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From the Data Center to the Cloud: Priceline’s Transformation with Google Cloud and EPAM

Started in 1998, Priceline is one of the world’s leading online travel agencies that focuses on finding discount prices for airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related purchases

Each month, millions of customers visit Priceline’s website to find travel deals and packages.

Due to heavy workloads on its legacy data centers and disruption to the travel industry caused by COVID-19, Priceline recognized the need to accelerate its move to the cloud for increased agility and scalability.

Because of our engineering expertise and extensive history working with Google, Priceline partnered with EPAM to transition its data center architecture to Google Cloud. Together with EPAM, Priceline was able to meet its first-year transformation objective of moving 80% of its core product platform to the cloud in accelerated time-to-market.

Key Challenges

For over 20 years, Priceline ran its technology operations out of its data centers. While this approach worked well in the past, Priceline now needed to move from its physical data centers to the cloud to increase business agility and adaptability for two reasons:

  • Priceline’s data centers supported an overwhelming workload. To serve the dynamic needs of its customers today, Priceline requires careful orchestration of over-provisioned capacity across hundreds of services so that a single data center can handle peak traffic at all times. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic redefined the travel industry by altering travel patterns and bookings, requiring agencies to have more flexible infrastructure going forward.

In addition, Priceline’s data center leases were nearing an end, which also motivated the company to accelerate its digital transformation.

As one of the leading travel agencies in the world, Priceline sought to leverage the cloud to become more agile with their product, more flexible with their infrastructure and more dynamic with their customer data.

Solution Highlights

Priceline partnered with EPAM and Google Cloud across all levels of the organization—from leadership to engineering—so we could guide the company throughout its entire cloud journey. We then quickly staffed and onboarded our experts so they could begin helping Priceline digitally transform from its complex microservices environment to Google Cloud.

Leveraging our engineering and cloud expertise, EPAM and Google partnered with Priceline’s infrastructure and operations teams to provide capacity, thought leadership and stability. Together, the teams helped Priceline modernize its data center architecture, improve the level of software automation through infrastructure as code and other DevOps practices, and retool the product teams to ship containers instead of code to virtual machines (VMs).

We also facilitated disciplined exits from many of Priceline’s data centers with a factory approach for rehost, replatform and refactor patterns.

The Results

With the help of EPAM, Priceline achieved its first-year transformation objective of moving 80% of its core product platform into Google Cloud almost two months early. By moving a majority of its infrastructure to the cloud, Priceline was able to meet its goals of increased automation, elasticity and cross-platform portability, enabling the company to better support its many customers today and tomorrow. EPAM is also keeping Priceline’s hybrid environment running optimally while the company continues to move more of its infrastructure into Google Cloud.

Priceline’s objective for 2022 is to move its product platform at an accelerated pace so it can exit a subsequent data center by the end of the year. By achieving this objective, most of Priceline’s data estate will be moved from legacy datastores into cloud-native services in Google Cloud, where the power of Google’s data analytics and artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities can be fully leveraged to further transform Priceline’s business and service offerings.

Technologies Used

  •  Compute Engine
  • Cloud Storage
  • Cloud SQL
  •  Kubernetes Engine
  • Apigee
  • Cloud Pub/Sub
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Cloud strategy is key to better serving our customers, and EPAM is helping us transform into a faster, more agile travel dealmaker. Their engineering and business expertise have been instrumental to our goal of becoming cloud native.

Martin Brodbeck
Chief Technology Officer, Priceline


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