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Why New Relic

Full visibility into all servers and apps in development, testing and production

Highlights
  • Eliminate hardware required through efficiencies identified via New Relic insights
  • Comprehensive view of full end-to-end environmentserver infrastructure, application server, and native apps on mobile devices
  • New Relic for Mobile Apps provides insight into all the elements of end user experience of native mobile iOS and Android apps

Kwarter Gains Comprehensive View of Entire Platform with installation of New Relic for Mobile Apps

The Kwarter platform enables clients to build second-screen apps that are tightly integrated with televised events. In 2012, the company introduced three major TV gaming experiences for iOS and Android, all in partnership with major networks and national brands like TBS and Bud Light.

There's more to come. Propelled by a new round of funding, Kwarter is currently working with a number of broadcasters and brands to build second-screen experiences for upcoming televised events.

Challenges

The Kwarter platform requires a highly elastic infrastructure. With clients building apps for major events like the Super Bowl and the World Series, the company needs to keep a huge number of servers on deck to meet extraordinary spikes in demand. “We have about 20 servers right now,” says Dustin Whittle, CTO at Kwarter. “Depending on the size of the event, we might scale up to 200. Leading up to game day, it’s very important for us to proactively address issues in production and prepare for every possible scenario — because we can’t afford to crash during the Super Bowl.”

In order to maintain high performance even with the heaviest traffic, Kwarter needed to track and analyze performance data on all of the company’s servers in real time. Kwarter needed a tool that would monitor multiple dimensions of the Kwarter platform. They needed error detection, server resource monitoring, the ability to see how much time was being spent in cache as well as to monitor the latency on the app server versus the database server, and they needed a good network map. New Relic provided it all.

“With New Relic for Mobile Apps, New Relic is pretty much the only game in town. We now have a truly comprehensive view of our full environment: from a server infrastructure perspective, from an application server-side perspective, and from an iOS/Android client-side perspective.”

Dustin Whittle CTO, Kwarter

Solution

In August 2012, the company deployed New Relic Pro across its entire production environment. The software runs on all of Kwarter’s AWS machines, with New Relic for Python on all frontend servers to monitor app performance under production load. “We have far more insight into our AWS environment than before,” says Whittle. “New Relic gives us total visibility into the performance and health of those machines. Is the disk full? Is the CPU being maxed out? Is there free memory? All of that information is now available to us in real time.”

The challenge of mobile app monitoring remained a major pain point. “Mobile is just a whole different ballgame,” says Whittle. “It’s one thing to look at performance from a server perspective. It’s another thing to look at it from the client’s perspective, seeing how long each interaction actually takes on a mobile app. We had almost no visibility into the user experience, and we had very few options for troubleshooting issues in production. We needed to find a better approach.”

For all its success with New Relic Pro, Kwarter still lacked full visibility into the performance of mobile apps. Then Whittle heard about the beta version of New Relic for Mobile Apps. “It’s so strange: every company has a mobile app these days, but there’s no good solution for monitoring performance on mobile,” says Whittle. “With the mobile solution, New Relic is pretty much the only game in town. We now have a truly comprehensive view of our full environment: from a server infrastructure perspective, from an application server-side perspective, and from a consumer client-side perspective. We can monitor the load on the servers, the response time on the server side, and the latency on the client side. For the first time, we have a holistic view of our infrastructure.”

Kwarter has deployed New Relic for Mobile Apps for iOS in dev and test, with a production release slated in a matter of weeks. A full deployment of New Relic for Native Mobile Android Apps will follow close behind. “Before this, I hadn’t found a mobile monitoring product that I liked,” he says. “But I can’t say that anymore. I’m really impressed.”

“It’s one thing to look at performance from a server perspective. It’s another thing to look at it from the client’s perspective, seeing how long each interaction actually takes on a mobile app. We had almost no visibility into the user experience, and we had very few options for troubleshooting issues in production. We needed to find a better approach.”

Dustin Whittle CTO, Kwarter

Results

With New Relic, Kwarter can better optimize its platform for maximum performance in even the highest-pressure circumstances. “New Relic gives us real-time alerting so we know right away when performance issues emerge,” says Whittle. “That alone is hugely valuable to us, because we can identify when users are suffering. And with our latest expansion to New Relic for Native Mobile iOS Apps, we’re getting that same level of intelligence across our entire environment.”

New Relic is also a first-rate development tool, because it empowers developers to be more effective in troubleshooting performance issues. “This software helps us focus our efforts on the problem at hand,” says Whittle. “That way, developers can spend less time hunting for the source of an issue and more time building a platform to support our big upcoming events. They appreciate being able to focus on solutions more than problems — and of course that’s a benefit to our clients as well.”

Perhaps most importantly, New Relic shows Whittle and his team where they can utilize servers more effectively, leading to a significant reduction in CapEx by enabling the company to use fewer machines. “Every time we’re able to eliminate a machine because of the new efficiencies we’re gaining, that demonstrates the real benefits of using New Relic,” he says. “We’re also better able to plan capacity across our entire cluster: where are we currently at, and where do we need to be? With all of this data at our fingertips, we can create a leaner, more agile infrastructure as we take on a wider range of even more ambitious projects. There’s no doubt in my mind that New Relic will play a significant role in supporting the huge growth of our business.”

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