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Skyscanner Improves Response Time by 98% Using AWS Global Accelerator

2020

Skyscanner had too much riding on one Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance. "We were serving all our apex domains through one elastic IP address in one region," says Stewart Wallace, senior software engineer at Skyscanner. "That meant a large share of our worldwide traffic was routed through a single point of failure."

A travel-booking service that sees 100 million unique users a month, Skyscanner had built and deployed its service during a period of fast growth "in a weekend," according to Wallace. "But as we continued to grow, we had issues with latency, and we couldn't afford downtime for maintenance. Latency, downtime, and certificate problems can all cause users to jump to our competitors, so we wanted to find a better solution before we experienced a serious failure."

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Improved response time by 98%, from 200 to 4 milliseconds.

Aram Sargsyan
Chief Executive Officer, Fileforce

A Cross-Region Traffic Manager

Skyscanner deployed AWS Global Accelerator to eliminate its single point of failure and further strengthen the availability and performance of its application. AWS Global Accelerator provides users with static IP addresses that act as a fixed entry point to their application endpoints in a single or multiple AWS Regions. Skyscanner can take advantage of the vast, congestion-free AWS global network to route user traffic via the closest AWS edge location to its application endpoints. AWS Global Accelerator also provides resilience to endpoint failures by shifting traffic to the closest available endpoint, regardless of the AWS Region, in less than 30 seconds.

"We're basically using AWS Global Accelerator as a cross-region traffic manager," says Wallace. "It provides us with the same kind of benefits on a global level that you'd get from a local network load balancer."

Building Services and Innovating Faster with AWS Global Accelerator

The Skyscanner customer experience is now better than ever. "With AWS Global Accelerator, we've decreased response time from more than 200 milliseconds to less than 4 milliseconds, a 98 percent improvement," says Wallace. "Because we're always responding from the closest AWS Region, we're able to improve user experience."

The health-checking and failover capabilities of AWS Global Accelerator speed up development time and simplify running on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances. "Since we can rely on AWS Global Accelerator to automatically send traffic to the healthiest Region and don't have to build our own failover tools for new features, we can deploy in days rather than months," says Wallace. "Failover is so fast on AWS Global Accelerator that we no longer care if we lose a Region. As a result, we've shifted entirely from Amazon EC2 On-Demand Instances to Spot Instances, which is saving us 70 percent a month. That more than covers the cost of running AWS Global Accelerator."

With AWS Global Accelerator helping Skyscanner achieve global management for customer traffic, the company's engineers can now focus on more valuable work. "By deploying AWS Global Accelerator, we've drastically reduced our daily toil," says Wallace. "We can build new services and innovate much more quickly than if we had to build all its capabilities ourselves."

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/global-accelerator.


About Skyscanner

Skyscanner, a leading travel booking company owned by the Trip.com Group, helps 100 million people a month book flights, hotel rooms, and car rentals. The company delivers content in 30 languages, and its app has been downloaded 100 million times.

Benefits

  • Improves response time by 98%
  • Saves 70% a month by running on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances
  • Reduces application downtime with failovers in less than 30 seconds
  • Frees engineers to build new services and innovate

AWS Services Used

AWS Global Accelerator

AWS Global Accelerator is a service that improves the availability and performance of your applications with local or global users. It provides static IP addresses that act as a fixed entry point to your application endpoints in a single or multiple AWS Regions, such as your Application Load Balancers, Network Load Balancers or Amazon EC2 instances.

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Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud. Spot Instances are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices. You can use Spot Instances for various stateless, fault-tolerant, or flexible applications such as big data, containerized workloads, CI/CD, web servers, high-performance computing (HPC), and other test & development workloads.

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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. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment.

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