OpenX Moves Infrastructure to Google Cloud

The ad exchange dubs the move a game changer similar to moving from 3G to 5G

OpenX claims the move will help the speed at which it can process bid requests on behalf of publishers.
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In a sector of the advertising industry that some would say is suffering from the effects of commoditization, OpenX is pinning its hopes on moving its infrastructure from physical servers to the Google Cloud Platform.

The five-year deal marks a move that OpenX claims will set it aside from its competitors in the independent ad-tech sector, as fundamentally altering the infrastructure that underpins its ad exchange will improve its ability to process ad requests between buyers and publishers.

For instance, server-based ad exchanges have been known to suffer from latency issues whereby there is a lag between the submission of a bid and the ability of the sell-side to process it, resulting in the loss of a monetization opportunity. OpenX and Google claim the switch to a cloud-based infrastructure will minimize such instances.

The move, which began in late 2018 and is set for completion in Q2, also marks the first time that an independent ad exchange has moved all on-premises workloads to the cloud, with OpenX claiming the change will also enable it to more rapidly scale its global footprint.

OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan spoke with Adweek about how the move will help his company—which last month announced a strategic overhaul including the layoff of 100 staff members—future-proof its operations in a number of additional ways, most notably the shift to a people-based marketing proposition.

“If we look back over the last 18 months, with some of the tactical debates that had been going on, it would appear that ad tech had been getting into a bit of a rut … we want to start having conversations now about what kind of fundamental benefits can we bring [with such infrastructure changes]?” he added.

Cadogan later went on to compare the shift from a physical, server-based infrastructure to a cloud-based one as similar to the improvement in speed when moving from a 3G cellular network to a 5G.

“We decided to make some radical changes,” he said. “Moving to the cloud is going to be a much more fundamental shift [for the ad-tech sector] than the introduction to header bidding … and there’s more innovation to come.”

Chris Klayko, managing director for Google Cloud, Americas, said, “This collaboration will allow for continued innovation leveraging both OpenX’s Exchange Platform and Google Cloud’s commitment to performance, collaboration and big data optimization at scale.”

Oliver Parker, director for Google Cloud, West, added, “This combined with OpenX’s ability to leverage our highly scalable and reliable infrastructure will enable OpenX to fuel the next generation of optimization in the ad-tech industry, enter new markets and deploy product innovation more quickly for customers around the world.”

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.