Sajari: Powering expansion of search and match business with Google Cloud

About Sajari

Founded in 2013, Sajari provides technologies that enable businesses to provide search and matching capabilities on websites and other systems.

Industries: Technology
Location: Australia

With Google Cloud Platform, Sajari minimises network latency, achieves consistent compute performance, and meets availability requirements while growing the business to hundreds of customers globally.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Enabled business to deliver a median search query time of less than 10 milliseconds
  • Supported expansion to hundreds of customers in eight countries and processed about 1 billion requests per month
  • Helped ensure team members could focus on building great search and matching products rather than on administration

Analysing millions of data points in less than 1 second

Founded in 2013, Sajari provides technologies that enable businesses to provide search and matching capabilities on websites and other systems. “Businesses connect websites and systems to our technologies via APIs,” Hamish Ogilvy, Founder, Sajari, explains. “They can then use search and matching capabilities developed and refined with machine learning.” The business has grown to support close to 1 billion requests per month from hundreds of customers in at least eight countries.

“We’ve focused primarily in Australia and the United States while growth has been predominantly organic to date,” Ogilvy says.

Sajari launched its search and matching technologies directly onto a public cloud service. However, inconsistent performance and network latency meant search or match query latency could vary massively—worse than customer expectations. “We do a lot of heavy data reading of millions of data points for the most complex matching queries, and we still want to come back with answers within one second or less, so we need consistent compute performance and minimal network latency,” Ogilvy says.

“Google has learned how to scale and distribute massive services around the globe for its own requirements. As its technical teams explain why they’ve made specific decisions when they release new products, you can see they’re brilliantly thought out.”

Hamish Ogilvy, Founder, Sajari

Consistent compute and minimal latency

Sajari experimented with Google Cloud Platform and through benchmarking, found its compute and network latency performance was faster and more reliable than its incumbent provider could deliver.

The business also considered Google’s track record in running its own infrastructure. “Google has learned how to scale services massively and distribute them around the globe for its own requirements,” Ogilvy says. “In addition, as its technical teams explain why they’ve made specific decisions when they release new products, you can see they’re brilliantly thought out.”

Ogilvy also pointed to the Live Migration feature available through Google Compute Engine that keeps virtual machine instances running even when software or hardware updates are underway, rather than requiring them to be rebooted; the advanced design of the load-balancing features of Google Cloud Platform; and Kubernetes support.

Google Kubernetes Engine has allowed us to spend very little time managing infrastructure, freeing up our engineers to concentrate on our front-line products,” David Howden, Senior Engineer, Sajari, says.

“Using Google Cloud Platform, we’ve been able to easily scale the business while keeping search and match query times well within customer expectations.”

Hamish Ogilvy, Founder, Sajari

Sajari decided to conduct a staged migration to Google Cloud Platform. The business moved most of its workloads across over an 18-month period.

Sajari is now using Google App Engine for web application development and hosting, with Google Cloud Datastore providing managed NoSQL database services. It is also using the Google BigQuery analytics data warehouse to capture data for analysis. After initially using Google Compute Engine, the business migrated to Google Kubernetes Engine to run Kubernetes-based container clusters.

High availability levels and prompt engagement

Sajari is now experiencing availability levels well within business requirements. Ogilvy praises the fact that if an issue does occur, Google’s automatic notifications promptly keep Sajari informed and enable the business to explain the situation to its customers.

The business has achieved a median search time of less than 10 milliseconds and has also reduced match times to meet business requirements. “When you perform a match, the query can be equivalent to a large document of unstructured information,” Ogilvy explains. “So it may pull the document apart, run say 10,000 queries concurrently, and stitch the results back together. You are dealing with millions of pieces of data being evaluated against large datasets. Using Google Cloud Platform, we’ve been able to reduce the time to complete matches to well within customer expectations.”

“Products like Google Kubernetes Engine allow us to spend very little time managing infrastructure, freeing up our engineers to concentrate on our front-line products.”

David Howden, Senior Engineer, Sajari

No concerns over scaling

With Google Cloud Platform in place, Sajari can now take on customers as quickly as it needs to and grow as quickly as it wants to without any concerns about scaling out infrastructure. “The way products like Google Kubernetes Engine have been architected means we do not have to spend very much time maintaining and upgrading systems or working out what is going on if an issue does occur,” Ogilvy says. “We now receive trace reports that tell us the latency changes of certain requests compared to previous periods—if it has changed significantly, we’ll receive a warning.”

“In addition, the reporting will tell us if we’ve made a mistake in a deployment,” he adds. “Given we deploy every day, the ability to identify and fix problems quickly is extremely important.”

Ogilvy is also extremely excited about the ability of Google Cloud Platform to support planned growth to what he describes as “thousands of customers all over the globe and clusters of compute in all regions.” In addition, he sees the platform as key to his plans to automate as many of the company’s processes as possible in response to pressure to become more efficient.

About Sajari

Founded in 2013, Sajari provides technologies that enable businesses to provide search and matching capabilities on websites and other systems.

Industries: Technology
Location: Australia
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Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

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