Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Uber Unveils its Realtime Market Platform

Matt Ranney, Chief Systems Architect at Uber, gave an overview of their dispatch system, responsible for matching Uber's partners, i.e. drivers, and riders. Ranney explained the driving forces that led to a complete rewrite of this system. He described the architectural principles that underpin it, driven by availability and performance, several of the algorithms implemented and why Uber decided to design and implement their own RPC protocol.

The old dispatch system was designed for private transportation (1 driver, 1 vehicle, 1 rider) and built around the concept of moving people, but Uber wants to enter new markets, such as goods transportation. Uber also sharded its data by city. As Uber grew and expanded to ever more cities, some of them quite big, it became difficult to manage its data. Finally, the dispatch system had multiple points of failure, a consequence of Uber's hectic growth and the system's scramble to keep up with that growth.

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