OTA Insight: Tailor-made solutions at scale with Google Cloud Platform

About OTA Insight

OTA Insight combines cutting edge technology and data analytics with world-class hospitality revenue management, business intelligence, and customer support to maximise property occupancy rates and increase revenue and profit.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: United Kingdom

Google Cloud Platform helped OTA Insight rapidly grow its customer base and continue to deliver high-quality, high-performance service, helping its clients maximise their revenues.

Google Cloud Results

  • Concentrates IT resources on core business objectives with simplified infrastructure management
  • Processes hundreds of millions of rows of data every day at high speed with Google Cloud Bigtable
  • Minimises server costs with sustained use discounts and preemptible VMs

Processes hundreds of millions of rows of data every day

Since its formation in 2012, OTA Insight has helped customers in over 160 countries by going beyond static tables or spreadsheets and offering a dynamic application that visualizes data and tailor-made solutions backed by solid data.

“We wanted to process a lot of information and be able to scale up efficiently when we needed to. One very important point for us was how easy it was to set up a virtual machine. You only have the choices that matter and it’s very quick to launch without any compromise in functionality.”

Joeri de Turck, CTO, OTA Insight

In 2014, OTA Insight looked to rebuild its infrastructure with an emphasis on scaling quickly and reliably without draining the startup’s limited resources. To do that, it turned to Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

“We wanted to process a lot of information and be able to scale up efficiently when we needed to,” says Joeri de Turck, CTO at OTA Insight. “One very important point for us was how easily it was to set up a virtual machine. You only have the choices that matter and it’s very quick to launch without any compromise in functionality.”

Flexible scaling at speed

In a constantly shifting landscape like hospitality, where hotel prices can change daily, providing up-to-date predictive analytics and intelligence requires considerable resources, specifically for data storage and fast data processing. When OTA Insight was founded in 2012, its infrastructure consisted of a handful of virtual instances on dedicated machines. Since then, online travel agencies have exploded in numbers, with $1.3 trillion in gross bookings expected in 2017 alone, according to travel research group Phocuswright.

As the industry and its customer base grew, OTA Insight needed the ability to take in, process, and store much more data, as well as scale up in the future without any drop in performance. In addition, with only two engineers at the time, the company wanted an infrastructure solution that could be managed with minimal fuss and let its staff focus on making the business better.

In 2014, after evaluating its options, OTA Insight chose Google Cloud Platform for its ability to scale, its ease of use, and its speed. After trialling a number of other options, the speed at which it could set up virtual instances in GCP took the company by surprise. “It was a real wow moment,” says Mathias Verhoeven, Head of Engineering at OTA Insight. “We could get a virtual machine up in less than a minute.”

“Google Cloud Bigtable gives us high performance at low cost. It’s amazing that you can scale storage and processing independently of each other so you’re only paying for what you use. That makes a big difference.”

Joeri de Turck, CTO, OTA Insight

Porting its stack over to Google Compute Engine in just a couple of days, OTA Insight began exploring additional GCP potential. Google Stackdriver Monitoring helped the company keeps its processes on track, while Google Cloud Load Balancing helped ensure low latency and smooth performance for the company’s clients. Google Cloud Pub/Sub provided a fast, scalable messaging and queuing solution, while Google Cloud Storage was a cheap, convenient space to hold backups and static files.

As the company continued to grow and made scalability its focus, it rewrote most of its infrastructure to run on Kubernetes clusters with Google Kubernetes Engine, automating even more of the infrastructure management. Meanwhile, OTA Insight turned to Google Cloud Bigtable for a cost-effective, flexible database solution, along with Google Cloud SQL and Google Cloud Dataproc for data processing.

“Google Cloud Bigtable gives us high performance at low cost,” says Joeri. “It’s amazing that you can scale storage and processing independently of each other so you’re only paying for what you use. That makes a big difference.”

“With Google Cloud Platform, we don’t have to worry about infrastructure, so we’ve been able to grow much faster. We’ve adapted quickly and rewritten our architecture a couple of times. It's helped us move to the best possible solution quickly and affordably.”

Joeri de Turck, CTO, OTA Insight

Rapid growth, constant improvement

Google Cloud Platform helped OTA Insight grow at breakneck speed without compromising its performance. With customers in over 160 countries, OTA Insight now takes in and processes hundreds of millions of lines of data every day and continues to deliver effective, timely service that helps its clients react to an ever-changing landscape. The ease of use and simplified management of GCP has freed up valuable IT resources and let the company’s team concentrate on its core product and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Meanwhile, taking advantage of sustained use discounts and preemptible virtual machines has kept compute costs down, while Google Cloud Bigtable provides the ability to scale processing power and storage up and down as needed, meaning that the company only ever pays for what it uses. OTA Insight remains on the lookout for new ways of improving its service, whether it’s wringing even more value from its data with Google machine learning tools, or automating its DevOps even further with Google Cloud Functions. As it grows, OTA Insight can look to Google innovations to grow with it.

“With Google Cloud Platform, we don’t have to worry about infrastructure, so we’ve been able to grow much faster. We’ve adapted quickly and rewritten our architecture a couple of times,” says Joeri. “It's helped us move to the best possible solution quickly and affordably.”

About OTA Insight

OTA Insight combines cutting edge technology and data analytics with world-class hospitality revenue management, business intelligence, and customer support to maximise property occupancy rates and increase revenue and profit.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: United Kingdom
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12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

TRY IT FREE