Superology is a Croatian tech company that develops entertainment solutions in the sports betting industry. Following the success of its first product — a native app that provided users with live results from sporting events worldwide — Superology was acquired by Superbet group in 2017.
As Superbet’s R&D innovation hub, Superology has developed the world’s first social network for betting fans. SuperSocial sits within the Superbet app and has connected over 300 000 betting fans.
Challenges along the way included performance, scalability, observability, and authentication. Superology turned to Fastly for solutions, and it’s now realising its goal of unifying betting, live scores, and a social community of passionate sports fans.
Industry: Online Entertainment
Customer since: 2019
Superology leads the way when it comes to fast-paced technological innovation in the betting industry. Conventional systems are changing fast to accommodate millions of users demanding and consuming sports content constantly, even at 5 AM. Caching has become vital for content providers because end users have little tolerance for delays.
Superology decided to use Fastly’s CDN Edge Cloud platform to speed up mobile applications by pushing content closer to its users, hence to provide upgraded user experience. Fastly’s global content delivery capabilities include caching services to accelerate the delivery of content and protect their origin servers, making the whole process faster, safer and smoother.
The move to Fastly was driven by a need for high performance and streamlined workflows, initially for the mobile betting app. Superology’s engineers wanted to simplify computing every user request (requests can peak at 15,000 per second). Fastly’s cache purging from the inside helps manage the large volume of content requests coming in.
The nature of live sports means that users have zero tolerance for time lags and blackouts. Fastly’s CDN provisioning at 130 Tbps with POPs strategically located and connected around the globe provides the needed performance and scalability. The origin load is kept at a minimum thanks to features such as request collapsing and origin shielding. Also, the ability to invalidate content in less than 150 milliseconds means that Superology can provide accurate information without delays.
Real-time metrics and speedy analysis
Real-time logs and statistics via the API provide Superology with the level of observability required to monitor all services and act instantly in case of trouble. In particular, new features require speedy analysis. And Fastly’s real-time log streaming integration to Amazon’s S3 helps the engineering team monitor and track all the APIs and run fast analytics on large amounts of data. The team found it easy to integrate S3 logs with an in-house analytics solution backed up by Clickhouse.
“There is no product that is not influenced by great engineering.”
“It’s pretty amazing that we have a 98% hit rate when delivering sports data.”
“Every industry needs a software component that their customers can relate to.”
Authentication on the edge
Thanks to programmable VCL, Superology can authenticate users on the edge by verifying JWT tokens so any request with invalid or expired token will never reach origin servers. That helps the engineering team not to worry about potential high-traffic of malicious users.
Caching streaming content
Fastly’s streaming miss technology enables Superology to cache streaming content. Chats and live match trackers are delivered by server-sent events (SSE), ensuring that only one request per resource reaches the origin servers, regardless of thousands of users watching.
Microservices and Fastly
Superology’s microservices architecture helps deal with cache invalidation. When the content changes, for example, a user changes a profile picture or comments in a chat, the corresponding microservice issues a command to purge the Fastly cache, which immediately updates the whole stack. By collecting the purge requests from all applications and having APIs per project, Superology gained flexibility to do a fast lane purge from one place or spread the purges.
“Fastly is a good match for our microservices architecture.”
Easy integration and support
Prior knowledge of Varnish made integration easy for Superology. The familiar terminology and Fastly’s articles written for developers rather than salespeople also enabled a painless migration. When new features are developed, the DevOps team transforms them into Terraform script, so delivering changes is reproducible and transparent across all environments.
Reflecting on the integration and ease of use, Petar says his team has only contacted Fastly Support a handful of times over the last four years. Each time they’ve had a response within half an hour and the query was quickly resolved. He appreciates the direct support approach and finds it refreshing that there are no layers of generic support channels before getting to a technical expert.
Superbet acquired Superology to lead the digital transformation of its products and build a culture of innovation on the group level. With the help of Fastly, Superology brings betting apps into line with the most popular social media apps and helps grow a thriving community within the industry.
“Fastly does all the heavy lifting. It doesn’t clutter the teamwork, and it’s transparent.”
“With Fastly you can refresh fast and you’re available anywhere.”