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Q&A with iFood’s Thales Biancala on Delivering Restaurants One Hundred Million Events a Month

As we prepare for ScyllaDB Summit 2019, we are producing a series of blogs highlighting this year’s featured presenters. And a reminder, if you’re not yet registered for ScyllaDB Summit, please take the time to register now!

Today we are speaking with software engineer Thales Biancalana, who will deliver the presentation iFood on Delivering 100 Million Events a Month to Restaurants with ScyllaDB.

For those not familiar with iFood or its big data operations, describe your day-to-day business, your operations, and the kinds of data and transactions you’re working with.

iFood is the biggest food delivery app in Latin America with more than 12 million active users, over 20 million orders a month and 100,000 merchants. We deal with lots of information every day regarding everything in our app: orders, tracking, user taps on the app, if you can imagine, we have it. The most important information we run through our systems are related to the orders we deliver, and each order generates an average of 5 events that need to be delivered to our users and merchants. Currently this amounts to at least 100 million events a month. We also have a load test that runs every morning on our production environment that with 10 times our biggest order peak. With that we run around 90 million orders a month, with around 300 million events.

iFood has made significant changes to its backend in the past year, including the adoption of ScyllaDB. What prompted these moves?

Something relevant is how fast iFood grew. It went from 1 million to 20 million orders a month in a bit over two years, and we are expecting to at least double it by next year. We also went from 50,000 to 100,000 merchants in less than a year. Because of this growth speed we are kind of “suffering from success”, so we are constantly experimenting with new technologies to solve our problems (which are many). Our platform can still hold more than 10x its maximum peak, but we are constantly looking for ways to improve that.

Do you order in lunch every day as part of your regression testing?

I actually order lunch every day because I’m hungry and the app makes it too easy to bother to cook!

Outside of your job, what interests or hobbies do you have?

I love manga and anime. I have a collection of action figures from my favorite characters and shows. My first anime as most people of my age in Brazil was Dragon Ball Z. I’m too anxious so whenever I reach the end of an anime I jump to the manga to know what is going to happen. This past few weeks I’ve done it do Doctor Stone and Demon Slayer. I’m always following at least 5 manga, and I’m currently following a bit more than 10, but at least 4 of them take months to release new chapters.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. We’re looking forward to your ScyllaDB Summit talk!


About Peter Corless

Peter Corless is the Director of Technical Advocacy at ScyllaDB. He listens to users’ stories and discovers wisdom in each to share with other practitioners in the industry at large, whether through blogs or in technical presentations. He occasionally hosts live industry events from webinars to online conferences.