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Etsy’s 2-year migration to the cloud brought flexibility to the online marketplace

Founded in 2005, Etsy was born before shadow infrastructure was even a thing.

As the company expanded, it administered all of its operations in the same way startups did in those periods — exerting private data centers. But a couple of years ago, the online marketplace for crafts and vintage parts decided to modernize and began its journey to the cloud.

That decision coincided with the arrival of CTO Mike Fisher in July 2017. He was initially brought in as a consultant to look at the impact of passing data centers on Etsy’s ability to innovate. As you might expect, he concluded that it was having an adverse impact and began a process that would to be translated into him being hired to lead a long-term migration to the cloud.

That process concluded last month. This is the story of how a company born in data centers represented the switch to the cloud, and the lessons it offers.

Stuck in a equipment refresh loop-the-loop

When Fisher walked through the door, Etsy operated out of private data centre. It was not even taking advantage of a virtualization bed to maximize the capacity of each machine. The approach meant IT expended an unreasonable extent of go on source contriving.

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