Why FlightStats Is Investing So Heavily In Platform

For over 10 years, FlightStats has been building a leadership position in real-time global flight information. This position is supported by the quality of data we deliver, and the sophistication of the services and applications we offer to deliver it. Our ability to do what we do is highly dependent on the capabilities of our platform, which serves as our foundation. Over the past two years, we have accelerated our platform investments to increase our capabilities and to satisfy the ever-growing requirements being placed on us by our enterprise customers.

We consume massive amounts of real-time data from around the world, process it, analyze it, and deliver it to multiple players throughout the global travel ecosystem. Staying on top of the flow of data is a huge platform challenge at both a technical and an operational level. To meet this challenge, the FlightStats technology team has focused its recent efforts on three areas:

  1. Hybrid Cloud: Expansion and automation of our public-private cloud architecture, with further redundancy and worldwide reach, and better operational efficiencies.
  2. Software Development: Use of modern tools and software techniques to efficiently and securely deliver data worldwide.
  3. Open Source Software: Contribution of projects like our proprietary Data Hub, and increased open source contributions and community participation.

Hybrid Cloud

FlightStats is dedicated to continually improving and investing in our high performance computing infrastructure. FlightStats has built and deployed a state-of-the-art hybrid cloud environment, with industry leading Cisco™ and Pure™ Flashstack® hardware. In the last year, FlightStats has invested heavily in networking, computing and storage infrastructure in our Portland-based tier 1 datacenter.  Significant investments have also been made in our public cloud resources hosted by Amazon Web Services™. We have scaled up to enable faster real-time processing of data, and to enable our modern software stack to better analyze and predict events.

What this means to FlightStats customers is a reliable platform that can deliver the most accurate and up-to-date flight information quickly and efficiently worldwide.

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Software Development

To keep ahead of the data and development curve, technology companies today need world-class engineers, resources and tools.  As a leading data services company, FlightStats hires the best talent to build applications on a modern software stack, including Java 8, Node.js, HTML5/CSS/Javascript, PostgreSQL and MongoDB. Applications are engineered to be secure (ISO 27001 and better), automatically deployed, automatically scaled, highly available and disaster recoverable. API endpoints and web and mobile properties are available in multiple Amazon Web Services™ availability zones to provide our global users with the lowest possible latency.

Our next generation Flex Data Feed provides our premium customers with up-to-the-second updates on over 99% of commercial flights in North American airspaces and 92% of commercial flights worldwide¹. Our Flex APIs deliver 17 million flight alerts per month while powering many leading travel apps. Our FlightStats web and mobile properties receive over five million unique visitors per month, providing the traveling public and professional aviation users with high quality flight status data. These products are powered by the FlightStats data acquisition and processing platform, which handles over 1 million individual flight status events per day coming from over 500 unique sources.  

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Open Source Software

We believe in the power of the open source community of developers, and we have a long history of open source development and participation. We recently contributed our internal tool for moving big data around, which we call the Data Hub. Our developers also open source integrations with services we use such as our Node.js New Relic™ Insights® NPM module. Customers can also find open source SDKs to better use our products on many different platforms, allowing for faster software development cycles.  We publish using the MIT license on GitHub and we love Pull Requests!

Check out our Open Source Projects: https://github.com/flightstats

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Why We Love What We Do

FlightStats has created a unique data services ecosystem that can benefit almost any player in the travel industry, be it a business or a traveler. Our ability to connect and inform can make a real difference, whether it be to reduce stress for a traveler or to create insights and efficiencies for those serving the traveler. We are committed to innovation because we fly ourselves (several of us are pilots!), we are data geeks, and we know that we can take what is often a difficult and uncertain experience and transform it into something better.

Stay Tuned!

Over the upcoming months we will be discussing our technology platform on our blog in a series of articles as we dive deep into how our technology works and how we are making it better everyday! Join us in the conversation and let us know what you think of our tech, and ask our engineers a question!

¹Based on the availability of runway or gate arrival times for passenger flights on the top 200 commercial carriers’ published marketed or operated flights in June 2015.