+ Heroku + New Relic: running the web’s largest credited fashion DB

MyFDB.comA Team of One
MyFDB is doing for the fashion industry what IMDB has done for movies–providing key credit data for the fashion industry that until now, hasn’t been available in one place. But it might be surprising to learn that a site used by models, photographers, and designers all over the world is run by an experienced, hardworking and dedicated development team of just one. Jared Carroll is solely responsible for developing MyFDB (My Fashion Database) as well as ongoing care and feeding, which typically includes daily deployments, monitoring, and triaging issues when they come up.

A development shop this nimble has to have a good set of tools to help share the workload. When it came to app performance management, Jared chose New Relic RPM. A couple of factors influences his decision.

1. The solution he chose had to be effective, yet affordable
2. MyFDB is deployed on Heroku, and just happens to offer an RPM plugin in their add-on catalog
3. Jared was familiar with RPM because he had used it before and knew that it could help

New Relic RPM
Jared is certainly no stranger to developing and maintaining business-critical web apps. He’s been at this for a while and he knew that he had to have visibility into MyFDB’s performance not only for the initial deployment, but also for 24×7 monitoring in production. Fortunately, RPM is integrated with Heroku’s console and available as a plugin from the add-on catalog. Heroku customers can deploy RPM with just one click and get up and running in minutes. Some of the key performance indicators that Jared monitors on a daily basis with RPM are application response time, throughput, and an external exception-tracking service. He also keeps an eye on his Apdex score, an industry standard algorithm for measuring end user experience. In fact Jared has set up email alerting on Apdex so that if the score falls below a certain threshold, he can get alerted immediately. The he can use RPM’s troubleshooting features like transaction analysis, database analysis, and error reporting to make a real-time diagnosis of the root cause.


“Its Just So Easy”
For Jared, ease of use for both Heroku and New Relic has been a huge factor in the success of MyFDB. Deploying on Heroku was extremely simple and installing the RPM plugin was painless. “It’s just so easy–Heroku scales up fast and RPM offers instant visibility into our production app,” Jared said. “RPM and Heroku are such a great fit because they both enable myfdb to respond quickly. The hands-off nature of Heroku’s hosting is unbeatable sand and the one-click implementation of New Relic made it the best way to monitor our application’s performance.”

For Jared, there’s no question that New Relic has been a valuable asset. Multiple times it has allowed him to quickly diagnose errors as they were occurring, and thereby proactively address them before they negatively affected site users. “RPM tells me what’s happening with the site now, what’s likely to happen, and when to I need to scale up Dynos on Heroku.” And so far, the combination of Heroku and New Relic has saved on resources, most notably by allowing myfdb to operate seamlessly without a systems administrator. By the way, aren’t those Jimmy Choo’s you’re wearing? Are they from the Spring ’09 line or Spring 2010? If only there was a place I could look it up…'

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