Launch Planning

heycar

Following a successful launch in Germany, and with funding from two major car manufacturers, disruptive used-car platform heycar were determined to replicate this success in the UK. We worked alongside heycar before launch, supporting them to ensure their infrastructure could withstand anticipated traffic from their national marketing campaign.

The Challenge

heycar is an online used car marketplace. They bring together used car dealerships and customers to make it easier to buy a used vehicle.

heycar was using AWS Lambda, but our initial load tests showed that the platform would struggle in meeting expected demand from an upcoming large scale marketing campaign.

With a fixed launch date six weeks away, and a UK-wide marketing campaign on the horizon, our challenge was to identify and reduce operational risk, scale the platform up, and ensure a smooth launch.

Why AWS?

heycar was already using AWS Lambda, a serverless compute platform chosen for its scalability. The infrastructure needed optimising to make sure it would be able to meet a rapid increase in demand in the UK.

Why The Scale Factory

As AWS Advanced Consulting Partners, we had the depth of experience heycar needed. Their CTO was familiar with our work and knew we could deliver the support they needed within the tight timeframe.

The Solution

A team of experienced Scale Factory consultants reviewed the architecture to identify potential failure modes that could prevent a successful launch. We provided a detailed risk assessment scored by likelihood and potential impact, and made improvements in order of priority.

We added platform metrics with AWS CloudWatch and request tracing with AWS X-Ray, along with dashboards and alerting. Using this monitoring foundation, and a distributed load testing solution, we made data-driven decisions to tune the platform, increasing capacity 1000x.

Our team worked closely with heycar’s engineering team to support and suggest low-risk changes to their applications, to improve their performance and reliability.

We took information about the scheduling of TV adverts, and used that to inform an operational calendar.

The Results

heycar UK launched successfully on the 14th of August 2019. As a result of our work, the platform remained available and performant during the periods of increased load driven by ads during prime time TV.