Paddy Power Betfair upgrades system to improve online betting

In the marketplace we’re in, speed and agility of what we deliver is absolutely key. We’re in the API billionaires’ club, that’s companies that serve more than one billion API calls every day. In terms of the number of transactions we process, it’s more than ten times what we see on the London stock exchange, it’s greater than all the New York stock exchanges put together. We’re one of the largest online sports betting companies in the world. Prior to Red Hat’s involvement, the current infrastructure, it was starting to reach its end of life and we were starting to struggle with its horizontal scalability. Certainly OpenStack gives us a lot of advantages in moving from private cloud to public cloud.

It means that we can develop services and infrastructure that look the same regardless of which cloud solution we’re using. And if you think about our goal of making life as simple for developers as possible, that’s really key because they don’t have to get used to a whole different set of tooling. Well, the internet operates 24/7, and our business has to operate 24/7.

In the context of a large sporting event, for example, The Grand National that’s probably the largest horse race in Europe. It’s actually the biggest event for bookmakers in the UK and Ireland. The expectations of the customer are paramount.

Customers come online early in the day, they want to register, they want to login and deposit funds, they want to place bets, while the race is running they want to see how they’re doing and then after the race, they come online to collect their winnings. Grand National is a challenge for all of the online bookmakers and it’s become something of a badge of honor to see who can stay up. And to have the technology in place to be able to cater for that when the demand is so high, is absolutely paramount. As, you know, customers around the world continue to bet with us in greater and greater numbers, the new stack that we’ve implemented using the Red Hat technologies gives us much more opportunity to scale horizontally it also allows us to get new developments out to customers faster so we can release features to stay competitive quicker. One of the things that led us to trust Red Hat is they’re quite proud of not locking themselves in as a vendor.

And throughout the entire request for proposal they’ve put forward this notion that we could exit them at any time and that would be fine and very easy for us to do, and there would be no technical difficulty to do so. That might sound odd, but actually that gives you a very warm feeling of trust that if it’s so easy for you to exit them as a provider, they must be doing something right and actually they’re probably around for the long term to help.