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Betfair wins the kitty with OpenStack private cloud gambit

Tamlin Magee | June 24, 2016
An OpenStack deployment will soon power Paddy Power Betfair's customer-facing estates - here's how and why

Here's the timeline. Betfair began thinking about the project one year ago. It wanted to match the deployment to the company's own ethos - pace. Betfair first examined the market to see what was out there, and the proposition from Red Hat for core infrastructure and Nuage for highly agile networking infrastructure proved the winners.

There was one sore sticking point, however: software defined networks.

"As many analysts or consultants we talked to said you should do it or you shouldn't," Haigh says. They were split down the middle. "It was very binary." Although, he adds, at this stage of the project "software defined networking has worked, if I could go back in time there would be no question". It's a pleasant surprise.

Once the business had decided OpenStack was the way to go, it took just a week and a half for Betfair to initiate a proof of concept, matched with with performance and functional testing. "That was in part to satisfy, legally, that what everyone said they could do they could actually deliver," Haigh says.

"In four weeks we delivered it, we proved it. And we were happy to carry on. We then went into the pilot which is just ending now - it was from zero to building up a fit-for-purpose production-ready stack with all the tooling in place."

In total the entire project took just six months.

"We put our first production node properly on it last week," Haigh says. "Two of our applications have been running 100 percent moved over for the last week. We're now in a migration project and that is to take each of the 200 or so applications and to move them. Some of them we have to re-architect a little bit."

"I reckon we've got about 18 months of work to get those applications across. And at the same time new applications will go directly to that new infrastructure.

"I'm excited. It's been an awesome project, it's been great working with Nuage, it's been great working with Red Hat. Particularly the relationship between Nuage and us has been good. It's been challenging but I think both companies have enjoyed stepping up to the challenge.

"It's nice to work with fiercely intelligent vendors and fiercely intelligent guys internally, and all come together and everyone benefits from it.

"I can't imagine we'd have done this without open source at the crux of it - you just wouldn't get the transparency."

Source: Computerworld UK 


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