Customer Story

The Trade Desk achieves hyperscale for real-time bidding

About the company

The Trade Desk is the world's largest independent programmatic advertising DSP

The Trade Desk is an advertising technology company that provides a self-service omni-channel platform through which media buyers can purchase digital advertising. The company was founded in 2009 and has outpaced growth in worldwide programmatic advertising, as of 2023 currently $1.73B revenue with a market capitalization of $36B.

Challenge

Manage and leverage the firehose of 3rd party data sources for real-time bidding

The Trade Desk provides a real-time exchange between advertisers and publishers, and gives advertisers the opportunity to purchase ad placements as a targeted user loads a webpage. The platform combines real time situational data with anonymized data about the user audience and their interests to help advertisers get the most value from their decision and money spent.

As global internet traffic and advertising opportunities increase in volume, the Trade Desk needed a solution that could allow the company to run expanded numbers of targeted campaigns at petabyte-scale, overcome multiple challenges with Cassandra, and capitalize on opportunities that had originally been missed due to the time it took for user profile data to thaw.

High performance, real-time ad targeting

Analyze real-time and stored data to select which ads to show while preserving website performance and keeping CPU costs under control, at 12 million times a second.

High volume of data

Condense, read, store, and analyze data points from 10 billion records - each potentially having tens of thousands of data points or segments.

Storage optimization

Needed to create an offline “cold store” to store unused data and optimize for “thawing” for real-time systems.
Solution

Hyperscale, real-time bidding leveraging both hot cache and cold store

By moving off of Cassandra and onto Aerospike, the Trade Desk was able to reduce server instance footprint, gain flexibility for the existing and future use cases, and improve its ability to target customers.

Edge hot cache for real-time bidding

Aerospike receives 12 million queries per second (800 billion queries per day).

System of record on AWS

Manages peak loads of 20 million writes per second in its “cold storage” of user profiles.

Focus on business opportunities, versus data absorption

Increased allocation of CPU utilization on bidding processes allows The Trade Desk to take advantage of more opportunities in the market.

Record-based model

All data put into one record - which is less CPU-intensive.

Flexible data organization

Use one key to represent many different dimensions and get back only the data needed for a given use case.
Results

Expanded bid opportunities, more efficient infrastructure, and reduced footprint

Using Aerospike as a hot cache with a cold store gives The Trade Desk the ability to capture more business, deliver more value to its ecosystem of advertisers, and keeps costs under control.

Efficient infrastructure with reduced footprint

The Trade Desk reduced server footprint from 500 to 60 machines while also reducing in-data center footprint.

Improved flexibility to address current and future use cases

Aerospike’s performance and technical capabilities opened up new flexibility for the current use case as well as other, desired use cases.

Rapid access to cold store

With Aerospike, the Trade Desk can thaw data in 8 milliseconds for real-time bidding.

Improved site performance

Data delivery impact on bidding site performance eliminated.

Opportunity for advanced analytics

Aerospike Connect for Spark combined with a cold storage cluster allows for advanced analytics.

Surpass limits with Aerospike