mytaxi Case Study


mytaxi designed a microservice architecture on AWS using Docker containers that is fast and scales easily, to address extraordinary spikes in demand on days such as New Year's Eve. The company runs Europe's leading taxi app, connecting 10 million users with 45,000 taxis in 40 cities. The entire infrastructure is built on AWS, where services such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon ECS support mytaxi's Docker containers.

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Our users expect continuous service, otherwise they'll simply look elsewhere. With AWS, our availability is fantastic."

Sebastian Herzberg
System Engineer, mytaxi

The Challenge

Reliability is the highest priority for mytaxi, because often just one single poor experience can be enough to lose customers to a competitor. “Our service needs to be functional around the clock without interruptions,” explains Sebastian Herzberg, a systems engineer. “When customers are travelling late at night, they need to rely on the app to bring them home safely. We can't afford any downtime.” To achieve this level of service continuity, the company needs an elastic infrastructure that can scale enormously during times of massive demand. For example, on New Year's Eve, mytaxi's infrastructure—with 350 percent higher data traffic compared to a typical evening—is truly put to the test. “Exceptional situations present us with an exceptional challenge. The ability to scale up and cover these spikes is critical for our reputation,” says Sebastian Herzberg.

“With our application, which is not only user friendly for our customers but also easy for our developers to maintain and improve on, we want to be an innovative trailblazer in our industry. Costs also play an important role, because performance and the cost-performance ratio need to be just right. Furthermore, we need to work from a data center in Europe to maintain low latency and the strict data privacy criteria of our parent company Daimler.”

Why Amazon Web Services

Originally mytaxi decided on Amazon Web Services (AWS) based on its growth-based scaling model. According to Herzberg, “Because we only had to pay for the resources we needed, and didn't have to invest several hundred thousand dollars upfront, our choice from the start was naturally AWS.” With emerging new technologies, mytaxi's infrastructure has developed further. The latest development is the migration to a microservices architecture on Docker containers.

mytaxi runs several Availability Zones (AZs) in the EU (Ireland) Region and uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot instances and Amazon EC2 Container Service (Amazon ECS) to support their Docker containers. “Because we are now part of Daimler, we must comply with exceptionally strict European data privacy criteria,” says Herzberg. “In other words, working in the EU, in Ireland, is perfect for us. We run approximately 40 Amazon EC2 instances, which are all part of various Amazon ECS clusters. Our primary infrastructure is distributed across approximately 50 microservices, where we use up to 10 Docker containers for each service.” By using Elastic Load Balancing mytaxi can ensure that the load is distributed across servers, while Amazon CloudWatch helps the team to monitor the load distribution.

The company uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as a repository, and the databases run on Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), which allows for simple replications. All services access Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) and Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) as a message broker. To show passengers their taxi's precise current location in the app, mytaxi is now also on Amazon's IoT service.

For security reasons, mytaxi uses a Virtual Private Network connection to its AWS resources, which are a part of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). The company also uses an AWS Support Business plan for quick, competent answers to specific technical questions or advice on new services. 

The Benefits

Using Amazon Elastic MapReduce Yelp was able to save $55,000 in upfront hardware costs and get up and running in a matter of days not months. However, most important to Yelp is the opportunity cost. “With AWS, our developers can now do things they couldn’t before,” says Marin. “Our systems team can focus their energies on other challenges.”

About mytaxi

mytaxi designed a microservice architecture on AWS using Docker containers that is fast and scales easily.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduced costs by 40% using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances
  • Easily predicts daily and weekly spikes in usage
  • Gained elasticity to meet demand during special events

AWS Services Used

Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. 

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Global Infrastructure

Companies around the world are moving to a cloud-based infrastructure to increase IT agility, gain unlimited scalability, improve reliability, and lower costs.

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Amazon ECS

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a highly scalable, high-performance container orchestration service that supports Docker containers and allows you to easily run and scale containerized applications on AWS.

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Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

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