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On March 20th, we quietly launched the biggest change to Customer.io since starting the company in 2012. Accounts created after March 20th are being served by a newly architected back end system running in Google’s cloud. We have also begun work to migrate existing accounts.

Why make the change?

I won’t gloss over it. Accounts, especially our largest ones, have been experiencing frustrating performance and reliability issues with the existing infrastructure. We realized we had to go back to the drawing board in order to scale the service. While re-architecting, our ops team did and continues to do a heroic job keeping the service functioning well under stress.

What is different with the new infrastructure?

After operating Customer.io in production for 5 years, our engineering team gained insights into what is needed to run a fast, reliable service. We took those insights and changed the way we process, store your data, and run your campaigns in order to unlock some significant improvements.

For example:

  • Creating a new segment is faster. For example, for accounts with 10m users, segments should take in the ballpark of a couple minutes for their initial build and are kept up to date in real time.
  • Each account is more insulated from load across the platform. You should see more stability as a result. This also makes it possible for us build guaranteed sending throughput for high volume senders.
  • Almost all data updates are done in sync, so our user interface (search, delivery logs etc…) won’t be out of sync with what’s happened in your account.

Additionally, this change sets us up to deliver features many users have been asking for. In the short term, we’ve been able increase our pace of feature development. New features like adding the status of processing tasks and showing who is in a delay took less time for our team to build than in the past.

These improvements are available today for accounts on the new architecture but unfortunately can’t be easily backported.

When will existing accounts get the benefits of the new system?

To migrate your account, we’ll transfer data as well as the state of each person in a campaign, without interrupting your service. Depending on the size of the account, this can be a little more complex. For most accounts, this will be in the order of a few seconds. For the largest accounts, we’ll reach out to schedule the migration with you.

We’ll let you know when the migration process begins and ends for your account. Our plan is to migrate all accounts by the end of this quarter.

Thanks for being a customer. We’re excited to bring you the benefits of this new architecture!

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