ZAVA, inspired by the French words ‘Ça va’ (meaning ‘how are you?’) was founded in 2010 and is now one of the leading online doctors in Europe and the UK. The company offers a variety of medications, treatments, and advice to guide and empower patients to take charge of their healthcare. ZAVA has served millions of patients throughout the UK, France, Ireland, and Germany.
ZAVA’s infrastructure consisted of on-premises hardware and servers hosted on Rackspace. “With the Brexit deadline approaching, we wanted to use AWS as a way of keeping the company European-hosted. It was a big step,” said Jake Fairhead, Head of Development, ZAVA.
Philip Cheung, DevOps Engineer, ZAVA, explained that they realized it would take a very long time to recover if they suffered an outage. Eike Dawid, CTO, ZAVA added, “We didn’t have many best practices in place.”
In addition to cloud migration, the ZAVA engineering team needed the support of supplemental developers for their internal software development team.
ZAVA sought a partner with the right expertise and culture. Based on previous positive experiences, ZAVA trusted Netrix for support in both migrating to AWS and expanding their software development team.
Migrating to AWS enabled greater performance, self-healing services, and segregation of environments and duties. “From the user point of view, the most important thing was the speed. It was way faster,” said Soroush Atarod, Full Stack Engineer, ZAVA
“The biggest improvement is being able to replicate our entire stack, build it again, test it there, make sure everything’s working OK, and then we can switch over quite easily,” Lee Rhodes, QA Automation Engineer, ZAVA.
Jake Fairhead, Head of Development, ZAVA was pleased with Netrix’s perfect planning. “The migration happened to the minute we were hoping it would. It really went well.”
“I couldn’t really ask for anymore, basically from Netrix because they helped us from start to finish,” said Mr. Cheung.
“They are available all the time in Slack, so we didn’t feel that they are a different company helping us. We felt that it’s one team.” Ahmed Mohamed, Lead Engineer, ZAVA.
The migration enabled the ZAVA team to focus on initiatives that grow the business. “All we do right now is write code, test it, deliver it, and that’s it,” said Mr. Atarod.
Netrix provided software developers to be embedded into the ZAVA development team, increasing software development capacity and velocity to deliver code. As an AWS Premier partner, Netrix’s employees designed and built AWS serverless-based solutions. The Netrix employees worked with the ZAVA team in managing activities and implementing requirements for new functionalities requested by the business. This included:
ZAVA uses a variety of cloud technologies, including AWS Lambda, Docker Containers, and Cloudflare, and Netrix delivered a supply of engineers already comfortable with these services. Netrix also implemented a program to cross-train engineers with the requisite skills and knowledge prior to onboarding into the project.
With support from Netrix, ZAVA was able to scale their development team as requested, and Netrix handled new member onboarding. The feedback from ZAVA was overwhelmingly positive, with staff expressing that Netrix employees were excellent team players with great problem-solving skills. Netrix engineers were proactive in picking up work, excellent at communicating with other team members, and a pleasure to work with. ZAVA was so pleased with the work, they requested additional support from Netrix, including adding a data analyst.
“We’re totally happy with Netrix,” concluded Mr. Dawid.