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How We Learned to Tame N1QL at Centrica – Connect Europe 2018


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Speaker: Alan Fairhurst, Development Manager API Management – Digital Technology Services, Centrica

Join Alan Fairhurst, Head of Integration Delivery - Digital Technology Services, to hear how utilities giant Centrica reassessed its approach to queries, how Alan’s team learned to take advantage of N1QL, and how Couchbase is adding unexpected value to the business.

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How We Learned to Tame N1QL at Centrica – Connect Europe 2018

  1. 1. How we learnt to tame N1QL Alan Fairhurst Head of Integration Delivery Couchbase Connect EU
  2. 2. 2 Alan Fairhurst WHO AM I? Current title: Head of Integration Delivery at Centrica Many years working in the GIS and satnav industries Now managing our API integration teams Outside work – started a lot more running, hiking & scuba diving now my daughter is at college.
  3. 3. 3 Couchbase Connect EU
  4. 4. 4  Click to edit Master text styles – Second level – Third level – Fourth level – Fifth level Sub-head Company History 1812 • Gas Light and Coke Co • Supply of town gas 1986 • Privatisation 1997 • Centrica and diversification • Telephony / Plumbing Today • Utilities / New Energy • Technology and Services
  5. 5. 5 Couchbase Connect EU Business Architecture
  6. 6. 6 Couchbase Connect EU Business Drivers • Gas • Electrics • Heating • Health and safety Maintains Boilers • Gas Safe • Water • Minor electrical Plumbing and electrics • Gas • Electrics • Health and safety Installs meters
  7. 7. 7 Couchbase Connect EU IT Vision
  8. 8. 8 Couchbase Connect EU Challenges Along the Journey
  9. 9. 9 Couchbase Connect EU Immediate Benefits – Customer Information App Between 55% and 75% of engineers use the Customer Information App everyday:  Part of their routine  Enables them to have targeted personal discussions with their customers  Millions of customer lookups since launch “Before the CI app, I had to ask whether our customers took gas and electricity from us. Now I can thank them.”
  10. 10. 10 Couchbase Connect EU Wait!, what’s that? 1 Fast, reliable caching and delivery of data 2 Secure access to sensitive customer data 3 Flexible model for integration
  11. 11. 11 Couchbase Connect EU Logical View CloudDMZ / API Gateway Pulse MicroServices Couchbase Hadoop / Data Lake MAPP Middleware FFT Middleware Customer Information App B2B CHI (Salesforce) AXA Home Insurance FFT Client MAPP Client SAAS Workday Connected Boiler app MCA IAM & AD MCA Backend Others FIFO and DALI SAP Retail Wholesale WMISReplicate CI App for call centres Private device workday access CloudCorporate Network
  12. 12. 12 Couchbase Connect EU Catalyst for change The Result: Rapidly increasing demand for our services!  Secure access to HR records and tools for employee  Better identification of customers for our insurance partners, helping ensure that discounts are applied where due  Identification of specific data errors, not just knowing that a problem exists  A key component of the ongoing digital transformation including omnichannel solutions
  13. 13. 13 Couchbase Connect EU Perfect….?
  14. 14. 14 Couchbase Connect EU What could possibly go wrong? Success brought more business to the teams! For example, field engineer work management apps ...but Software Engineers have experience in relational databases NoSQL sounded good, but was an unknown they seized on N1QL like a life line and dived right in! What was the result? • Dozens of complex N1QL queries and dozens of indexes  terrible & unpredictable performance • Couchbase went from hero to zero rapidly
  15. 15. 15 Couchbase Connect EU How did we fix this? With help... • Couchbase Professional Services working directly with the development team • Advice from the experienced development team who had been using Couchbase With patience… • Slow migration to Key Value Lookups by development teams. • Testing, Learning and Coaching With horsepower… • Upgrade of Couchbase hosting environment - ongoing
  16. 16. 16 Couchbase Connect EU Lessons Learnt Train your people • Make sure they know how to manage a NoSQL datastore • Mentor and coach software engineers Design your use of N1QL • We use N1QL for many reasons – but only when it’s the most suitable option Use the latest Couchbase • Our use of earlier versions slowed us down • Use 4.6 upwards, or even better, 5.0 upwards Use Couchbase when it makes sense to • Not a match for every use case • Consider a mixed estate for some solutions
  17. 17. 17 Couchbase Connect EU New Couchbase Topology FFT Prod FFT Pre-Prod Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data FFT Clusters Hosting: AWS Ireland Region Couchbase Version: 4.5 Support Level: Platinum + Gold Edition: Enterprise MAPP Green MAPP Blue MAPP Clusters Hosting: AWS Ireland Region Couchbase Version: 4.6 Support Level: Platinum + Gold Edition: Enterprise FDS Green FDS Blue Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data FDS Clusters Hosting: AWS Ireland Region Couchbase Version: 4.6 Edition: Enterprise Index-Query EC2 Type: Index-Query Index-Query EC2 Type: Index-Query Backup Backup Cluster Hosting: AWS London Region Couchbase Version: 4.6 Edition: Enterprise Pre-Production Data Couchbase Version: 4.6 Data Hosting: AWS Ireland Region Development Hosting: AWS Ireland Region FFT Cluster MAPP Cluster FDS Cluster Backup Cluster Perf. Test Cluster Dev-Test Cluster XDCR to be used to replicate data to a shared backup cluster Splunk We plan to pass all Couchbase logs to Splunk Topology Index-Query EC2 Type: Index-Query EC2 Type: AvailabilityZoneAAvailabilityZoneB Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Index-Query EC2 Type: Index-Query Index-Query EC2 Type: Index-Query AvailabilityZoneAAvailabilityZoneB AvailabilityZoneAAvailabilityZoneB Couchbase Version: 4.6 Data Data AvailabilityZoneBAvailabilityZoneA DataData Index-Query EC2 Type: Index-Query EC2 Type: Data Data AvailabilityZoneBAvailabilityZoneA Data Data Data Data AvailabilityZoneBAvailabilityZoneA Data Data Licensing · MAPP Licenses to be acquired as follows: 6 Enterprise edition, platinum level support 6 Enterprise edition, gold level support Monitoring · Couchbase application level monitoring remains TBC · Deployment of the Splunk universal forwarder on Couchbase nodes in all clusters except dev-test to be considered · BMC Patrol for application monitoring remains an enterprise standard Notes Data Data Support Level: Silver Support Level: Silver + n/a Support Level: Silver + n/a Edition: Enterprise/Community Edition: Enterprise/Community Support Level: Platinum + Gold Performance Test Cluster Dev Cluster & Test Cluster Backup cluster to be located in a different region to the clusters sourcing data Zenos Infrastructure monitoring will be guided by the Cloud programme… Zenos is Cognizant’s chosen tool VPC: Production High VPC: Pre-Production High VPC: Production High VPC: Production High VPC: Dev-TestVPC: Pre-Production HighVPC: Production High
  18. 18. 18 Couchbase Connect EU Questions?
  19. 19. Thank you