Case Study: eBay

Company: eBay

Overview: eBay is the world’s largest online marketplace, enabling the buying and selling of practically anything. Founded in 1995, eBay connects a diverse and passionate community of individual buyers and sellers, as well as small businesses. eBay’s collective impact on ecommerce is staggering: In 2012, the total value of goods sold on eBay was $75.4 billion. eBay currently serves over 112 million active users and 400+ million items for sale.

Challenge: One of the keys to eBay’s extraordinary success is its ability to turn the enormous volumes of data it generates into useful insights that its customers can glean directly from the pages they frequent. To accommodate eBay’s explosive data growth—its data centers perform billions of reads and writes each day—and the increasing demand to process data at blistering speeds, eBay needed a solution that did not have the typical bottlenecks, scalability issues and transactional constraints associated with common relational database approaches. The company also needed to perform rapid analysis on a broad assortment of the structured and unstructured data it captured.

Solution: Its big data requirements brought eBay to NoSQL technologies, specifically Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise. Along with Cassandra and its high-velocity data capabilities, eBay was also drawn to the integrated Apache Hadoop analytics that come with DataStax Enterprise. The solution incorporates a scale out architecture that enables eBay to deploy multiple DataStax Enterprise clusters across several different data centers using commodity hardware. The end result is that eBay is now able to more cost-effectively process massive amounts of data at very high speeds, at very high velocities, and achieve far more than they were able to with the higher-cost propriety system they had been using. Currently, eBay is managing a sizable portion of its data center needs—250TBs+ of storage—in Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise clusters.