Online Travel Company Increases Flexibility and Scalability at Lower Cloud Costs

Mark Fong

Holidays are always a great opportunity to explore the world and escape our busy lives. Like many places around the world, the first of May (Labor Day), is a public holiday in locations across Asia-Pacific. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a busy travel period, as people in areas like China, Hong Kong and Singapore look to take advantage of the public holiday and enjoy some recuperation after months of hard work in the lead-up to the beginning of Spring. This will soon be followed by exciting planning for the upcoming summer holidays in July and August, as families look to spend some quality time together in far-flung destinations.

Over the past decade, travel has fast become a favorite Asian pastime, with many predicting that both the size and value of the regional travel market will only continue to grow. International tourist numbers are also booming, resulting in a total of 1.32 billion global travelers in 20171. This strong growth momentum is expected to continue in 2018, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way at an expected growth rate of 5 to 6%.

Booking at the edge

The creation of a host of online travel sites and mobile apps has meant that travel bookings can now be done anytime, anywhere. In Asia-Pacific, 43% of people browse on-the-go, with 34% moving on to book on mobile2. The global online travel market is estimated to reach $1,091 billion in value by 2022, with Asia-Pacific expected to witness the highest rate of growth during this period3.

Online booking typically involves multiple service providers based in different locations, and with a high amount of data needing to be accessed, analyzed and shared between these parties in near real-time, the pressure is on for technology to keep pace. The mobility of users in Asia-Pacific also requires well-developed infrastructure that can offer strong, stable and local connectivity, which is why many companies in the travel and tourism sector are embracing an edge approach for their IT infrastructure.

Easybook, a leading multi-language online booking site in Southeast Asia, is a great example. Originally, Easybook’s IT infrastructure was based on a public cloud approach. However, with a rapidly growing user base, this solution was beginning to show its limitations and was resulting in increasingly high costs.

Easybook found what it was looking for after talking with Equinix partner, InfoFabrica Consulting Pte. Ltd, which suggested leveraging Equinix to re-architect its IT platform and embrace a digital edge solution that would bring it closer to its users.

Equinix worked closely with InfoFabrica throughout the entire transformation, which went from proposal to production platform in less than three months, and resulted in zero downtime or service interruptions. We jointly developed a solution to migrate much of Easybook’s operational architecture to a Performance Hub™ located within Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Singapore. This design leverages ExpressRoute architecture to connect to Microsoft Azure via a high-performance, private and secure connection. Easybook also uses Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric) to deliver automated, real-time provisioning of multiple cloud service providers, enabling it to quickly and efficiently leverage other CSPs in the future.

Through our partnership with InfoFabrica, we were able to provide Easybook with an interconnection-first Equinix IBX-based hybrid cloud solution, which resulted in a significant 30% to 40% decrease in its cloud costs and greater flexibility to scale rapidly to new markets and leverage new business partners.

Interconnecting the world

Travelling is all about interconnections; the connection of one location to another, the connection of one service provider to another, and the connection of one culture to another. All designed to facilitate swift, seamless and enjoyable onward journeys.

These interconnections are simply everywhere. In the air, airline companies cooperate with government authorities to ensure smooth air traffic; while on the ground, booking sites connect with airlines and hotels to check availability and confirm bookings. These convenient, fast and borderless solutions have made exploring every corner of our planet appear easy, but in reality vast interconnectivity is required to support seamless, real-time responses between service providers as well as customers.

The global travel market, like many in the digital era, very much depends on reliable, high-performance global interconnection. According to the Global Interconnection Index published by Equinix, Asia-Pacific’s Interconnection Bandwidth is expected to grow by more than four times come 2020, reaching 1,120 Tbps. Enterprises interconnecting to cloud & IT provider use cases are projected to grow the fastest, at 160 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

As those in Asia-Pacific continue to seek adventures abroad, the need for interconnection between the multiple parties that make up the hospitality industry will become increasingly important, and impact the ways in which businesses, consumers and physical infrastructure interact with each other.

Check out the Interconnection Oriented ArchitectureTM (IOA) Playbook, and start your journey to the digital edge.