than 45,000 products. Analog’s implementation represents a complex Solr implementation that encompasses Blue-Green deployment and disaster recovery with Cross Data Center Replication (CDCR).
Analog Devices (ADI) defines innovation and excellence in signal processing. Based in Massachusetts, Analog is a publicly listed company operating in 30 countries with 125,000 customers who are using one or more of their 45,000 different product SKUs. Analog specializes in integrated circuits (analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing) that play a fundamental role in converting, conditioning and processing real-world phenomena such as light, sound, temperature, motion and pressure into electrical signals used in a wide array of electronic equipment.
Analog’s biggest challenge is that their highly trafficked website is very important to their business and it needs to be operational 100% of the time.
Analog Upgrades to Latest Version of Sitecore and Moves to the Cloud
Analog uses Sitecore for the content management system (CMS) to manage their website and they wanted to upgrade to the latest 9.1 version of the software to take advantage of the latest features and move to the cloud because this was the first version that officially supported Azure PaaS.
Analog decided it was time to move some of their operations to the cloud and made the decision that it would be more cost effective to use Azure PaaS for their Sitecore upgrade and implementation. Moving Sitecore to the cloud meant that they also had to decide which option to use for search with the choices being either Azure Search or Apache Solr.
They quickly decided that Azure Search had too many limitations and it wasn’t mature enough for enterprise search, so they decided to use Solr for their search engine.
Why Did Analog Select SearchStax?
Analog Devices selected SearchStax for several reasons. They needed a SaaS search solution and determined that Solr was the only search engine to meet their business requirements.
In their analysis of Managed Solr vendors, SearchStax was far above the other vendors in terms of support, web interface and APIs. In addition, the SearchStax technical team had the Solr expertise to make it easier to handle their complex business needs which included a Blue Green implementation deployment process and disaster recovery.
“The main advantages of using SearchStax were their technical Solr expertise and the way they collaboratively worked with us to improve search experience on Analog.com.”
Shashi Myadam, Technical Lead
In addition, the SearchStax technical team had the Solr expertise to make it easier to handle their complex business needs which included a Blue Green implementation deployment process and hot disaster recovery.
SearchStax Helps Deploy Blue-Green Implementation for Analog
Analog decided to use a Blue-Green deployment for their Sitecore and Solr implementation. A Blue-Green implementation is a deployment technique that results in zero downtime by having two identical environments called Blue and Green. At any time, only one of the environments is live and serving all of the traffic while the other environment is idle. Analog has a deployment process to update their website every six weeks with new code and updates.
Rather than having both sites fully operational at all times, SearchStax worked with Analog to create a process driven by APIs to set up a temporary Static environment that is a copy of their Production environment every six weeks. After checking to make sure the data and code is up-to-date on the Static environment, the Static environment becomes the live Production version while the original Production version undergoes new code deployment, updating and testing. After 24 hours, the original system is returned into Production and the temporary Static system is shut down and deleted.
How did SearchStax Contribute to the Project’s Success?
SearchStax helped Analog Devices overcome several challenges with the implementation.
First, we created APIs so they could programmatically and seamlessly transition between Solr deployments when moving from Static to Production instances. The APIs used in the Static deployment included creation and restoration of backups, adding security and creating the vanity URLs. With this solution, Analog incurs zero downtime when switching between their Production and Static versions.
Disaster recovery was a challenge due to the large amount of data and a database with a high commit rate. Analog’s Recovery Point Objective or RPO window used to be 24-hours, but they will be able to reduce that to under 10 minutes by implementing Disaster Recovery with CDCR.
“SearchStax has proven to be a trusted and valuable partner in Analog.com’s Cloud Journey. There were a lot of unknowns along the way but I am proud to say that SearchStax has demonstrated a great level of commitment and support both in terms of the platform and their technical expertise.”
Debajyoti (DJ) Basu, Senior Technical Architect & Applications Delivery Manager
The Blue-Green implementation allows Analog to rapidly spin up and then delete their Static system when they no longer need it. Through this process, Analog was able to reduce their cloud deployment costs by more than more than 80% by using SearchStax.
The SearchStax APIs allowed Analog to programmatically deploy a new Solr instance and seamlessly switch from one cluster to another with minimal human intervention which added to the cost savings.
SearchStax also helped Analog reduce the RPO time on their system from 24 hours to 10 minutes by implementing disaster recovery with Cross Data Center Replication (CDCR). This allows Analog to create multiple SolrCloud data centers in different geographic regions and keep them synchronized..