With a user base of more than 40 million shoppers worldwide, Shopzilla is a leader in connecting buyers and sellers online. Each month, through both its destination websites and affiliate network, Shopzilla connects shoppers with more than 100 million products from tens of thousands of retailers.
To provide the most recent inventory of products and prices, Shopzilla moved its inventory platform from a traditional relational database to VoltDB, a specialized, open source database for high-velocity big data.
[ Download InfoWorld's Big Data Analytics Deep Dive for a comprehensive, practical overview of this booming field. | Harness the power of Hadoop with InfoWorld's 7 top tools for taming big data. | Get started with NoSQL -- these 10 standout NoSQL databases are worth a try. ]
Shopping the virtual mall
If you shop online, chances are you've landed at Shopzilla or its portfolio of brands -- including Bizrate, Beso, Retrevo, TaDa, RobotOatmeal, and others -- which help shoppers worldwide discover, compare, and purchase products.
Shopzilla's core value is that it presents an up-to-date inventory of products and prices, so shoppers don't need to surf endlessly across different sites. But until recently Shopzilla's inventory platform, which ingests terabytes of data from merchant feeds on a daily basis, was powered by a traditional relational database. Software, hardware, and administration resources were becoming prohibitively costly to support high-velocity inventory updates.
While researching database vendors, Shopzilla compared a number of NoSQL and sharded MySQL products before selecting VoltDB, an in-memory relational database, designed specifically for high performance. The intent was to narrow the data "ingestion-to-decision gap" by running thousands of writes and tens of thousands of reads per second, while performing real-time tracking.