May 9, 2017

Redefining the Tech that Powers Travel

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Rashesh Jethi
Rashesh Jethi, SVP Engineering at Amadeus, describes the company’s journey to build their platform as a service layer.

We all know that the technology industry has been going through a period of incredible change. Rashesh Jethi, Head of Research & Development at Amadeus, began his keynote at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) with a story about how when his grandfather went to university in India, the 760-mile journey took three days and involved a camel, a ship, and a train. Contrast this to Jethi’s 2700 mile journey to ONS in 6 hours where he checked into the flight from his watch. The rapid evolution of technology is continuing to redefine the travel industry and how we approach travel. 

Five or six years ago, Jethi said that Amadeus had about 5000 micro-services, 1500 databases, and a peak of about 80,000 transactions per second. In the time before continuous integration and continuous development, they still made about 600 application software changes every month, which equates to about to 20 to 25 changes every single day. Clearly, that was not going to scale with the amount of change that was coming. Over a couple of years, they completely virtualized their infrastructure as a service using VMware integrated OpenStack on the computer side and NSX for the networking side with about 90 percent of their servers running Linux. This technology change has drastically improved their time to market from 3 weeks down to 20 minutes to deploy a new server.

After solving some of the technical challenges, they had another problem, which Jethi attributes to you and me, and all of us on our phones and tablets that are always connected thanks to ubiquitous networks. We are always out there checking to see if we can get a good deal on our next planned vacation, and that kept increasing the amount of transaction load and the volumes that they had to deal with particularly in the frontend. With all of these networked devices, they have grown from 80,000 to a million transactions per second. Jethi said that it was clear that just virtualizing their infrastructure was not going to be enough. They had to move to a model where they could deploy the application as a whole with all these dependencies to instances that could be managed as clusters.

Jethi describes this as the second phase in their journey to move and build their platform as a service layer called Amadeus Cloud Services. To do this, they have been working with Red Hat and OpenShift using Docker to containerize their applications and Kubernetes for deployment, scaling, and management of those containers. This has allowed them to scale up and down with elastic scaling and self-healing where if one particular cluster flames out, it gets instantiated somewhere else and life goes on. “The more our teams are able to worry less about scaling of the infrastructure, ... the more we are able to actually focus on specific problems that our industry and our customer is facing,” says Jethi.

Watch the video to learn more about how Amadeus is redefining the technology that powers travel.

Interested in open source SDN? The "Software Defined Networking Fundamentals" training course from The Linux Foundation provides system and network administrators and engineers with the skills to maintain an SDN deployment in a virtual networking environment. Download the sample chapter today!

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