Banner Alkosto

The Client

Alkosto is a Colombian chain of stores dedicated to marketing groceries and household items, among others. Its online stores are one of the three most important Ecommerce sites in Colombia. With the promise of its “hyper sales”, Alkosto is characterized by competitive prices in its stores and on its website, which often has sales and promotions. Annually, it has two critical CyberMonday sales, which offer special pricing. CyberMondays usually take place the first week of June and the first week of December.

The Challenge

In 2014, the increasing popularity of the online store resulted in an increase in sales and the website's traffic. However, the traditional infrastructure used by Alkosto could not handle these needs and was affecting the business' ability to respond to these challenges.

Alkosto's main requirement consisted of reducing its website’s loading time and in improving its Ecommerce platform in terms of its performance, scalability and stability. To meet the CyberMondays sales demands, Alkosto needed to reduce the waiting times to upload new versions of Ecommerce applications and create greater flexibility and scalability of the hosting services.

The Solution

The first high-impact measure Aplyca took was the acceleration of Alkosto’s website, which took less than a month. We designed the architecture on the cloud and migrated the portal to Amazon Web Services without interrupting the site’s performance and completed it in time before the December CyberMonday sales. With greater flexibility and elasticity, we must also have greater control. Because of this, we built a continuous deployment system, which automates the liberation of changes for the applications, adds flexibility to the trial environments and reduces direct access to the machines for routine operations. Our work didn’t stop with the website’s successful migration and acceleration. We continue to provide monitoring and improvement services, 24x7 maintenance and immediate availability for incidents.


  • Architecture in Amazon Web Services for Magento Enterprise: scalable, profitable and elastic, followed by the complete migration of the website.

  • Interconnection between on-premise and cloud services, achieving a secure connection using a VPN.

  • Self-scalable infrastructure that goes from a handful of machines to dozens of servers in seconds, optimizing costs during low-traffic periods.

  • Instrumentation and monitoring of application’s performance, as well as optimization of the database and cache.

  • Modern DevOps practices, to reduce human error and obtain greater visibility of the system’s performance.

  • Automation of single-click deployments, increasing the developer’s productivity through easier, more secure and more agile deployments.

  • Infrastructure as code, to achieve total visibility through the automated configuration of machines and cloud service supplies.

Technologies Involved

AWS tools

  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

  • Amazon EC2.

  • Amazon ELB.

  • Amazon ElasticCache.

  • Amazon S3.

  • Amazon SES.

  • Amazon RDS.

  • Amazon CloudWatch.

Other technologies

  • Ansible - IT automation.

  • Varnish reverse proxy.

  • NewRelic.

The Results

In a short time, the benefits of the improvements made to Alkosto's infrastructure began to be seen:

  • Increased site availability to 99.9%.

  • Improved overall site speed, slowing page load speed from 3-5 seconds to less than 1 second.

  • 1000% improvement in the speed of the purchase process on the Ecommerce platform.

  • The average release of changes to production increased in frequency of deployments up to 10 times and these went from one per week to several per day.