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Sweden’s Transticket changes from MySQL to MariaDB to support growth

Swedish ticketing website Transticket has moved from MySQL to MariaDB to support business growth

Swedish ticketing website Transticket has moved from MySQL to MariaDB to support its business growth.

Transticket does the ticketing for the Swedish hockey league (SHL), among other sports organisations and musical performance providers.

Ulf Lundgren, CTO at the company, which was founded in 2005, said it decided in 2013 to replace its MySQL data storage platform with one that could scale and handle higher volumes of transactions.

When the company won the ticketing contract for the Swedish hockey league in 2013, it decided it needed to offer an all-round customer experience, including elements such as buying food and clothing on smartphones at the events.

“Hockey is very popular in Sweden. So you cannot sell more tickets, you have to sell other things,” said Lundgren.

The company’s web hosting provider in Sweden, Office IT-Partner, advised Transticket to look at MariaDB.

“We moved from an old MSQL 5.1 [instance] through MariaDB 5.5 and have now deployed Galera Cluster and MariaDB’s Remote Database Administrator. We are confident that we have all the parts we need to be flexible enough so that when the demand comes for more things from our customers, we can meet that demand,” he said.

Data migrations with 60 seconds of downtime

In the autumn of 2013, the company engaged with SkySQL, which was commercialising the open-source database MariaDB.

In January 2014, a MariaDB consultant came to help Lundgren’s team move from MySQL to the new database on Windows. This had to be done before the play-offs in the Swedish hockey league in February and March.

In the summer before the start of the new season, Transticket went one step further with clustering, engaging the same consultant. In June, it moved from Windows to the Galera clustering system.

“One of the great things during the whole implementation was that, though we had two large data migrations, we had maybe one minute of downtime. That was key to me. During the second migration we had zero downtime,” said Lundgren.

The system performs better now, he said. “We can handle a bigger load of concurrent ticket sales, utilising our hardware much better. And on maintaining the system, we can disconnect nodes and make changes. Previously we would have had to shut down servers, and do so early in the morning. With the remote DBA, we can do this in office hours, with zero downtime.”

Over two large data migrations, we had maybe one minute of downtime

Ulf Lundgren, Transticket

The resulting improvement of customer experience has helped Transticket increase its market share by 15%, according to Lundgren.

“We’re now in the second year of the hockey contract. This deal was watched by everyone in Sweden. We are in direct competition with Ticketmaster, which was on a different scale. Many were watching to see if we would make it. Could we deliver?

“Since we have done it, we are looking to sign other large leagues in the Nordic region. We are now looking at an extension to our offering beyond the sale of the ticket itself, running off the same back-end database as our ticketing business.

“We are a pretty small team, six on the technical side. I sleep better at night knowing there is a database expert a Skype call away,” said Lundgren.

Patrik Sallner, MariaDB CEO, said: “We are very happy to be working with one of the most popular event and ticketing platforms in Europe. Sports, music and art fans today tend to stick with the events that offer the best experience. This starts with how fans search and pay for the services. These changes have a major impact on the e-commerce industry.”

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