Founded in 2005, Easybook is a one-stop transportation ticketing platform. From its early days in Malaysia and Singapore, the business has grown rapidly to offer one of the most hassle-free booking experiences in the industry. Its reach now includes access to more than 1,200 bus, train, ferry and tour operators, covering more than 20,000 routes across Southeast Asia. While Easybook is the biggest online booking platform in the region, it is also one of the most successful providers of Software as a Service back-office solutions to the transportation industry, supporting the operations of major transport and travel names.
Easybook places a premium on delivering an outstanding, always-on user experience. With more than 5,000,000 tickets sold via its website since its launch, it is constantly looking for ways to improve the cost-efficiency of its IT operations, while reinvesting the savings into enhancing features and capabilities to deliver new market offerings.
Its original IT infrastructure was based on a public cloud approach, which offered the agility and on-demand services that the company originally needed. However, with a rapidly growing user base, expansion into multiple markets, and the extension of its business strategy into B2B services, this approach was beginning to show its limitations and was resulting in increasingly high costs.
As a result, Easybook needed a solution that could give it the ability to keep expanding and control spiraling costs, while still being able to connect to Microsoft Azure to run its core business applications.
“We wanted to control our own destiny,” said Easybook founder William Lee.
The organization found what it was looking for after talking to InfoFabrica Consulting Pte. Ltd, Equinix partner, which suggested leveraging Equinix to re-architect its IT platform for a digital edge—closest to its users.
Equinix and InfoFabrica were able to jointly develop a solution that met the key technical challenges Easybook was facing. The solution was to migrate the bulk of Easybook’s operational architecture to a Performance HubTM located within an Equinix International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) Singapore data center, leveraging ExpressRoute to connect to Microsoft Azure via a high-performance, private and secure connection.
This hybrid cloud approach enables Easybook to install and control its key databases, applications and web portals on its own servers. It also allows the online ticketing platform provider to dramatically reduce its cloud service subscription costs. In practice that means leveraging servers based in an Equinix IBX data center to support most of Easybook’s regional and global workload.
Equinix Performance Hub provides a flexible, low-risk approach to improving network performance and scale operations, deploying resources at the edge of the network and closer to end users. It delivers a hybrid model where Easybook can use its internal assets to drive performance while leveraging cloud service providers (CSPs), including Microsoft Azure Cloud as its key cloud provider.
Easybook is also using the Equinix Cloud ExchangeTM (ECX) Fabric to deliver the automated, real-time provisioning of multiple cloud service providers, enabling it to quickly and efficiently leverage other CSPs in the future. The direct connectivity offered by ECX Fabric means it benefits from improved performance and scalability, while reducing costs and delivering a highly secure application environment.
We wanted to control our own destiny. As southeast Asia’s largest land & sea transport booking platform, we have been able to chart a course to success and rapid growth by switching to a new hybrid cloud infrastructure thanks to InfoFabrica and Equinix.
Moving from a public cloud to a hybrid cloud model can be a complex task. However, Equinix and InfoFabrica took the project from a proposal to production platform in less than three months, with zero downtime or service interruptions.
Easybook employs a single network engineer, so it relied heavily on InfoFabrica’s network and database engineers to set up new servers and install the databases, apps and web portal software. It also helped to set up the direct connections—between the ticket buying public, SaaS customers and Microsoft Azure Cloud—on which Easybook’s business depends.
Freedom to focus
InfoFabrica also provided complete facilities management services for the new IBX-based infrastructure. This eliminated the need for Easybook to dedicate staff to such tasks, and freed the company to focus on its real mission: growing the business and delivering a superior customer experience.
Big cost efficiencies
The new hybrid cloud model has resulted in cost savings of between 30-40%.
There are other compelling advantages, including secure, scalable and direct access to Azure cloud within the colocation facility. Ultimately, this results in high application performance while keeping data safe.
As well as offering the ability to directly connect to other CSPs, Equinix helps Easybook to remain nimble and ready to adopt new apps, technologies and innovations by tapping into multiple CSPs via ECX Fabric.
“With a physical presence in the Equinix IBX data center in Singapore, and potential to expand on its global platform, we have access to key markets, and can install the highest performing applications on our servers, while interconnecting with our cloud service providers and managing costs. Everything is within our control,” said Lee.