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Significantly Reduce Costs and Time Management in Kubernetes with Spotinst

“As of today, 100% of our k8s workers are running on Elastigroup. We are not thinking about cost any more, Elastigroup does that for us!” - Shane Savoie, Chief Architect at Ticketmaster

About Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is one of the largest household names when it comes to online ticket sales. Completing hundreds of thousands of sales every day, the company is constantly dedicated to adopting and incorporating the best and brightest technologies to help it keep up maintainable growth and innovation. To this end, Ticketmaster is constantly adopting forward-thinking companies, such as Front Gate Tickets, and software technologies to improve their service.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/

Kubernetes Environments Quickly Build Up Cost and Management Complexity

Scaling to handle the amount of requests which Ticketmaster’s applications receive means that costs can rise quickly. Kubernetes environments can, naturally, help to reduce these costs but an enterprise the scale of Ticketmaster must always maintain a keen eye on optimization wherever possible.

The costs of these Kubernetes workloads continued to rise over time, with a possible cost-reduction option being to run workloads on EC2 Spot Instances. However, for mission-critical applications downtime or a service interruption is not an option.

Cost isn’t the only possible issue created with extensive Kubernetes usage. Managing the underlying infrastructure adds a layer of complexity which only serves to take time away and focus from other areas that developers could be spending time on, whether that’s building a new launch or maintaining an existing product. For a company such as Ticketmaster, working with many developer teams and with a core focus always on constantly improving the experience for the user, this additional (and unnecessary) time demand was not sustainable.

MCS Allows Ticketmaster a Cost Optimized Solution to Running Containers

Ticketmaster are utilizing Spotinst Managed Container Service to manage their containerized infrastructure, essentially allowing Spotinst to handle the instance scaling inside the containers in the most efficient way possible. This has led to Ticketmaster reducing their EC2 spend for kubernetes clusters by around 80% compared to if they were scaling On-Demand Instances. Spotinst MCS does more for efficiency than only scaling on Spot Instances, however.

There are three key ways in which Spotinst MCS helps create the most efficient container scaling possible:

  • Headroom – Spotinst MCS will always set a user-defined buffer of spare capacity (both in terms of memory and CPU) to allow instant scaling up when required alongside ensuring that instances are never over-utilized.
  • Tetris Scaling – To cut down on poor efficiency for kubernetes environments, Spotinst MCS will analyze event messages when pods fail to start (such as insufficient memory, insufficient CPU, etc.). With these messages analyzed, Spotinst MCS will launch an additional instance of the required size and type. This means that scaling is totally optimized to be as efficient as possible.
  • Smart Scaling Down – Spotinst MCS will automatically detect and scale down idle instances, where a less than 40% utilization (in terms of both Memory and CPU) has been recorded for a specified number of consecutive periods. When an idle instance is detected, Spotinst MCS will locate enough spare capacity in the other instances in the cluster, drain the instance pods, reschedule these on other instances and terminate the idle instance. This means that Ticketmaster’s kubernetes workloads were constantly and automatically self-optimizing with the help of Spotinst MCS.

Automation means that Managing Containers No Longer Takes up Ticketmaster Team’s Time

An added benefit for Ticketmaster was that MCS automates all the processes and takes away the need for developers to spend time and energy allocating resources for their containerised environments.

With orchestrators such as Kubernetes, placing containerized applications onto instances is simple, but provisioning, managing and scaling the clusters underneath the containerized application often leads to time- or cost-intensive developer environments.

With orchestrators managing the scheduling and placement, and Spotinst MCS managing the instance scaling, the Ticketmaster developer teams could dedicate their time and energy into what really mattered to them – constantly improving the Ticketmaster applications to ensure constant enhancement of user experience.

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