Replacing their legacy monitoring solution with Outlyer

Having the Outlyer infrastructure in place, and being able to post Dashboards changed the way that Dev and Operations are able to communicate. We can post useful information back to the Developers on how their stuff is running, and we can actually see in real time what’s happening in Production and react to it.

Robert Dozier, Director of DevOps

About PeopleMatter

PeopleMatter is a Software-as-a-Service company headquartered in Charleston, SC, USA. The company provides online HR management applications for companies that manage hourly workers and serves over 45,000 locations such as restaurants, convenience stores and retail outlets.

The applications run on 75 servers across a mixture of hosting providers, with the original application running on Windows & .NET and the new applications running on Linux and Docker, with Micro-Services written in Go and Python. They run a mixture of Open-Source services in production such as ElasticSearch, Redis, RabbitMQ and Postgres.

PeopleMatter’s Monitoring Challenges

PeopleMatter originally purchased a proprietary monitoring solution when it started, which worked well when their infrastructure and services were static and monolithic. However with the migration to Cloud, Micro-Services and DevOps, and new services such as Docker appearing, it became harder to keep up with the rate of change and new services they were deploying using the legacy solution.

The legacy solution also didn’t provide any properly supported APIs, making it hard for the DevOps team at PeopleMatter to integrate the solution into their automation, and was hard to add custom plugins to monitor new services as they were deployed into Production.

It also didn’t provide nice, easy to setup Dashboards, so the DevOps team could easily share and “radiate” information to different teams in the organization.

Overall it was clear that the legacy solution was not going to evolve with PeopleMatter’s rapidly changing needs, which is why PeopleMatter went looking for a new solution, and found Outlyer.

How Outlyer Helped

PeopleMatter uses Outlyer to monitor all of their new services and applications in Production, and is quickly replacing their legacy solution across their older services too, to completely replace the legacy solution and move all their Infrastructure and Service monitoring into Outlyer.

PeopleMatter use Outlyer extensively to write custom plugins and checks across their services, using the built in plugin editor to quickly write, test and deploy the custom plugins to Production. They then quickly build custom dashboards from the metrics collected by the plugins that are displayed on TVs in the office to share information with their Developers and Business Stakeholders on how Production is performing.

The DevOps team also use Outlyer for monitoring their Docker containers, to keep an eye on how they are performing in Production.

Ultimately, PeopleMatter plan to roll out Outlyer to their Development teams so they can write their on custom plugins, and setup their own Dashboards and Alerts as a self-service solution. This is because as the number of Micro-Services increases and the application becomes more complex, the Developers who wrote the services themselves are generally the best people to know what needs to be monitored and provide first-line support for those services in Production.

Key Results

  • Quickly and easily migrated new services over to Outlyer from their legacy solution, providing greater agility and coverage of their key services in Production.
  • Received greater visibility into their application through writing custom Nagios check scripts quickly and easily to feed their Dashboards and Alerts in Outlyer.
  • Better collaboration between Dev and Ops so that everyone can easily see what’s actually happening to their services in Production, and make better data driven decisions on how to improve their service.