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AWS Case Study - TRIBONS

How did TRIBONS provide uninterrupted shopping mall services to their customers? SmileShark's CloudOps Service

스마일샤크 고객 사례: 오픈서베이


As an affiliate of LF (formerly LG Fashion), TRIBONS owns famous brands such as DAKS SHIRTS, the industry leader in men's shirts, as well as Notig, Bobcat, and Benovero. TRIBONS is also successfully operating FOMEL CAMELE, a fashion miscellaneous goods brand targeting women in their twenties and thirties. TRIBONS also has a strong presence in children's apparel, and through its "PastelMall" subsidiary, TRIBONS offers premium children's apparel brands such as Daks kids, Hazzys kids, PETIT BATEAU, BonTon and K.I.D.S.

These brands are available in Korea's major department stores, and are also available online through Pastel Mall. TRIBONS is constantly striving to provide the customers with quality products.

오픈서베이 로고


Area Shirt and blouse manufacturing

Estab.  Jan, 2008


Anomalous Service Failures in a Shopping Mall System


SmileShark When did the need for SmileShark come up in TRIBONS, and what were the challenges at the time?

Hyunsoo Jang We had previously been using an AWS cloud environment through a different partner. However, in 2022, we began to experience difficulties running its shopping mall in the cloud. As the number of customers increased, we were facing anomalous service failures. We were also considering expanding additional services due to system development.

SmileShark You mentioned that TRIBONS experienced some unusual service failures, can you tell us what it was?

Hyunsoo Jang Certain events, such as the real-time live commerce 'Parabang', were only exposed on our own mall, but sometimes we had to broadcast simultaneously on other live commerce platforms. In such cases, the difference from the usual inflow was about 10 times. In addition to this inflow, we also received customers through advertising marketing such as marketing texts and KakaoTalk Plus friends, and we could see that the inflow increased by about 5 times compared to the usual inflow. Therefore, we aimed for a more stable service.

Why TRIBONS Chose SmileShark

SmileShark Why did you choose SmileShark's CloudOps service?

Hyunsoo Jang To solve the problems we were facing, we needed a partner that could be agile and flexible, and we found SmileShark through a referral.

Being recognized as an AWS Rising Star of the Year, meeting with SmileShark's CEO and engineers built trust, it convinced us that they could empathize with our problem and promise to support us.

SmileShark What did you find frustrating about your previous partner?

Hyunsoo Jang As mentioned above, we were facing various issues during the operation of the shopping mall system, and there were many complicated parts that had not been explained well, so we were very disappointed with the previous partner's service provision. Changing server settings in AWS was not easy due to the absence of internal manpower, and communication was also difficult due to the difference in work areas between developers and system engineers. Therefore, the most anticipated aspect of the new partner introduction was smooth communication and proactive measures.

When we used previous partners' services, issues were not shared, which led to confusion due to server reboots, checks, and policy changes during business hours, and there were many unnecessary procedures to respond to issues, so it was important to us to see if we could improve this.

"TRIBONS went from having 4 ~ 5 times service outages per quarter to none with SmileShark."

- Hyunsoo Jang, TRIBONS online platform team leader

Stabilizing the infrastructure and a successful digital transformation

As a collaborative partner, not just a request and responder

SmileShark We've heard that TRIBONS' infrastructure issues have been dramatically stabilized since implementing SmileShark’s CloudOps, but what's it really like?

Hyunsoo Jang In the year or so since we have been with SmileShark, we have seen a lot of improvements. We have been able to connect the system issue alerts to the collaboration solutions we use so we can respond to issues quickly. From time to time, AWS would send out an announcement saying, "There's an issue with a service or a region, and you may experience downtime."

The emails are sent to our contacts within TRIBONS, but they are also sent to our MSP. It would be nice if the MSP partners we work with could share this with us when we miss something like this, but unfortunately this little detail hasn't been done before with the previous partner.

The shopping mall was supposed to be an uninterrupted system, but we were often getting server error pages (503). SmileShark has provided us with AWS announcements months in advance so that we can plan ahead and say, "We need to address these issues around this time." It also sends out urgent announcements in the middle of the day so that we don't miss any issues. TRIBONS doesn't have any outages now, which we used to have four to five per quarter before SmileShark.

SmileShark's Announcement Emails
SmileShark's Announcement Emails

SmileShark What do you think makes SmileShark's CloudOps service different from other previous monitoring and operations support and MSPs?

Hyunsoo Jang When an issue arises, they analyze the cause of the problem and explain it in detail in an email, and then again on the phone, so I know exactly what the issue is, and they share their technical opinions and areas for improvement, which is very helpful.

Furthermore, in the event of a failure, we are notified within one minute on average and receive prompt feedback from the person in charge, and we communicate in real time through a separate communication channel. As a result, we were able to successfully obtain the certification mark just one year after the start of the ISMS certification audit project.

SmileShark CloudOps' Troubleshooting Process
SmileShark CloudOps' Troubleshooting Process

SmileShark How did SmileShark help TRIBONS with the ISMS certification audit?

