In January, Sabre, the travel technology company that probably managed at least some aspects of your last flight and hotel bookings, announced a 10-year partnership with Google Cloud that would see it spend about $2 billion on Google’s cloud platform over that time. Sabre, like so many companies of its size, has long operated its own data centers, so any shift to the cloud would be a major undertaking. But while the story for a lot of big enterprises is all about being multi-cloud, Sabre is squarely betting on a single partner.
Joe DiFonzo, Sabre’s CIO, told me that this is the result of quite a bit of learning. When he joined Sabre in 2017, the company’s leadership had already decided on moving more workloads to the cloud. For Sabre, with its eight mainframes and more than 35,000 servers, that was never going to be a trivial undertaking.
“There was this whole element of how we operate our software, how we deploy our products, how we deliver service to customers, that was very much still sort of stuck in the traditional models, [including how you] run your own data center and the massive supply chain management issues around that, how we deploy software and package it, this notion of physical machine environments, that sort of thing,” he explained.
With buy-in from the leadership, he set to move the company to not only the cloud but also a modern development model. And like so many other companies, Sabre started making deals with a number of cloud…