GCP, Pubsub, Bigquery, BigTable, Vertex AI, Cloud Run
Founded in 2000, Gumtree was the first online classifieds platform in the UK, and it’s still one of the leading sites in the country. Previously a part of eBay Classifieds Group, they are now privately owned.
Its rigorous categorization and refined search engine allows visitors to find the products and services they’re looking for, from jobs to cars and properties. Gumtree focuses on making “Good Finds” happen, encouraging connection and minimizing waste of resources all over the UK. Today, the platform receives 9.2 million visitors every month and hosts more 2.2 million live listings.
Time to Leverage Data
The sale of eBay Classifieds Group to Adevinta (a European online classifieds leader) couldn’t include Gumtree, because that would have made the classifieds market in the UK uncompetitive. That meant Gumtree had just one year to find new ownership, regroup its departments and set up all its data products. Most of Gumtree’s main features like the seller-buyer chat or the dominant category service were owned by the eBay Classifieds Group. All these services had to be reconfigured for the site to keep working properly. Millions of users depended on it.
A Successful Migration
Xebia Data helped Gumtree create a department of data scientists and developers. Professionals from the two companies started the migration of Gumtree’s data services with the help of some external developing muscle.
This process wasn’t a simple “lift and shift” of the services. Xebia consultants realized that, since Gumtree was now independent from a much bigger conglomerate, many of the data services could be simplified and tailored to a smaller company. The technical separation from its previous owners presented Gumtree with the opportunity to improve its processes through MLOps, hence reducing the number of people to maintain the platform from 10 to 3.
By the end of 2022, the deadline to complete the migration, all services were up to speed and Gumtree was able to keep serving its users seamlessly. Some of the work Xebia and Gumtree did together included:
- Setting up Google Vertex AI, including a full MLOps infrastructure and deployment pipeline, to build the dominant category service, which Gumtree uses to perform search recommendations.
- Using Google Pub/Sub and Dataflow to create an event-based streaming ingestion system, which tracks thousands of user interactions every second.
- Leveraging Google Bigtable and Dataflow to implement the viewer count on ads pages.
The Future of Gumtree’s Data
Through its successful collaboration with Xebia, Gumtree migrated all their data services to a new platform that they now own and can build upon. This challenging project made the company’s data products more robust and efficient. Today, they have a solid foundation that allows them to keep their website running smoothly and to optimize their cloud data services.
The Xebia Base MLOps Platform is a turn-key solution that offers a fast implementation and operationalization of your data products. For more information about this tailored-to-fit solution, please visit the Xebia Base MLOps Platform page.