HolidayCheck Accelerates Travel Planning With VMware

Whether for a romantic getaway weekend in Paris or a family ski trip to the Alps, HolidayCheck leverages ratings and comments to help sightseers find the best flights, hotels, cars, and vacation rentals for their travel needs. Founded in 1999 by two Swiss students, today HolidayCheck is a highly trafficked site boasting up to 25 million monthly visitors.

With Success Come Challenges

As the site grew in popularity, however, its rapid growth and steadily increasing traffic began to tax an overloaded storage system, slowing response times for users who browse among almost 7 million reviews and select from more than 250,000 hotels. “Due to our database’s size, the volume of user requests, and limited storage capacity, our processes were taking too long,” says Maximilian Schöfmann, head of operations at HolidayCheck. Important virtual machines (VMs) were at risk of being taken out of operation from a single server failure. “We absolutely wanted to prevent that from happening,” says Schöfmann.

Eventually, website development became too slow, and the risk of customer and revenue loss became too high. The existing physical storage system needed to be replaced as soon as possible by a new, high-performance solution. “In addition,” Schöfmann says, “we needed to reduce storage system costs and relieve our IT team of complicated and time-intensive storage tasks.”

Enter VMware vSAN

With all they stood to lose, HolidayCheck turned to VMware vSAN™ for a hyper-converged storage solution. By optimizing data pathways and reducing response times with vSAN, HolidayCheck achieved a significantly higher performance than with a virtual appliance or an external device. vSAN was also an attractive solution because it seamlessly integrated into HolidayCheck’s existing infrastructure, based on VMware vSphere® and vCenter™, and scaled storage resources without interruption.

The implementation of vSAN was successfully completed in the spring of 2015.

Because a live migration was easily performed within the existing infrastructure, HolidayCheck realized a 35 percent savings compared to previous levels. The new vSAN delivered much better performance, faster and more reliable data processing, and a sustained increase in internal managed services.

The stability of the system is particularly important to our company during the peak travel season in summer. With VMware Virtual SAN, we increased the reliability and functionality of our storage system. If we lose a host, other servers can take over quickly—something that would have been inconceivable with the old system.

Maximilian Schöfmann, Head of Operations

With help from VMware’s hyper-converged storage solution, HolidayCheck has increased the dependability of their storage and the speed at which data moves in and out of the system. The end result? Users can now quickly find and book their dream vacation. That means travelers spend less time planning their holiday and more time enjoying it.