Travix: Uncovering a world of adventure

About Travix

Travix is among the world's largest travel companies for online sales of airline tickets. The company, with brands such as CheapTickets.nl, Vliegwinkel.nl, BudgetAir.com, Flugladen.de, and Vayama.com, operates in 39 countries, and maintains offices in The Netherlands, Australia, Curaçao, Germany, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All Travix brands offer global flights provided by national and economy airlines, hotels, car rentals, insurances, and other travel related products and services. Travix employs over 550 employees, representing more than 50 different nationalities worldwide.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: The Netherlands

To handle previous increases in customer traffic, Travix had to invest in additional hardware that would later be underutilized. The travel agency sought an alternative IT platform to increase scalability, performance, and the ability to easily support all workloads.

Google Cloud Results

  • Boosts developer productivity by moving to self-service approach on Google Cloud Platform
  • Improves scalability and transparency by moving from yearly hardware provisioning to flexible usage-based approach
  • Minimizes transition costs by carrying over Windows workloads to Google Cloud

Reduces app deployment time from a month to hours

Enabling Change

Solutions: Migration
Workloads: Microsoft Windows Server Migration, VM Migration

Online travel agency Travix typically had to go through an imprecise cycle whenever it needed to prepare for seasonal traffic spikes. During high-demand periods such as when people were planning for trips ahead of holidays or summer vacations, the company invested in extra hardware to handle the increased traffic. Unfortunately, this extra capacity often later went unused when workloads returned to normal.

By migrating to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Travix has greatly reduced unnecessary spending through better scalability, manageability, and visibility of its infrastructure. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a central part of the company's platform, providing containerization resources and features such as tagging that support developer needs. Additional infrastructure support comes from BigQuery, which assists with data warehousing for analytics, along with Cloud Pub/Sub and Cloud Dataflow.

"Google Cloud Platform makes our development teams more self-supported when running applications," says Jorrit Salverda, Principal Technical Architect at Travix. "Whenever we previously had a new application, we needed someone from operations to pick which servers it would best run on and then configure it. That's a thing of the past because our developers can now directly pull up resources as needed and lead their own development."

Travix also leverages GCP support for Windows workloads for much of its needs. A portion of the Travix stack that includes a booking production platform runs on .NET and the company estimates it has about 30 managed instance groups running Microsoft Windows Server VMs. GCP also reliably supports a Travix resource that uses a combination of Packer and PowerShell scripts to bake Windows images for later deployment, which also allows for instance group autoscaling. With GKE support for Windows Server containers, Travix is now exploring ways to modernize its application portfolio by containerizing .NET apps and deploy them in GKE.

"Each January, we face new, unprecedented challenges that could be along the lines of a 50 percent traffic spike," says Jorrit. "This year we had our large Windows applications running on Google Cloud Platform and we found we were suddenly better prepared. Everything went well, as we didn't have to deal with obstacles such as manually managing scaling across zones and we were not stressed about whether we had enough resources to avoid downtime."

Among developers, managed instance groups can now be precisely tuned to fit specific application needs, creating usage cost savings. According to Travix engineers, autoscaling on GCP also helps administrators automatically tailor virtual machine numbers to application requests. GCP support for Windows workloads also allows Travix to effectively transition its entire platform without having to invest substantial time in tearing down and rebuilding Windows resources.

For Travix, these efficiency gains have resulted in a new level of control over its platform. GCP autoscaling and solutions such as BigQuery give Travix the ability to understand the costs of individual applications. Travix administrators no longer have to project traffic months in advance and potentially waste money because they can now calibrate IT spending based on their exact needs. This results in greater productivity for Travix, as they can direct these cost savings away from routine administration and invest in longer-term development and growth initiatives.

Travix has also benefited from personalized customer support from Google Cloud Professional Services. According to Travix administrators, Google staff have regularly been willing to do tasks such as trying to reproduce troubleshooting issues themselves and assist with bug incident reports.

"Google Cloud Professional Services takes the time to understand our business to figure out what we could do differently and where we might benefit from other Google solutions," says Jorrit. "With all of the cloud providers, the number of services continues to grow. If you're new to cloud, it's hard for you to pick the right solution for a certain problem. Google Cloud Professional Services is a valuable resource for us to lean on."

"We're impressed by all the tools to run our stack, including Windows workloads on Google Cloud Platform. We now worry far less about hosting and we've already seen solid improvements in IT performance such as reliably handling 35 million daily requests while reducing error rates."

Jorrit Salverda, Principal Technical Architect, Travix

About Travix

Travix is among the world's largest travel companies for online sales of airline tickets. The company, with brands such as CheapTickets.nl, Vliegwinkel.nl, BudgetAir.com, Flugladen.de, and Vayama.com, operates in 39 countries, and maintains offices in The Netherlands, Australia, Curaçao, Germany, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All Travix brands offer global flights provided by national and economy airlines, hotels, car rentals, insurances, and other travel related products and services. Travix employs over 550 employees, representing more than 50 different nationalities worldwide.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality
Location: The Netherlands
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