The Betfair Exchange is a truly 24/7 product as part of a global business, both in terms of the customers that bet on it and where the events they are betting on take place. Uptime and stability of the Exchange technology stack are of paramount importance to the business and its customers. Even a few minutes downtime could mean a huge loss in revenue and customer impact, as an important horse race runs without any in play bets being placed or a customer misses a crucial trade out opportunity as part of their carefully tuned betting strategy. Therefore, keeping the Exchange platform running and having an early indication of any problems are always at the forefront of our minds on the Exchange development team.
At Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) we build software not only for us and our direct customers but also for several partners. We’re responsible for empowering them to run their betting businesses without having to build and run a whole infrastructure from scratch.
Some of the web applications we build for our external partners run within our infrastructure but are meant to be used by both, us and them.
The Technology Strategy team in PPB was formed in November 2017 and has since worked on a strategic vision for technologies on the horizon, or “2021 vision”. Our team’s contention is simple: the history of emerging technology, particularly that which is characterised as disruptive, means it always warrants a keen eye.
Often waiting for maturity is a more cost-effective approach to using something which another entity will do the groundwork on. The danger, however, lies in how pronounced a disruptive effect someone else could have with that technology in the meantime.
Last summer, we opened vacancies for summer internships at our Porto office, Portugal. Our goal was to introduce students to technologies and development methodologies that we have here at PaddyPowerBetfair and present them the opportunity of working side-by-side with our team on a project that would not be forgotten in a matter of days.
This post focuses on the internship experience of Margarida, from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, and Pedro, from Polytechnic of Porto School of Engineering, who worked as a team member from June to September 2018.
Grant Mitchell And Ashley Bullock
Hello, this is the first in a series of blog entries we intend to write about all things Site Reliability Engineering at Paddy Power Betfair. As this is our first ever blog post (so please be kind!), we thought we’d write about a straightforward project we ran recently, our low frequency reporting platform. We’ll discuss what we built, why we built it and some of the outcomes we saw. This project is quite simplistic, and likely not 100% transferable to your estate, however, hopefully our thoughts on the project may be useful, even if the detailed “how we did it” would not be :). The framework was delivered over a few sprints, the services running on it are continually being developed.
What is a Low Frequency Reporting Platform?
During our day to day work, we have discovered the need to collect and process lots of small datasets at a relatively low frequency such as daily or hourly collections. These include reports such as hardware health, app performance or information from ServiceNow. The typical way this is tackled in our environment would be to create a service or App – internally known as a TLA (we name them generally with a three letter acronym). All TLA’s are deployed with an A or B appended to their hostname. An update and re-deployment of a TLA using “A” will become “B” after re-deployment is complete. The next deployment will then become A, then B, etc… Rather than develop individual TLA’s for each little project, we decided to create a framework to host “small” services.
So an amazing day comes to an end …
I am now sitting on my own, at my desk in the office.
The floor is empty, everybody has gone home, enjoying the sunshine and probably watching the Worldcup match that is on now (Colombia x England). And here on my own, I Iook at my day in Retrospectives.
The Betfair exchange is a pioneering, market-leading online betting Exchange. It is the biggest and most mature betting exchange around.
What is a betting exchange?
A betting exchange allows customers to bet against each other rather than against a bookmaker. This differentiates them from traditional betting shops and bookmakers as the betting exchange allows the user to act as the bookie (by setting the odds for an event) or the customer (who bets using the odds set by the other user).
Whereas traditional bookmakers accept the risk of going head-to-head in various bets with customers, the business of a betting exchange does not involve any risk. The exchange simply provides the technology that pairs customers together in order for bets to take place and takes a commission from the net winnings that result.