To get rides for people in need, QRyde taps OCI for better disaster recovery, security, and scale

November 5, 2021 | 4 minute read
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After getting his doctorate in applied AI and intelligent public transportation systems from the University of Massachusetts, Himanshu Bhatnagar devoted his career to helping people with physical or mental challenges get access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation. “I want people in these traditionally underserved communities to have multiple transportation options so they can get the medical care they need, attend school, or get to critical appointments,” says Bhatnagar, CEO and founder of QRyde.

Bhatnagar founded QRyde as a shared ride scheduling platform to provide ride booking, ride cost-sharing, and bidding management services to educational institutions, healthcare companies, and public transit agencies nationwide so they can provide mobility options to those in need. Operating under parent company HBSS Connect, QRyde uses technology such as mobile scheduling, automated dispatching, and AI-based route optimization to help those organizations provide services more efficiently and economically.

Running the platform is a huge logistics and data integration challenge that requires a lot of computing power. QRyde originally hosted its transit scheduling system in on-premises data centers and in co-location facilities, but as the company grew to the point where it was coordinating some 100,000 trips each day for more than 700 organizations, it ran into technology limitations. “Things quickly became more complex. We needed more flexible infrastructure,” says Shalabh Bhatnagar, director of engineering at QRyde.

The company explored several options to move to the cloud and ultimately chose Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). “We selected Oracle because of its database and data management expertise—that’s the most important thing for us because our entire application is driven by data,” says Bhatnagar. “Oracle is also great at understanding how to optimize the data we store and secure data while active and at rest.”

Before it could make the move to OCI, QRyde leaders needed to ensure it could address client concerns about data privacy and security. Oracle’s solution: deploy QRyde customer workloads in their own dedicated tenancy on OCI.

“OCI instantaneously gave me a mechanism whereby I could host client data and resources in a specific compartment and thereby reassure them that no other clients could see their data,” says Bhatnagar.

QRyde's production environment has two virtual cloud networks, a primary and a secondary. The two are connected by remote peering, using dynamic routing gateways. The primary VCN has two subnets: a public subnet for web and application servers and a private subnet for its database.

Improving disaster recovery and compliance
Security, disaster recovery, and compliance were additional QRyde customer concerns when it came to adopting cloud. “To meet compliance requirements we have to make sure the primary and secondary database are not in the same region or in the same geography,” Shalabh Bhatnagar says.

To address this, each of QRyde’s customers has a primary system running in the OCI region in Ashburn, Virginia, and a disaster recovery environment running in the OCI region in Phoenix. Both production and disaster recovery environments are connected using remote peering connections, allowing network traffic to flow swiftly between the two environments. The virtual machine instances are distributed across two fault domains to protect against hardware failures.

QRyde also uses Oracle Active Data Guard on its Oracle Database Cloud Service instance to enable high availability and to maintain an active replication of the primary database to a standby database. If a disaster occurs, the primary database can fail over to the standby and continue running the application. “Setting something like that up normally requires a database administrator. But with OCI it was just a few clicks and Active Data Guard was enabled and started replicating data,” Bhatnagar says.

The synchronization takes seconds with very little latency between the East and West coasts, which allows QRyde subscribers to query the database in one region while updates are being made to the database in another region.

Transparent data encryption provided another critical feature required to meet QRyde’s customer needs and compliance requirements. Using Oracle Transparent Data Encryption technology, QRyde data is automatically encrypted to help prevent access by unauthorized users and protect personally identifiable information.
As QRyde grows, its leaders are now comfortable knowing the powerful logistics platform can scale to help human services and education organizations of all types provide mobility solutions for people in need. “The number of rides our software is managing is only going up. We have to make sure the system can never go down and never slow down,” says Himanshu Bhatnagar. “With OCI we now have a scalable system that grows as we grow.”

To learn more about QRyde’s journey to Oracle Cloud, watch the video.

Justine Kavanaugh-Brown

Justine Kavanaugh-Brown is a senior writer at Oracle. She was previously a writer and editor for e.Republic’s Content Studio, where she worked with numerous enterprise technology companies.

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