MongoDB at Flight Centre Ltd


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How MongoDB has empowered the business to rapidly respond to market conditions .
By Michael Frost, Web Solution Architect at Flight Centre Ltd. Presented at MongoDB Sydney, 2012.

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MongoDB at Flight Centre Ltd

  1. 1. Flight Centre LimitedHow MongoDB has empowered the business to rapidly respond to market conditions Michael Frost Web Solution Architect
  2. 2. Flight Centre Flight Centre Limited is one of the worlds largest travel agency groups, with more than 2000 leisure, corporate and wholesale businesses in 11 countries. After starting with one shop 30 years ago, we have enjoyed remarkable ongoing growth.Our rapidly expanding network now extends throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, China, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, providing travellers with a complete service.
  3. 3. Flight Centre Online• 120 Online staff (Web Developers, SEO, Copy Writers, SEM, Application Developers, Online Marketers, Creative designers and Usability experts)• 60 Web sites over 6 different countries• Up to 200,000 pages on a site• Larger sites have 450,000 views per day• Multiple booking engines Air, Hotel, Sea, Insurance, Car• Two data centres for web hosting. Physical in Brisbane and Amazon EC2
  4. 4. Brands Implemented
  5. 5. Business Problem• Product feeds for lead-in pricing (15 feeds and growing). 750,000 records• Content feeds (Hotel, Ship, Cruise Line, IATA, Destination). 550,000 records – Every feed has unique model• Need to override content – Each brand in each country is a different business• Need to be responsive to market. E.g. new cruise ship, or cruise ship sinks
  6. 6. Business Problem• Content has different models, e.g. cruise ship content compared with hotel• Business constantly demand new model types or changes to existing models – Hotel• Majority developers are front end web
  7. 7. Solution Architecture Diagram
  8. 8. FCL MongoDB Environment• FCL data centre RHEL6 64Bit 2 X CPU 7G RAM 100G data partition• Amazon servers c1.xlarge Amazon EC2 instances• MongoDB V2.0.3• Replication with one master, and 2 slaves in each datacentre. New slaves can be quickly brought up if demand requires• 5 databases with up to 55 collections in a database• ~ 600,000 MongoDB requests per day• 2 mil records
  9. 9. Hosting environmentwith Amazon data centre•Akamai geo-load balanceddata centres•No single point of failure forhosting•Each data centre isdesigned to take full load ifone data centre goes down•Each layer in each stackcan be extended quickly ifunexpected massive loadcame through
  10. 10. What we found with MongoDB• Developers do not need to worry about schemas• Business can come to developers with new feed, content type, product, to be loaded in – E.g. Cruise Ship, Cruise Line, IATA location data, Hotel content, Hotel imaging – Define own domain models• Native way of thinking with Web Dev (JSON/REST)• Powers the majority of our sites
  11. 11. What we found with MongoDB• Arbiter is only used to provide extra votes that the master we want stays as master• If master goes down slaves will continue to allow reads. Writes will not work – Writes are not mission critical – Competitions and the like• SLAVE_OK so slaves can perform reads
  12. 12. What we found with MongoDB• Web solution enhancements become easier – Used to use Oracle• Oracle was homogenous. Had to know domain model and data structure up front. – With MongoDB we are able to change domain model at any point. Even at a record level.• We do not use sharding. Our data set did not easily provide a shard key – Has not affected performance while data can fit in memory
  13. 13. Example- CruisePage comprises of:•Call to product for lead-in pricing, then•Call to Ship content•Call to Cruise Line content•Call for other sailings•Page response time (without Akamai):200ms
  14. 14. Moving forward• Moved to cloud – Amazon EC2 – MongoDB makes this much easier and cheaper than Oracle• Multiple data centres catering for local countries – Replication model for read only is trivial. Write requires a bit of thinking• Data centre fail over – Each data centre will be able cater for all FCL country load• Application Developers changing to elastic design – MongoDB is well suited for elastic solutions
  15. 15. Lessons learnt• New projects are very easy• Converting heavy relational models takes some time• Use case of data is important to know upfront – Our product model denormalises to 80 fields – Indexes are important and require constant review • Our developers can hit the models with any permutation of ways (id, location, supplier, star rating, keyword, duration)• Performance for new solutions excellent, performance after converting relation solution required more hardware. A minor redesign in our solution will solve performance issues – Thinking about problems in a relational way is inefficient with MongoDB. Need to tackle problems with a different mind set
  16. 16. Lessons learnt• Learning curve for Web Developers easy. Learning curve for Application Developers a little longer (use to relational world)• Traditional reporting tools do not work easily. – Created a data warehouse in Oracle for reporting• Global write lock. Make sure database size fits in memory
  17. 17. Questions Michael Frost Flight Centre