A patchwork quilt is great for throwing over your bed or snuggling up with on the couch, but it’s probably not the best way to describe your application performance monitoring solutions. Just ask Andrew Brockway, head of infrastructure and operations at Confused.com.
The first price comparison website for car insurance in the U.K., Confused.com offers insurance-seekers a wide range of trusted brand names for protection, covering everything from cars, homes, and caravans—to even pets and travel plans. It does so via software running on a powerful blend of Microsoft technology, including the Microsoft Azure public cloud.
The cloud changes everything
When Confused.com made the move to the cloud, however, its existing “patchwork quilt of monitoring solutions” was no longer going to work. “This was fine when we were hosting on premise in a dedicated data center because we had a much smaller footprint,” explained Brockway. “But since we went to Azure, we found those solutions were a bit cumbersome. They couldn’t keep up with the rate of change in terms of how the platform evolves and how the changes that we deploy evolve.”
What was able to keep up? The New Relic Software Analytics Cloud.
Using everything in the New Relic Platform from APM and Servers to Browser, Insights, and Synthetics, Confused.com takes advantage of a full range of monitoring capabilities to get an end-to-end view into the health of its systems. As a result, for the first time in the company’s history, developers are looking at operational issues, helping shift the company forward in its DevOps transformation.
With a more simplified view into application performance, one of the immediate benefits Confused.com has enjoyed is faster mean time to resolution. But in addition to saving time, the company is also finding ways to save money. “Using New Relic APM’s scalability analysis, we estimate we can save around £5,000 (approx. $7,600 USD) a month in hosting costs by scaling down our instances to the right size,” said Brockway.
Translating lines of code into pounds
From a product perspective, the Confused.com team is looking at how new releases are impacting revenue as well as how many people are clicking out and converting by application, by browser type, and more. Using New Relic Insights, they’ve even created a revenue ticker dashboard, which they see using New Relic alerts as a way to determine the priority of an issue or opportunity. “We’ve now drawn a line between the lines of code and a pound sign,” said Brockway. “That’s something we’ve strived to do for a long time, and with tools like New Relic we can now make the connection.”