Hurb (Hotel Urbano): Migration to Google Cloud modernizes infrastructure and leverages scalability

About Hotel Urbano

Hurb (Hotel Urbano) is an online travel agency that has daily offers for over 400,000 hotels and inns around the world, with over 8,000 in Brazil alone. In addition, they record more than 250,000 room nights per month, in 6,500 destinations worldwide.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: Brazil

Hurb (Hotel Urbano) seeks to customize the customer experience and, through technology, make its customers invest more time in traveling.

Google Cloud Results

  • With the migration to GCP, scalability was greatly improved
  • Reduced operation from 82 to 39 servers and, if necessary, Google can supply this larger amount
  • So far there has been a cost reduction of 21%, and the estimate is to reach 40% in three years

Traveling is choosing how to turn time and money into new experiences, and technology has helped people be more independent in that choice. Founded in 2011, Hurb (Hotel Urbano) is an online travel agency whose mission is to "Make Travel Easy", which means using the Internet to offer its customers experiences in an easier way. They have a staff of 500 people in its headquarters, in Barra da Tijuca (RJ), and a development team in Sorocaba (SP).

Hurb offers a democratic and affordable platform, with about 86 microservices, and registers over 8,000 hotel room nights sold daily. They are responsible for selling millions of room nights and for creating thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly.

The search for scalability

Hurb was born on physical servers but would soon migrate to the cloud. However, they still needed to solve some technical scalability challenges in order to maintain their exponential growth. Since the migration to GCP, about two and a half years ago, the business no longer has to worry about several infrastructure issues.

"Throughout the migration to GCP we always received support from Googlers, who shared information about technology. When we needed a specific feature in a particular product, we were able to align with Google's engineers, and sometimes, if necessary, we used the Beta version about four months before it was made available in production. During the whole process we had no partner involved, only the Google team and our team working together."

Leandro Souza, development engineer at Hotel Urbano

The IT team realized that, with Kubernetes, there is no load balancer to distribute users across microservices and, if necessary, the HPA (Horizontal Pod Autoscaler) can handle the demand by allocating more containers to serve users.

The transformation that made Hurb more robust

Since its inception, Hurb has aimed to offer multi-zone to its users while having elasticity in growth and more resiliency.

"We gained a lot in scalability. We did not have to adjust our infrastructure, we only had to fit our 86+ microservices into Google's new orchestration system. We also had a reduction of 82 servers to only 39, and we once had 9,000 people simultaneously in the app."

Leandro Souza, development engineer at Hurb

After migrating to GCP, Hurb had a reduction of 82 servers to only 39, with a peak of 9,000 users simultaneously using its application.

The benefits of the cloud

According to the company, the greatest benefit of migrating to GCP was the resilience to test the application before entering balancing (they previously did 50 deploys per day). The biggest benefit was the maturity to test the tools in advance, before making them available to users. The elasticity also brought cost savings and user service optimization.

"There was such a huge reduction in errors that some users even thought the system was not working correctly, based on their experiences from before the migration," says Leandro Souza, development engineer at Hurb.

As Hurb was already operating in the cloud, it needed little adjustments to its infrastructure. They migrated some older applications in virtual machines to containers and put their 86+ microservices in Google's new orchestration system, which represented a major scalability gain. So far, the online travel agency has reported a cost reduction of 21%, and the estimate is to reach 40% in three years.

About Hotel Urbano

Hurb (Hotel Urbano) is an online travel agency that has daily offers for over 400,000 hotels and inns around the world, with over 8,000 in Brazil alone. In addition, they record more than 250,000 room nights per month, in 6,500 destinations worldwide.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: Brazil
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