Category “Lessons Learned”

Published
May 19, 2017
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Time To Read
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Cloud and Finance – Lessons learned

This is a joint post with Abiade Adedoyin. Here at Expedia, we’re undergoing a strategic migration to the cloud. Like most others, we too first struggled to understand and manage our cloud spend. Over the past eight months, we learned some lessons and adopted certain practices to manage our cloud spend more predictably and efficiently than before. Here are the results of our practices: We increased the proportion of reserved instances (RIs) from under 40% to about 65% to 70%. See the “Compute Usage Hours” chart below. Our overall savings…

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Published
December 29, 2016
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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Operationalizing Spark Streaming (Part 1)

By in Big Data, Data Science, Lessons Learned on December 29, 2016 |

For those looking to run Spark Streaming in production, this two-part article contains tips and best practices collected from the front lines during a recent exercise in taking Spark Streaming to production. For my use case, Spark Streaming serves as the core processing engine for a new real time Lodging Market Intelligence system used across the Lodging Shopping stack on Expedia.com, Hotels.com and other brands. The system integrates with Kafka, S3, Aurora and Redshift and processes 500 msg/sec average with spikes up to 2000 msg/sec. The topics discussed are: Availability: Getting Spark running and…

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Published
December 1, 2016
Author
Rob Meyer (@robfromca)
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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Lessons Learned from Shipping an Alexa Skill in ~60 Days

By Rob Meyer (@robfromca) in Lessons Learned on December 1, 2016 |

On November 30th Expedia launched our first skill for Alexa, representing another foray for us into world of voice interfaces. In this posting we’ll share a few thoughts about how we put this skill together and some tips and tricks about working with voice user interfaces. Where We Started Around the middle of August serious conversations began regarding an opportunity to build an Alexa skill. If we were going to do it, we wanted to have it ready by Christmas. Because the deadline was tight and voice user interface is a new space, we…

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Published
November 3, 2016
Author
Andre Caron
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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

AWS Lessons Learned for Data Processing Pipelines

By Andre Caron in Cloud, Devops, Lessons Learned on November 3, 2016 | Responses (2)

Last year my team and I embarked on a mission to migrate Expedia’s Media Services image processing pipeline to AWS. The media services are used to ingest images from hoteliers and image providers, optimize them, and distribute them to be used by our sites. The new queue based cloud pipeline was put in place to replace an aging batch system. Moving to a cloud infrastructure has brought many advantages; we can easily scale when the load is heavier, have faster deployments, and mostly no more worrying about ordering more disk…

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Published
September 25, 2015
Author
Patrick Bradley, Philippe Deschenes and Rolland Mewanou
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Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Solving problems with very large java heaps

By Patrick Bradley, Philippe Deschenes and Rolland Mewanou in Big Data, Devops, Lessons Learned on September 25, 2015 |

Users depend on our sites to be up and running at all times. We have many critical services that are required to be up and running in order to deliver that uptime, and thus those critical services need to be able to respond to changes in user behavior and load. This is a story about one of our hotel content services that feeds large amount of hotel content to systems throughout Expedia, how it temporarily ran into problems, and how we fixed it. This content service is responsible for serving…

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