New Relic is the best tool on the market. It’s a catalyst for change and improvement that helps us understand exactly where to focus our time and effort for the greatest impact.

Urs Martini
Chief Technology Officer at Bringmeister GmbH

Founded in 1997, Bringmeister GmbH is an online grocery store from Kaiser’s Tengelmann, a German chain of supermarkets with more than 550 stores across Germany. Offering more than 8,000 items—everything from fresh groceries to drugstore products—Bringmeister makes deliveries directly to customers’ doors in the Berlin and Munich markets.

Making online grocery shopping easy for everyone

Thanks to Bringmeister GmbH, customers can order groceries from the comfort of their living room and have them delivered at their convenience. The secret to the company’s success is ease of use. “If the website is too slow, customers can’t find the products they want, or the checkout process isn’t trivially easy, then people won’t use our service,” says Urs Martini, chief technology officer at Bringmeister. “The user experience is our top goal because not only do we want to attract younger clientele who grew up using technology, but older people as well.”

Achieving its goal of making the shopping and checkout process as easy and pleasant as possible wasn’t an easy task for Bringmeister, especially because it had very little insight into real-time website performance. “When I started here a year ago, there was no real performance data available,” says Martini. “We had to rely on monthly reports from our server hosting company for information about availability and performance.”

Martini knew his team needed a better way to identify performance bottlenecks and pinpoint their root causes. Magento, Bringmeister’s e-commerce platform, uses an EAV (entity, attribute, value) design for its database to achieve nearly unlimited scalability. The tricky part is that Magento has hundreds of database tables and relatively complex SQL is required to retrieve data. “I decided within three weeks of joining the company that we needed New Relic,” says Martini. “It was one of the first tools I introduced.”

Bringing clarity and insight to software performance

From previous experience, Martini believed that New Relic offered the best software analytics solution available for delivering insight into real-time and historical performance of the website and e-commerce software powering it. “New Relic gives you the data you need right out of the box, with no extensive configuration or code changes,” says Martini. After starting with New Relic application performance monitoring, Bringmeister added New Relic browser monitoring to its toolkit as well.

New Relic quickly became Bringmeister’s core tool for tracking important key performance indicators. “New Relic is the best tool on the market,” says Martini. “It’s a catalyst for change and improvement that helps us understand exactly where to focus our time and effort for the greatest impact.”

When Bringmeister decided to migrate to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, it was New Relic that enabled the DevOps team to demonstrate the value of the effort. “New Relic confirmed that it was the right step to take,” says Martini. “For instance, we could show that performance had improved and downtime was reduced. Before migrating to Amazon Web Services, our uptime was 99.5 and now it is 99.995.”

Creating the ideal grocery shopping experience

To make the online grocery shopping experience attractive to all types of people, the Bringmeister DevOps team knows that everything has to be perfect when it comes to the website and its supporting software. “We follow the Amazon principle: to be extremely fast and have very good search engine results,” says Martini. “New Relic plays a vital role in helping us do that.”

Martini appreciates the ability of New Relic to track performance issues down to the transaction level to uncover the cause of problems. “With New Relic, we can see why suddenly one customer is hanging for 30 seconds,” says Martini. “Whether it’s a database lock, a dependency from an external system which is experiencing problems, or some other performance issue, we can use session traces in New Relic to see exactly what is going on.”

The Bringmeister team is now planning a major surge in performance optimization efforts thanks to the insight that New Relic provides. “New Relic is extremely helpful for identifying areas where we can further optimize, whether they are quick wins or something that will take greater effort,” says Martini. “The performance optimization projects on our roadmap right now are there solely because New Relic helped us identify them.”