Ticketmaster logo blue

Ticketmaster is the global leader in event tickets sales, with fans purchasing more than 500 million tickets annually to concerts, sporting events, theater, and more. Ticketmaster has been in the ticket sales business for over 40 years, from the time when event-goers bought tickets at a desk in a mall, to today’s world of mobile payments and digital tickets -- they’ve evolved by modernizing their tech stack and focusing on user experience. Having acquired one to three ticketing businesses each year over four decades, Ticketmaster has 30-40 different ticketing platforms under their umbrella today, each with a different site with its own unique inventory and customer base.

ticketmaster.com/
Industry: Ecommerce, online retail
Location: West Hollywood, California
Customer since: 2016

Favorite features
Custom VCL
Real-time log streaming
Enterprise Support

Technical integrations
Terraform
Splunk log streaming
BigQuery (Google Cloud)

Delivering Ticketmaster at the edge, at half the cost of legacy CDN

The next generation of the Ticketmaster platform
In order to stay ahead of the competition and create more consistent digital experiences for customers, Ticketmaster focused on improving their user experience by making investments to modernize their tech stack. In 2019, the Ticketmaster team successfully migrated 15+ years of content delivery rules from their legacy CDN provider to Fastly in three months.







"We'd been deeply embedded with our legacy CDN provider for effectively two decades and we took that whole kit and caboodle and migrated it over to Fastly in less than three months." Todd Jimenez
Lead CDN Engineer

Making hard decisions that come with migrating technology
When CDN tech was emerging about 20 years ago, Ticketmaster was an early adopter -- they built upon that legacy technology, which made it challenging to migrate. In 2019, they endeavored to evolve 15+ years of rules, many of which were undocumented. When the team first evaluated Fastly’s edge cloud platform technology, they scoped the migration to take 12 months, since they had 80+ hostnames across 40+ different properties, and supported the needs of 16 different product teams within Ticketmaster.

The Ticketmaster team had been with their legacy CDN provider for so long that talks of migration raised difficult questions, understanding where decisions had been made, such as why certain configurations were implemented. And many of the people who knew the backstory of why or how those decisions were made were long-gone from the company by the time Todd Jimenez led the effort to migrate to Fastly.

“Our engineers are excited about opening up the black box that was CDN -- they were demotivated by waiting for our legacy CDN’s Professional Services teams to respond. But with Fastly, our engineers can experiment with VCL, which drives innovation. And support is instant -- we resolve issues in minutes via Slack with Fastly support.” Todd Jimenez
Lead CDN Engineer

Empowered devs drive organic growth in digital transformation

Lift & shift
In 2019, the cost of delivery on their CDN provider was expanding and because their legacy CDN was a black-box that necessitated many professional services hours to configure, update, and manage, it was taking a long time for the team to implement any changes. They needed a simple way to manage CDN for all brands, including recent acquisitions.

"Not only is it fantastic that our developers can go in and directly adjust VCL controllers themselves, but also, there's very little that they can't self-service. Helping our engineers to self-service helps us innovate faster." Todd Jimenez
Lead CDN Engineer

Quick rollbacks and instant changes
Ticketmaster needed tech that could reliably support their longstanding delivery needs, but in a way that empowered the developers at Ticketmaster to make changes, rollback quickly, and configure themselves -- they needed more than legacy CDN could offer. The team had made product requests from their legacy CDN that weren’t getting traction, so as contract renewal came up, they began looking elsewhere.

As Ticketmaster evaluated options, the low barrier to entry and flexibility of the modular design with Fastly was key to their successful migration.

“Give our engineers an exposed tunable and they will experiment with it. That can have both positive and negative ramifications but they appreciate the flexibility and configurability of Fastly’s edge cloud platform. They've been particularly excited about the Terraform integration as well.” Todd Jimenez
Lead CDN Engineer

Results 4x faster: migrating 20+ years of legacy code in 3 months

The ease of use of the Fastly platform, along with the flexibility and power it provides, allowed the migration to happen much faster than originally planned. With Fastly support and Ticketmaster developers collaborating directly on Slack, any questions were able to be quickly answered, further reducing the migration time. Amazingly, this combined to drive the total migration time from 12 months to actually finishing in 3 months!

After the migration was complete, the team identified a cost savings of 50% vs their legacy CDN. Plus, the developers at Ticketmaster were empowered by the flexibility of Fastly’s platform, so that they could implement changes via the Fastly Dashboard or the Fastly API, instantly, with ease. The huge savings in developer hours for management of their content delivery needs was a benefit instantly visible, that motivated the team to explore moving additional services to the edge.








“We had intended this to be a 12 month project to do the migration. In fact, we actually managed to get it done in three months, which surpassed everyone's expectations. The ease of migration and excellent support from Fastly allowed us to accelerate our migration and deliver early while coming in under budget.” Todd Jimenez
Lead CDN Engineer

Lowering friction between developers and the business

Because of its feature-richness and modular design, using Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables Ticketmaster’s content delivery/infrastructure team to support the varied delivery and security needs of 16 different business units, enabling them to choose which technology they want to use. But developers at Ticketmaster say that they choose Fastly because it’s easy to work with and plays well with other technologies in their stack.

One feature commonly used by the different business units is real-time log streaming with Fastly. Because Fastly uses the syslog format, it’s easy for Ticketmaster’s different business units to integrate their logs with tools like Splunk and BigQuery. While that interoperability wasn’t a driving feature, it’s something that all the teams appreciate. And the real-time visibility into logs helps the team keep a laser focus on performance, plus they can get to the bottom of any issues much faster.

Reflecting on the migration, Todd says, “The ability to do things like shared Slack channels with Fastly is a phenomenal one for us from a support perspective. The ability to easily get access to support is frequently a hurdle in many companies. From my perspective that certainly makes my job easier because when folks have questions they can and they know they can pretty trivially reach out and just say, ‘Hey, Fastly, I'm looking at this. What do you think?’ And that type of collaborative conversation occurs on a pretty regular basis.”




“Every single product team really has their own unique approach to what they’re doing. My favorite thing about working with Fastly is that we’ve managed to successfully lower the friction between developers and the business units they support. That's both from a technological perspective and from a support personnel perspective.” Todd Jimenez
Lead CDN Engineer

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