Friday, March 13, 2015

A Journey into Microservices

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Working on a boat as a small focused team, we built out our original apps and APIs using tried and tested technologies, including Java, PHP, MySQL and Redis, all running on Amazon’s EC2 platform. We built two PHP APIs (one for our customers, and one for our drivers) and a Java backend which did the heavy lifting–real time position tracking, and geospatial searching.

After we launched in London, and then Dublin, we expanded from one continent to two, and then three; launching first in North America, and then in Asia. This posed a number of challenges–the main one being locality of customer data.

At this point we were running our infrastructure in one AWS region; if a customer used our app in London and then flew to Ireland, no problem–their data was still close enough.

Our customers flying to Osaka however created a more challenging problem, as the latency from Japan to Europe is too high to support a realtime experience. To give our customers and drivers the experience we wanted it was necessary to place their data closer to them, with lower latency. For our drivers this was simpler, as they usually only have a taxi licence in one city we could home them to the nearest Amazon region. But for customers we needed their data to be accessible from multiple locations around the world.

Read more here

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