Why New Relic
Ability to quickly pinpoint the root source of performance issues across the application stack
- Simplifies monitoring of 300 applications and microservices
- Helps focus optimisation efforts to improve the customer experience
- Identifies performance issues before customers are impacted
When the Swiss need groceries, electronics, sporting goods, garden supplies, and just about anything else, many of them turn to Migros—and not just because it’s the largest retail company, the largest supermarket/hypermarket chain, and the largest private employer in Switzerland. Swiss shoppers choose to shop at Migros because they appreciate the value and quality the retail cooperative brings.
The Migros vision is to make the lives of its members, employees, and fellow residents better every day, whether that’s providing healthful food, delivering innovative products, or contributing a portion of its revenue to social and cultural projects. Even after 90 years in business, this vision still guides the daily business of the cooperative.
Simplifying a complex application environment
One way Migros fulfils its promise of improving lives is with a robust, easy-to-use online shopping experience as well as a mobile shopping app. Alain Petignat, who heads up online development and operations for Migros, has a team of IT specialists responsible for a large environment of customer-facing applications, including iOS and Android mobile apps, that deliver a digital shopping experience.
‘For our customer-facing software, we have around 300 different instances of applications based on many different technologies’, says Petignat. ‘Our environment is a mix of third-party-developed applications and our own custom-developed applications and microservices. Plus while most of our applications run on-premises, we also use cloud services to host components such as image processing.’ The result is a complex mixture of applications, microservices, technologies, and infrastructure, not to mention various development teams with different deployment processes and scheduling.
Not surprisingly, Petignat’s team needed a way to ‘really streamline and simplify our deployment, operations, and monitoring processes.’ The first step was moving to Pivotal Cloud Foundry, a cloud platform-as-a-service solution, and Puppet, a deployment and operations automation tool. ‘With Pivotal and Puppet, we standardised our deployment process’, says Petignat. ‘That was a very important effort for us.’
Monitoring performance across the stack
To solve its monitoring problems, the Migros team found an ideal solution via one of its software partners. ‘A third party that we work with has been using New Relic since the beginning’, says Petignat. ‘When they showed us how it helps them monitor performance, we knew it would be the right tool for us as well.’
Soon after discovering the New Relic platform, Migros deployed it to monitor its customer-facing applications and provide complete visibility across its application stack and infrastructure. Now IT teams within Migros—including those focused on operational performance, web analytics, and user experience—rely on New Relic to deliver insights into how Migros’ digital business is performing and understand the impact of code changes on performance and the customer experience. Cross-team collaboration and communication with third-party developers is easier with a common language and consistent set of data provided by New Relic.
‘With New Relic, we can see the impact of deployments on our performance and infrastructure’, says Petignat. For example, Petignat’s team uses New Relic Browser to measure and track the performance of content rendering on website pages and uses the data to optimise the experience for customers. ‘We also use New Relic Browser on our website to see the actual customer experience, which is very helpful in identifying where we should focus our optimisation efforts’, says Petignat.
Making data centre consolidation painless for customers
When Migros consolidated nine data centres into just four, the IT team used New Relic to understand the impact of the infrastructure changes on performance of its hundreds of applications. ‘There is a huge interdependency between many systems on our network, so we couldn’t really predict what the impact of changes in infrastructure resulting from the consolidation would be’, says Petignat. ‘New Relic helped ease our concerns because we used it to catch any issues created by the consolidation before they impacted our customers.’
‘There is a huge interdependency between many systems on our network, so we couldn’t really predict what the impact of changes in infrastructure resulting from the consolidation would be. New Relic helped ease our concerns because we used it to catch any issues created by the consolidation before they impacted our customers.’
Creating a culture of collaboration and transparency
With one source for software performance, customer experience, and business success metrics, the Migros IT organisation is breaking down communication barriers between disparate teams. As the IT group moves towards a DevOps approach, New Relic can help it achieve its vision of creating a culture of collaboration and transparency—including working closely with external developers. While Migros is making the lives of its members better every day, New Relic is making the lives of Migros’ IT professionals better.