Let’s Hear it for Teamwork at MultiPlan: New Relic Saves the Day

This is a guest post from Mike Milo, Director of Architecture at MultiPlan. Founded in 1980, MultiPlan provides comprehensive management solutions to the healthcare industry. For more information, visit their website at multiplan.com.

At MultiPlan, we’ve used New Relic to successfully solve a number of cross-team issues. Here are a few examples we’d like to share:

It’s Not Me, It’s You
Saturday April 6th started off well. My daughters both had plans, so I had time to fit in a run. That’s when things started to get interesting. My co-worker, David Gale, sent me an email saying that something was wrong with our MultiPlan Portal. I stopped my run and opened up New Relic on my iPhone. With New Relic’s help, I quickly determined that the problem had something to do with our ‘Case Tracking’ web service that’s used to create and look up customer service cases from our Portal.

After I finished my run and got home, I took the following picture on my tablet:

Multiplan Case Study

From the pic, you can see that the MultiPlan Portal was either A) having some sort of problem or B) trying to sketch a cross section of the Marianas Trench with New Relic. Dave and I placed our money on option A.

I shared this picture with our infrastructure, database and network teams to see if they had any insights. But each team came back with a “Sorry, Mike. It’s not a <fill in the blank> issue.” So Dave and I turned to New Relic to find the source of the problem.

Using New Relic Server Monitoring, we found that we were experiencing intermittent and randomly occurring issues with HTTP connectivity on a particular set of servers, and spent the next 36 hours convincing our infrastructure team that it was (in fact) an infrastructure issue. On Sunday April 7th, we rebooted the VMware server and our Apdex went back to normal. We were ready for the next workweek and I could go for another run.

The Service Bus Phantom
Friday, March 22nd marked the first time that the mysterious and elusive Phantom took up residency in the MultiPlan Oracle Service Bus (OSB). He had visited us in the past, but never on Oracle.

As a result of his presence, any calls to a web service via our OSB were intermittently and randomly taking longer than normal. And in some cases, they were timing out completely. We initiated a disaster line process and representatives from throughout our IT departments called in. After several hours of hypothesizing and debating, we still didn’t have any definitive leads on the Phantom.

Using New Relic, we were quickly able to see a trend we hadn’t seen before. All of the errors across multiple applications were being generated on the same VM host. We migrated all of our VM instances to a new host and our environment returned to normal within minutes.

I Can’t Log In!
At MultiPlan, we utilize a centralized web service to handle authentication requests and these requests occur between all layers of our application. One morning a server that handled authentication requests was functional, but performing slowly. And as a result, all of our applications were experiencing slowness and users were reporting they couldn’t log in.

The following graph shows the severe blip in the authentication service’s response time:

Multiplan Case Study 2

With New Relic Server Monitoring, we were able to spot the issue within minutes and remove the server from service, eliminating the issue and returning authentication to normal.

New Relic to the Rescue
Using New Relic has been essential to the many changes and enhancements we’ve made over the last few years. We’ve grown to trust and rely on this tool for much of what we do – from the creation and development of our Client Portal, to continually improving our response and page load time, monitoring our servers and formulating corrective action with the ability to measure the results of every change. And as a result, New Relic has become a key element of our monitoring strategy.

Now when I’m ready to go for a run, I know New Relic will be there to notify me if something goes wrong and that I have the tools in place to help me identify the source of the problem, no matter who owns it.

Read the Full Case Study
To see how New Relic helped MultiPlan improve overall team communication, read the full case study.


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