Grand National 2021: Managing Extreme Online Demand at William Hill

Note: Presentation times are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Wednesday, 13 October, 2021 - 14:5515:10

Matthew Berridge and Josh Allenby, William Hill


The Grand National is the biggest Horse Race in the world, watched by over 500 million people worldwide with 1 in 4 people in the UK placing a bet—it makes a Black Friday look like a wet Tuesday—it is William Hill's biggest betting day of the year. 2021 was a year like no other, with retail closed—online demand was huge. The challenge was coping with the demand of once-a-year customers whilst maintaining service to our long-serving customers. This talk looks at how SRE prepared for and ran the day and how we implemented lambda@edge logic and a queueing system to help us achieve this.

Matthew Berridge, William Hill

Matt Berridge is Head of Site Reliability UK at William Hill. Matt has spent 15 years in various roles supporting, troubleshooting, and scaling the systems at William Hill. He specializes in building and running teams that prepare for big events and doing proper Post-Mortems.

Josh Allenby, William Hill

Josh Allenby is a Site Reliability Engineer at William Hill focusing on improving the performance and availability of William Hills Sportsbook, Retail, and Gaming products. Despite only working in technology for a few years, Josh has a real passion for identifying issues and resolving complex incidents whilst learning and improving with every Post-Mortem.

SREcon21 Open Access Sponsored by Indeed

@conference {276669,
author = {Matthew Berridge and Josh Allenby},
title = {Grand National 2021: Managing Extreme Online Demand at William Hill},
year = {2021},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video