VfL Wolfsburg plays digitally in the Champions League - with the support of Claranet

Executive summary

Challenge: Migration and hosting of the VfL web shop based on Shopware.

Solution: AWS cloud environment with cloud-native scaling mechanisms.

Result: Modern, digital shopping and club experience for VfL fans.

Digital club world for fans

Football is considered one of the drivers of digital communication. More and moreVfL fans are also dealing with their team in the digital world - both before and after the game as well as during the game. It is therefore important for clubs to create attractive digital worlds of experience where fans can find out more, be entertained and easily buy tickets and merchandise. VfL Wolfsburg wanted to fundamentally revise its online presence in order to create a consistent digital fan world for its fans.

First digitization offensive

Claranet in Germany supported VfL Wolfsburg in 2019 with the introduction of the new online shop based on Shopware. Like the TYPO3-based corporate website, a live ticker, a fan app, and a VIP app, this was operated in a secure, high-performance system environment by Claranet, which also withstands peak loads, such as during sales phases for top game tickets.

Cloud-only strategy

The conceptual strength and extensive experience also made Claranet the partner of choice for the Bundesliga soccer club when it came to the intended move to the cloud.

After strategic advice from Claranet, VfL favoured a public cloud environment from Amazon Web Services. The infrastructure development designed by Claranet, and the provision of managed services are carried out in two AWS accounts of VfL Wolfsburg.

A distributed, fail-safe structure of the productive environment across multiple availability zones ensures a high degree of flexibility, scalability, and performance.

Claranet had already convinced us both conceptually and operationally in 2019 with the operation of our then new website and online shop. That's why we were sure that Claranet would also develop a clean migration strategy for this project and implement a smooth move.

Oliver Gliß
IT and web application management at VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH

In order to protect the systems from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks, Claranet implemented the entire infrastructure according to the best practices of the AWS Well Architected Framework: A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network is set up in each of the two AWS accounts. As a result, all applications in production as well as all applications in the test environment are based on a separate VPC.

Cloud native approach

Two different architectures are used to provide the various services: Shopware and TYPO3 are provided as classic architecture based on EC2 instances and autoscaling groups. The fan app and VIP app were implemented as container architecture based on ECS (Elastic Container Service) and ECR (Elastic Container Registry).

In addition, Claranet implements a fully automated continuous deployment process by using cloud-native deployment tooling such as CodeCommit, CodeBuild and CodePipeline.

In order to be able to withstand peak loads more cost-effectively, cloud-native scaling mechanisms such as autoscaling groups are used, which enable the flexible and temporarily limited connection of additional computer resources in the form of EC2 instances.

Secure migration

For a transitional period, the services were operated in parallel in the existing infrastructure at Claranet and in the AWS cloud in order to be able to test the cloud environment extensively under live conditions.

Claranet then took over the operation of the services in the AWS cloud environment, secured by potential rollback scenarios, which were not used. The migration went smoothly after a project period of two months.

A load test has shown that the AWS cloud platform that has been set up can easily withstand the declared target of 2000 simultaneous shop visitors.

Oliver Gliß

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