Hyunsoo Jang During the ISMS audit, there was a part of the architecture that needed to be changed. SmileShark told us that it was a security violation to have the private and development areas in the same zone, so we had to separate them. We discussed this closely with Hosang Kwak, CloudOps team lead of SmileShark and proceeded with as little disruption to the shopping mall as possible.

In fact, even when we changed the architecture structure, the shopping mall service was not interrupted and the system operated stably. When I asked how to configure the application servers such as tomcat, which are in EC2 in addition to the AWS structure, he promptly responded and took practical measures.

SmileShark In addition to running a stable infrastructure, we've heard that communication between developers has improved.

Hyunsoo Jang Yes, organizations without system engineer positions end up lacking knowledge such as log analysis and server settings for each server. Communication with MSP partners was also a challenge due to the lack of communication between the teams. This was always a big concern for me due to the different job background, but I think SmileShark was the only one that worked out well in terms of communication.

AWS Cost and Operations Optimization Consulting

SmileShark So, how was SmileShark's AWS consulting experience?

Hyunsoo Jang We had a cost issue with the CDN service we were using, and we thought that the fees charged due to the contract were excessive, so we were considering other CDN services, and we consulted with SmileShark about the CloudFront (CDN) service provided by AWS, which can be used at a reasonable price without a contract. We confirmed the cost-effective part of the service and are considering switching to it this year.

Also, we were having frequent issues with the software configuration management server, so we consulted with SmileShark about AWS software configuration management service. I told them that I would like to be able to deploy or build servers automatically, and SmileShark told me that AWS has a structure that can automate the software configuration management. I thought that this would reduce the risk of manpower and server stabilization. However, the software configuration management server can be critical, so we are still considering it. Consulting with SmileShark helped us make the decision because we were able to put our situation into perspective.

SmileShark Thank you. Do you have any comments that might be helpful to any customer considering SmileShark?

Hyunsoo Jang I would highly recommend SmileShark's CloudOps service to any company or team that doesn't yet have an expert in the field of systems engineering, as SmileShark provides personalized support.

SmileShark also helps build, manage, and optimize cloud infrastructure, making it especially useful for teams that don't have the knowledge or manpower to manage cloud in-house.

I would recommend SmileShark as the best AWS partner to build the infrastructure, not only due to the technical issues, but also because SmileShark provides guidance on optimizing costs and increasing operational efficiency.

Beyond just the numbers, there's something else I've been noticing a lot lately, and that's the trust SmileShark shows in the work. SmileShark is always consistent in the guidance and proactive in the solutions, and that's a big deal to me as a service provider. At a time when we felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the AWS environment, SmileShark reached out to us and made us feel comfortable just like seeing a lighthouse in the storm.

"At a time when we felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the AWS environment, SmileShark reached out to us and made us feel comfortable just like seeing a lighthouse in the strom."

- Hyunsoo Jang, TRIBONS online platform team leader

Building an Enhanced Security and Gifting System

TRIBONS’ Future Plan

It has been four years since Pastel Mall (shopping mall) was launched, and we have been able to grow functionally in the service sector due to the influx of many customers. While we previously aimed to improve the service level, this year we are working to improve it by focusing on server strengthening and security to maintain a stable system. Therefore, we are aiming to obtain the enhanced ISMS-P certification.

SmileShark Can you tell us about the new service TRIBONS recently launched, Gifting?

Hyunsoo Jang The Pastel Mall Gifting Service is now open, a mobile-only service that allows the customers to send DAKS shirts and other products from Pastel Mall to your loved ones.

Gifts can be given from existing Pastel Mall customers to non-members, and any customer can find a variety of products that match the theme in the dedicated gift shop, and the customers can send a gift with a message card with a small sentiment, so we hope you enjoy it.

Detailed Services Applied to TRIBONS

What is SmileShark’s CloudOps?

SmileShark Which of SmileShark's CloudOps services did TRIBONS adopt, and what was the collaboration process like?

Hosang Kwak, CloudOps team lead of SmileShark CloudOps doesn't just alert the customers when something goes wrong with their system, it also analyzes it. It's important for us to analyze, find solutions, and provide them to our customers so that they can improve their systems to prevent the same problems from happening again. CloudOps is a collaborative MSP service that doesn't solve all problems at once, but rather works with the customers to solve them and grow together.

Hyunsoo Jang, TRIBONS online platform team leader, also has a good understanding of CloudOps, so he authorized us to do various tests over time. Also, when we suggested a solution, he agreed to give it a try, so to repay us for this, we are still working well together with the common goal of uninterrupted service.

TRIBONS Architecture

*Configuration diagram for illustration purposes only and does not represent the actual architecture.
*Configuration diagram for illustration purposes only and does not represent the actual architecture.

What is Shark-Mon?

Shark-Mon is a monitoring tool that enables applications and services to operate around the clock without interruption, rather than being monitored by humans in the legacy way. Developed in-house by SmileShark, SharkMon provides functions necessary for cloud operations, including basic 'protocol monitoring' such as HTTP, TCP, SSH, DNS, ICMP, gRPC, TLS, 'AWS usage resource view' and 'Kubernetes monitoring', which is emerging as a global trend. It is currently in closed beta for select customers.

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