Scalable Cloud architecture for flexible growth
21sth century, cloud-scale, modern payment processing core for the largest events in the Netherlands.
ICEPAY is a Dutch Payment Service Provider offering a wide range of payment services. Security and continuity are of key importance because ICEPAY’s clients – including a large number of web shops – need continuous insight into transactions and absolute certainty about their sales income. To keep up with its rapid growth and high transaction volumes, ICEPAY needed to upgrade its IT landscape to an ultra-high capacity-processing platform, with an easily scalable, cloud-based architecture. Xpirit designed an Azure- and .Net Core-based solution with containers, while the Kubernetes orchestrator ensures easy switching between cloud providers in order to avoid vendor lock-in.
ICEPAY’s demanding requirements
ICEPAY processes a huge and rapidly increasing number of payment transactions, including all major debit and credit cards, Paypal, SEPA direct debits etc. Many of ICEPAY’s clients are web shops who need immediate certainty about payments and insight into transactions before they fulfill their orders. Speed, continuity, security and transparency are therefore keywords in ICEPAY’s exacting processing demands.
In 2016 ICEPAY decided to radically upgrade its ten-year-old IT environment – congested servers and databases were impeding the company’s growth. Steven de Boer, ICEPAY’s Chief Executive Officer, describes the required direction: “We operate in an evolving market with extremely rapid developments, but with low margins. In order to improve and optimize our competitive edge we needed an innovative solution based on a scalable cloud architecture. Easily expandable, ultra-reliable and highly available server capacity was of key importance. However, one thing we wanted to avoid was vendor lock-in. Although we had our own highly skilled IT team, we needed additional knowhow and experience. We talked to Microsoft, and because it was clear that Azure was the ideal platform, they advised us to team up with Xpirit.”
Intelligent, state-of-the art architecture
After a couple of initial talks in which we were impressed with Xpirit’s approach, level of knowhow and relevant experience, we started our journey on December 2016 with an analysis of requirements, including a cloud scan. Soon afterwards, Xpirit came up with the design for the solution, of which the first components for payment processing were deployed during the second half of 2017, while other components are still being developed.
Steven: “The core of the new .NET Core and Azure-based cloud architecture is a flexibly scalable set of containers that communicate via a service bus, providing us with unlimited server capacity. The database platform is Azure, while the Kubernetes orchestrator ensures easy switching between cloud providers. In addition to Xpirit’s experience in designing the architecture, they also assisted us in designing efficient processes. A striking example is the fact that payment transaction details are processed and stored at all times, even if there’s a disruption somewhere in the chain. This is something that is extremely important for our clients because their business and money simply have to keep rolling at all times.”
Valuable lessons learned
Steven continues: “While the development of the solution required more effort and time than we had estimated before we started the project, we are extremely happy with the first running components. Naturally, we are continuing to team up with Xpirit, but thanks to the valuable lessons learned by our own team, we are able to perform more development work ourselves, under guidance from Xpirit’s consultants.”