Big Day Out revellers snap up tickets in a flash

Fusion-io deliver Future Ticketing 19-fold increase in online processing

Future Ticketing has worked with Fusion-io to deliver tens-of-thousands of Big Day Out tickets in a flash, overcoming the bottlenecks of previous years.

Future Ticketing provides ‘white label’ business-to-customer ticket purchase processing throughout Australia and New Zealand.

It is the engine behind the biggest ticketed festival in Australia, the Big Day Out, a multi-city festival that typically has more than 50,000 attendees per city over six festivals during the Australasian summer.

Future Ticketing, also known as Jahan Interactive, has been managing online ticket sales for Big Day Out since 2005.

Year after year, there had been a steady increase in the number of tickets purchased online versus through outlets.

However, in 2009, ticket demand was unprecedented.

Future Ticketing founder and managing director Nasir David said that this meant more than 50,000 concurrent secure SSL connections converged on the ticketing system, which was disk-based at the time.

“With disk, our systems took an absolute walloping,” he said “It took almost two hours for customers to crawl through our system just to place an order.

“Bottlenecks with the payment processors that handle real-time payments caused problems for our customers.

“Customers did not receive confirmation of their ticketing purchase until many hours later, so many were unsure if their purchase was successful.”

In 2009, David brought Fusion-io on board to see if ‘flash’ could give him the kind of performance he needed.

Future Ticketing then moved the virtualised ticket counting, transaction, and session handling databases onto the ioDrive products ahead of the 2010 ticket sale day.

Ticket sales opened at midnight with the largest ever online allocation of tickets.

Tickets sold out in five minutes representing a 19-fold improvement on the previous year, when completing ticket sales took 95 minutes.

The new system also significantly improved processing times, allowing this mission critical aspect of the business to optimize throughput to the payment gateway for the the Big Day Out.

In 2010, with 20 per cent more tickets and 15 per cent higher load to manage, the company processed all payments in 55 minutes – compared to 4 hours and 22 mins the previous year.

The new io-Drive system also required less than half the servers and stretched the storage upgrade cycle by one to two years.

It also reduced the power requirement for the system by more than 70 per cent from 2200 watts to just 600 watts.

Fusion-io A/NZ country manager Simon Williams said it was an example of an organisation that understood the benefits of working with flash-based solutions to manage massive amounts of mission-critical data.

“Future Ticketing needed to rapidly process thousands of concurrent transactions and accurately count ticket orders to avoid overselling,” he said.

“They also wanted to accelerate the payment processing interface with the bank system so customers receive purchase confirmation quickly and invest in a solution that would scale easily to deliver a long term, enterprise-level solution to performance issues.”

More about: Fusion-io, Interactive
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Tags: Future Ticketing founder and managing director Nasir David, Fusion-io A/NZ country manager Simon Williams, future ticketing, io-Drive
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