Many businesses have a desire to move away from complex, difficult to support legacy applications. Actually achieving that is far harder than just putting it into a strategy document, though!
In the case of Tipico, the Maltese gaming and betting business, they had 160 servers supporting a three-tier Java application. With so many servers involved, it’s only natural that despite the very best intentions, different parts of the application stack end up on different Java or other library version. This all adds up to more complexity and thus Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR) for any issues.
Tipico transitioned their platform to be orchestrated by Kubernetes (K8s), all run using components of Amazon Web Services. Their infrastructure is now purely infrastructure as code and Cloud based.
Moving your key application(s) to microservices running on a Cloud platform doesn’t just involve deciding on which provider is the most cost effective, has the best geographical presence to suit your customer base or offers the right services for your applications. If Kubernetes has the ability to shrink or grow the number of nodes or pods running your application, how do you monitor it? Just including your monitoring agent in your base server build image doesn’t work anymore.
A next-generation APM tool which automatically and continuously discovers your infrastructure and application is the key. Tipico’s evaluation of the APM market determined that Instana was the best fit for their infrastructure.
Instana’s ability to create ‘Application Perspectives’ is great for DevOps teams, where different teams are focused on different parts of the application. Does a team working on the payments microservice really need to know how the login microservice is performing? Application Perspectives let teams filter out the noise, letting them focus on the metrics of the services they are responsible for.
A DevOps mindset (Continuous Improvement/Continuous Development or CI/CD) also means regular code releases to add features or fix bugs. Instana’s API provides an easy method to further integrate the CI/CD pipeline and monitoring. A simple curl call can notify Instana of a release, which is then visible in Instana UI as a ‘release marker’. This means developers and support teams can both immediately correlate any radical changes in performance or stability against the release.
Normally, a blog post needs a conclusion. In this case though, I think two statistics from the Tipico case study stand out to really show the success of the project:
- 3x increase in the number of deployments per month
- 10x improvement in MTTR
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