Routard.com: Traveling into the cloud for up to 60% savings on infrastructure costs

About Routard.com

Routard.com is a leading site for French-speaking travelers offering practical information, travel tips and inspiration, and ticket booking.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: France

About Skale-5

Paris-based Skale-5 specializes in the integration and management of cloud-based services, providing 24/7 dedicated app monitoring.

Routard.com migrates to Compute Engine with Cloud Storage and Cloud Load Balancing to gain oversight and improve uptime, reducing infrastructure costs by up to 60%, and halving time to market.

Google Cloud Results

  • Enables greater infrastructure oversight and monitoring, improving site uptime to almost 99.99% for a better user experience
  • Empowers the technical team to make proactive improvements to site functionality, inspiring confidence and enabling new data partnerships
  • Reduces costs on infrastructure elements by between 40% and 60%

Update release cycle time halved with Compute Engine

Sunscreen, beach towel, smartphone? Increasingly, travelers are relying more on a whole ecosystem of online sites and services to put together their travel itineraries, and less on traditional guidebooks and travel agents. Routard.com is the digital counterpart to the trusted French series of Le Routard guidebooks and offers a host of travel services under one platform: travel information and tips, as well as ticket booking and a growing web community where travelers can share their experiences and photos.

“To keep up with the evolving market, we also need to be able to evolve every day. We need to have oversight and be able to iterate to continuously improve our own services. That means the technology behind our platform has to be flexible and quick to deploy.”

Philippe Boblet, CTO, Routard.com

“We are the number one Francophone editorial travel website, with an average of seven million unique visitors every month,” says Philippe Boblet, CTO at Routard.com. “These days, users want to share their experiences, and they also want information and booking options in as few clicks as possible. The market is changing rapidly, with new editorial content appearing from travel bloggers and ecommerce travel sites, so we have to constantly evolve to keep our readers interested.”

Routard.com was struggling to implement changes to the site swiftly and effectively. In order to improve its monitoring and speed up its release cycle, it decided to move from on-premises servers and a ticketed IT query system to the cloud. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provided the solution the company was looking for.

“To keep up with the evolving market, we also need to be able to evolve every day,” says Philippe. “We need to have oversight and be able to iterate to continuously improve our own services. That means the technology behind our platform has to be flexible and quick to deploy.”

Migrating for greater oversight

Even with the best content on the market, if a web platform isn’t updated regularly and glitches resolved swiftly, it risks losing visitors. Routard.com was previously tied to a ticketed ITIL incident management system for its on-premises servers, which meant its deployment process was complex and slow. “It could take hours for someone to respond to an issue,” explains Philippe. “We also had very little oversight, as there was no way to measure specific parameters within the infrastructure.” As a result, the availability of the website’s services suffered. Routard.com looked for a platform that would speed up its deployment and improve its uptime.

“Since moving to Compute Engine, we can monitor exactly what’s happening on our infrastructure. That means we can keep track of specific metrics and make the most of the performance gains that are possible thanks to Google Cloud Platform.”

Philippe Boblet, CTO, Routard.com

To do that, with the help of Google Cloud Premier Partner Skale-5, it migrated its infrastructure to virtual machines on Compute Engine. “We wanted the first stage of the move to be quick and straightforward, so our team could get used to the new system,” says Philippe. “We did a lift-and-shift migration and put in place other necessary elements, such as Cloud Load Balancing. We also put in place good practices around monitoring and backups using Cloud Storage and Stackdriver Logging.”

“Since moving to Compute Engine, we can monitor exactly what’s happening on our infrastructure,” says Philippe. “That means we can keep track of specific metrics and make the most of the performance gains that are possible thanks to Google Cloud Platform.”

Skale-5: Inspiring business development

Routard.com’s collaboration with implementation partner Skale-5 has been key to the success of the migration. “We chose Skale-5 because it offered real expertise on how to work with GCP,” says Philippe. “The team there inspired us to rethink how we approached our infrastructure to change the way we worked. For example, we introduced methodologies such as continuous deployment that enable us to move much quicker. We couldn’t have done that without Skale-5. They have taken us in the direction we wanted and go even further, particularly in terms of liberating a great amount of energy for business development.”

“From the moment we moved to the cloud, the business development team was able to look for new markets. Having completed the first phase of our migration to Google Cloud Platform, we’re now in a position to continuously evolve the site according to what makes most business sense.”

Philippe Boblet, CTO, Routard.com

Becoming cloud-native

Thanks to moving to GCP, Routard.com has made significant financial savings and transformed the way its team works. “Our cost savings on the different services we use can be up to 60 percent. Our pre-production is 60 percent less expensive than our on-premises pre-production, for example,” says Philippe. “But the main gain is in the confidence of the technical team, which now looks for ways to improve the infrastructure rather than reacting to problems as they occur. The team has much more confidence in the platform, and its ability to manage it. The availability of the platform is getting close to 99.99 percent, which we have never previously achieved.”

“We have also definitely gained time at an operational level,” he continues. “Our time to market is half what it was previously. Our technical processes have become more productive, and that translates into more time to focus on the commercial side.”

Now, Routard.com is hoping to implement more managed services, to further reduce the operational burden on its team and open up more opportunities for business development. “For the second phase of the migration, we want to create a cloud-native infrastructure using Kubernetes and more managed services, such as Cloud SQL and Cloud Functions,” says Philippe. “That will give us even more time to focus on developing partnerships, particularly around data exchange, which is a key strategic area for us. With Kubernetes, we will also be able to scale our pre-production down to zero when we don’t need it, and potentially increase our savings beyond 60 percent.”

“From the moment we moved to the cloud, the business development team was able to look for new markets,” says Philippe. “Having completed the first phase of our migration to Google Cloud Platform, we’re now in a position to continuously evolve the site according to what makes most business sense.”

About Routard.com

Routard.com is a leading site for French-speaking travelers offering practical information, travel tips and inspiration, and ticket booking.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: France

About Skale-5

Paris-based Skale-5 specializes in the integration and management of cloud-based services, providing 24/7 dedicated app monitoring.

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