A renovation store sitting on the cloud

Renovator Store’s migration to Magento Commerce Cloud

Staylime performed unprecedented migration of customer’s entire on-premise Magento 1-based business to Magento Commerce Cloud — the most flexible and secure managed ecommerce environment, designed for global scale.

  • Domain Furniture
  • Market Australia
  • Duration 1.5 months
  • Services Migration, integration, customization
  • Technologies Magento 1 Open Source → Magento Commerce Cloud
  • Team Backend Developer, Solution Architect, Project Manager, Client Relations Manager

Customer

Our customer, Renovator Store, is one of Australia’s most popular online retailers that takes pride in providing premium renovation materials at affordable prices.

At the commencement of their business, the customer took on a strategy of putting fairer margins on products, which, in turn, enabled them to become the fastest growing online building fixtures retailer in the region.

Best of Houzz Award 2017
Back in 2017, Renovator Store was singled out for recognition by the community of 40 million homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.

Having become a game-changer in the market, the customer was in desperate need of more computational power and storage, as they were not able to upscale their services to satisfy the ever‑growing business demands: the existing Magento 1 Open Source installation was not ready for exponential increases in traffic, inventory, and products.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
Besides, since the end of life for Magento 1 had already been announced, the customer decided to take the given time and chance to migrate, revising the existing setup and functionality, and introducing enhancements to their new environment.
The business goals of the customer were somewhat trivial and resembled those of a regular migration scenario:
Two men loading a case into a truck
  1. To ensure seamless Magento migration from existing on-premise Open Source installation to Magento Commerce
  2. To migrate extensions and related data
  3. To migrate the blog
  4. To render custom Magento development services according to existing business requirements
  5. Making sure that business-critical data is in place before going live

In late 2018, Renovator Store held a tender to pick a vendor capable of migrating the existing store, and Staylime was able to match their delivery expectations best.

A man choosing a truck

Challenge

Besides upgrading their multistore based on legacy on‑premise Magento 1.7 Open Source to the Commerce edition of Magento 2, the customer also wanted to take it a step further and switch to its cloud-based counterpart, that is Magento Commerce Cloud.

Expectedly, the customer did not foresee the complexity of such a migration: not only did Magento’s generations and editions differ, but so did the self-hosted and cloud-based environments. That meant that Staylime had to operate in a unique scenario with just too many things that could cause trouble during Magento migration.

A truck at a dead end
Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
To make things worse from a technical perspective, Scott Pendlebury, Renovator Store’s CEO and a former flourishing investment banker, was extremely strict about the security and privacy of his digital business, and limited our team’s access to the existing store: we only had a database dump to work with.

Preliminary migration to Magento Commerce Cloud

Having received the database dump and an invitation to their marketplace account from the customer, Staylime downloaded and deployed a clean Magento 2 Commerce installation and used Magento’s official Data Migration Tool to perform Magento migration.

The properly configured Migration Tool was nonetheless flooded with errors:

  • A man forcing a couch into a hatchback

    Mapping issues

  • A man at an empty box

    Missing records

  • A truck with many wheels

    Corrupted and duplicate records

When troubleshooting, our engineers learned that customer’s existing store had custom Magento extensions that made changes to the existing database that would be incompatible with Magento 2 database when trying to migrate.

Upon eliminating all errors and migrating the data successfully, our team made yet another astonishing discovery: Magento 2 would not start as the migrated database had obsolete records of long-gone extensions that someday used to be installed on the existing store.

A man throwing away old furniture

It took a while for the team to get rid of the old rubbish in the database and finally launch Magento 2 only to learn that all customer’s products ended up belonging to the first store of the entire multistore set after migration.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
The issue was not a widely known one at that time: the team discovered that the official Data Migration Tool had issues migrating multistore data and mapped all products to a single store no matter what. Fortunately, the scrutiny of the old database helped us identify the exact store each product belonged to and program a store mapping script that fixed the issue.

On top of that, the customer required the B2B module to be installed to enable the support of company accounts, which was an easy task by itself. Yet, we started experiencing issues in subsequent attempts to install third-party extensions. The introduction of the B2B module to Magento changed the latter’s edition name to ‘B2B’, while extensions would only accept Community or Enterprise editions upon installation, and hence their installation failed. We amended the installation prechecks to account for this incompatibility and enabled the installation of all extensions.

Along the way, we also migrated customer’s WordPress blog with comments to Aheadworks’ Magento 2 Blog extension integrated with Disqus, and customer’s third-party Reward Points extension to Magento Commerce’s native functionality. This enabled Renovator Store to consolidate its architecture under a single platform.

Magento and Wordpress icons merged

Ultimately, the data and the functionality were in place so that the customer was able to validate their availability and integrity on our staging environment. The test uncovered additional issues including pricing inconsistencies, page/product unavailability, and functionality misbehaviors, all related to the ways Magento or third-party extensions operated out of the box.

Having received the customer’s feedback, we fixed the arisen issues, ran a second round of checks together with the customer and provided them with a database dump.

Delta migration

Renovator Store decided to turn to a local vendor for Magento design as they wanted a more hands-on on-premise control over the process. Once the design was done, the customer got back to Staylime for delta migration.

Although Staylime advised the customer against it, Renovator Store introduced some functionality changes to the new Magento 2 store and provided us with a database dump of a modified store.

A group of people in masks bringing furniture into a shop at night
Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
Fortunately, having deleted obsolete and test data, we performed overnight delta migration without serious issues and gave back the updated database dump, allowing the customer’s dedicated Magento Commerce support team to make a seamless switch to the new Magento Commerce Cloud store.

Results

We don’t usually brag, but when we do, it’s for great reasons. Up to date, this has been one of the most troublesome migrations and one of the most extreme migration scenarios we had to deal with.

As a rule, under-the-hood complexity and countless related issues inherent to Magento migration remain unnoticed by the customer, whereas the latter, if mishandled by the migration team, become apparent only when migration is done and the new store is up and running.

With too many things to go wrong in this case, the customer just couldn’t afford to pick an incompetent vendor.

A man defusing a bomb in a furniture store
Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
Hopefully, Renovator Store made the right choice as we succeeded in matching their delivery expectations, having helped them to seamlessly migrate from Magento 1 Open Source to Magento Commerce Cloud while addressing the pressing scalability needs and customer’s fear of risks associated with the end of life of Magento 1.