It’s 3 a.m. in Tel Aviv and a group of people are gathered for the Super Bowl. But they’re not focused on the performance of the football teams in the match. Instead they are sitting in a “war room” staring at monitors that show a different type of performance. For now they wait and watch.
The DevOps team gathered in the war room work for Wix, a cloud-based Web development platform that empowers businesses, organizations, professionals, and individuals to take their businesses, brands, and workflow online. Millions—in fact, more than 80 million—of musicians, designers, dentists, bloggers, photographers, and other small business owners in more than 190 countries use Wix to create and manage their online presence and small business workflows.
Wix is growing like crazy, adding 1.5 million new users each month. And this double-digit, year-over-year growth is the overarching challenge for Wix’s engineering organization because it means significant increases in complexity and breadth of the Wix platform. “To support our growth, we must provide high quality software extremely quickly across all the various industry verticals that Wix targets,” says Aviran Mordo, head of engineering at Wix.
DevOps and microservices to the rescue
This is where DevOps enters the picture, as a way to deliver more high quality software faster. Add microservice architectures to the mix and you’ve got Mordo’s recipe for engineering success. “The combination of microservices and DevOps is helping us scale our engineering resources as well as our infrastructure,” he says.
An important part of the cultural shift to DevOps was asking Wix’s team of 400 developers to assume ownership of their code running in production rather than depending on the operations group to handle any issues. Mordo understood that this new responsibility required access to software performance data that the developers did not previously have at their disposal.
Self-service performance data? Yes, please!
As a proof of concept, Mordo decided to start using New Relic APM to monitor two of the company’s services. “We were surprised at how easy it was for developers to be engaged with New Relic,” says Mordo. “It not only gives them visibility into production, it allows them to be more proactive and understand that they are not just running software, they’re actually operating a system.”
Today everyone in engineering at Wix uses New Relic—including New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, New Relic Insights, and New Relic Mobile—as does the operations staff and the business intelligence group. Each development team has large monitors that show metrics from New Relic such as performance, user interactions, errors, number of deployments, and more. “New Relic makes the data really accessible to our developers and they love it because it’s self-service,” says Mordo.
Mordo provides an example of how data from New Relic has helped developers take on ownership responsibilities: “In a daily meeting, one of the developers was looking at New Relic and noticed that the performance of one of our critical services was 50 milliseconds per request,” says Mordo. “Without anyone telling him to do so, he went back and fixed the problem.”
Bringing together the Super Bowl, DevOps, and New Relic
Back to the Super Bowl: When Wix decided to run an ad during the event, Mordo’s team knew that everything had to be ready for a sudden, dramatic spike in traffic. “We used New Relic to help us do a lot of load testing and capacity preparation ahead of the Super Bowl,” says Mordo.
When the ad ran, the team in Tel Aviv was braced to respond to anything that might happen. “We saw this huge spike in traffic,” says Mordo. “But it all worked exactly as designed. We didn’t have to do anything.” And that is how the Super Bowl, DevOps, and New Relic came together for the Wix engineering team.
To learn more about how Wix uses New Relic to support DevOps, read the full Wix case study and watch the video below: