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Why New Relic

Real-time insight into global usage and performance trends

Highlights
  • Significantly reduced infrastructure service costs by optimizing applications
  • Supports true DevOps approach and enables teams to work together more efficiently
  • Ensures optimal performance of millions of requests per minute
 

Tapjoy Delivers an Engaging In-App Experience to 450 Million Users Thanks to New Relic

Founded in 2007, Tapjoy is a mobile, performance-based advertising platform that drives deep engagement and monetization opportunities for app publishers while delivering engaged consumers to some of the world’s biggest brand advertisers. Tapjoy reaches more than 451 million mobile users each month across more than 270,000 active apps. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices located around the world, the company is backed by top-tier investors, including: J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Rho Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, and D.E. Shaw Ventures.

Running on more than 1,000 servers, Tapjoy is a Ruby on Rails shop. The company’s technology stack also includes Unicorn, Riak, and BLB as well as Hadoop, HBase, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. The company’s production infrastructure runs primarily on Amazon Web Services, with additional servers running on a private hosted cloud solution from Equinox.

“We’ve used New Relic to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars by ensuring our systems are performing at an optimal level.”

Weston Jossey Head of Operations, Tapjoy

Environment

Running on more than 1,000 servers, Tapjoy is a Ruby on Rails shop. The company’s technology stack also includes Unicorn, Riak, and BLB as well as Hadoop, HBase, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. The company’s production infrastructure runs primarily on Amazon Web Services, with additional servers running on a private hosted cloud solution from Equinox.

Using data to provide value to customers

Tapjoy is a completely data-driven company. Every team member—from the CEO to engineer to marketer—uses data to inform nearly every decision on a day-to-day basis. “When I wake up in the morning, I’m looking at graphs,” says Weston Jossey, head of operations at Tapjoy. “Before I go to bed at night, I’m looking at graphs. At any given moment, the Tapjoy environment is handling about two million requests per minute, so we need to know exactly where bottlenecks might be happening at any time.”

The company continues to grow at a breakneck pace, with the engineering team expanding from 40 to 70 people in one year’s time. “As we continue to scale up, we need to be able to look at all of our data in a unified way,” says Sean Lindsay, vice president of engineering at Tapjoy. “We need to have a common understanding of what the data is telling us about our product’s performance and how the business is operating. And as we grow, it’s incredibly important that we have a foundational suite of tools to form the basis for how we make data-driven decisions.”

One of the company’s top business goals is to be a leader in the ad-tech market by using data to provide insight to developers and advertisers. Adds Lindsay, “At Tapjoy, we think first and foremost about providing value between app developers and their constituencies. For us, this involves thinking about how we create an experience that an app developer will find pleasing and satisfying for its end users, but making sure that all of the participants in the ecosystem participate in that value opportunity.”

Relying on New Relic from the start

Tapjoy was one of the earliest users of New Relic and today relies on New Relic® APM™, New Relic Mobile™, New Relic Platform™ and New Relic Insights™ to monitor its complete application environment. “We’re utilizing New Relic to instrument every database and data store that we have in our entire ecosystem,” says Jossey. He particularly appreciates New Relic’s transaction trace as well as the database tab and external services tab capability in identifying the source of performance issues.

Lindsay believes that New Relic is critical to the success of Tapjoy’s DevOps approach. “Somewhere in the spirit of the DevOps philosophy is this idea that engineers care about how their product performs in the production operational environment,” says Lindsay. “New Relic allows us to drive that conversation, to quickly visualize for them how their product is running in the production environment, and give them an awareness that leads to care and attention to how that product runs in production.”

Jossey couldn’t agree more. “We use New Relic as a communication tool between our departments,” says Jossey. “It’s the way we communicate about how our platform is performing.” Lindsay highlights a recent example of how New Relic brings Tapjoy teams together: “Members across two different teams were informed that a core page in our dashboard product was running slowly. The team members rallied around New Relic as the center of the conversation and within minutes they were able to narrow down a specific interaction with our cache that was driving increased latency. Within an hour they had isolated the problem in the code and found a fix. New Relic makes diagnosis and resolution much more effective across different teams.”

Optimizing to save millions of dollars

The engineering and operations groups within Tapjoy can’t imagine life without New Relic. “I don’t want to even think about what things would be like without it,” says Jossey. “That’s why when we make technology decisions, we make sure they always include New Relic.”

The decision for New Relic resulted in a measurable payoff for Tapjoy as Jossey credits New Relic with helping the company achieve significant savings in its infrastructure service costs. “We’ve used New Relic to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars by ensuring our systems are performing at an optimal level,” says Jossey. “We then reinvest those savings in people, infrastructure, or new technology.”

For Lindsay, the value of New Relic is especially evident when it helps invalidate a hypothesis the group has made about the importance of a particular improvement or opportunity that the company had been targeting. “New Relic allows us to speak in concrete terms about what’s going on in the production environment and to have an honest conversation about what the data is telling us,” says Lindsay.

Finally, New Relic lets Tapjoy optimize the experience for users around the globe. “The sun never really sets on Tapjoy,” says Jossey. “At any given time, we see traffic coming from Asia, Europe, and the United States. New Relic lets us see global trends on a day-to-day basis.” Adds Lindsay: “New Relic is a key part of our visibility into the overall performance of our network. Being able to look at data in a unified way and have a common understanding of what that data is telling us about our product’s performance is incredibly important to us as we continue to grow.”

"New Relic allows us to speak in concrete terms about what’s going on in the production environment and to have an honest conversation about what the data is telling us.”

Sean Lindsay Vice President of Engineering, Tapjoy

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