Open Source Technology to boost Justdials growth
Justdial, Indias leading local search engine or in lay mans term online local business directory partnered with open source technology about 4 years back and it has been a fruitful association. It has grown exponentially and caters to over 57 million unique users across 240 cities in India. Helping reach this success was the open hand!
Open source technology helped Justdial to scale-up in a seamless manner. We were able to establish best practices from various fields and add value to our search process. This approach allowed us to get more information and give refined results to our end-users.
Justdial opted for a Web-based server system based on open architecture in 2007. It moved towards open source technology when it planned on launching a client facing website that provided more that the tradition telephonic service.
With the move to the Web, there would be heavy performance pressure on search algorithms as it expected as many queries on the website as via the telephone route. Justdial knew the conventional client server architecture would collapse and thus opted for open and distributed architecture.
On the software side, Justdial adopted the CLAMP stack, which was a combination of C and the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) was chosen to power its servers, Ubuntu on the desktop front, MySQL, Postgres and MongoDB for database management and WebHuddle for Web conferencing and video conferencing.
Ever since Just Dial started using RHEL PLATFORM and CLAMP stack its operations have scaled three times. It has grown from 5 servers to ore than 200 servers and expects to reach 350 by end of the year. In 2007 it was present in just 7 cities; however when it switched to open source it saw the opportunity to grow to 240 cities on a single national number 69999999.
Justdials IT team of about 40 people on the infrastructure side (Linux, servers) and another 90 people on the development side (database management, core C programming, user interface, backend page scripting) and the support from Red Hat helped maintain its infrastructure effortlessly.
The open source architecture seamlessly ran mission critical applications like search logic, and also helped improve the performance of its search logic by adding C components. Justdial also adopted Sphinx, a standalone search engine and its easy integration in LAMP stack gave its search logic a boost.
Open source lowered the IT cost burden for Just Dial. Annually it has saved at least Rs. 80-90 million. The open source solutions also simplified management and reduced systems maintenance costs. The open source architecture provided greater flexibility, which would in turn lead to improvements in customer satisfaction. In fact the efficiency and technology used for the website earned it, the prestigious Red Hat Innovation Award in the Carved out Costs category. With such achievement to their mutual credit, Just Dial will remain an open source devotee and follower.