Entrata reduces severe incidents to 0 following successful cloud migration

Business Challenge
Company Size

Entrata is a property management software company that supports over 3 million residents across more than 26,000 apartment communities worldwide.

With Entrata, residents can quickly view floorplans, pricing, and availability. For property owners and operators, Entrata provides the technology to handle key functions like accounting, marketing, invoice processing, and lease management. Cloud computing is essential for Entrata’s long-term growth and success. As they continue to scale, the Entrata engineering team wanted to migrate to the cloud to handle sudden surges in traffic. They chose New Relic to help them do that. After three attempts at cloud migration, Entrata turned to New Relic for support.

Cloud migration challenges and high error rates

At the beginning of each month, the Entrata system sees a dramatic increase in traffic of users doing everything from looking for new apartments to making their monthly rent payments. This traffic, if combined with a lack of visibility into what was happening within applications, can create an environment that can lead to higher error rates for Entrata. This challenge was even more pronounced in early autumn when millions of college students used Entrata-backed websites to find housing. Errors during this critical period can have a sweeping impact across the Entrata infrastructure, leading to widespread slowness and a poor user experience. 

Entrata wanted a proactive solution to this problem. Before when they experienced errors, they had difficulty finding quick visibility into what was causing problems leading to server errors and poor customer experience. Entrata had scoped out cloud migration a few times but they weren’t successful as individual teams didn’t have full ownership of products and services they needed. This fragmentation made it impossible for Entrata to entirely migrate their tech stack.

Entrata turned to New Relic to understand what was happening within the infrastructure and applications. Getting this framework would mean a successful cloud migration and allow them to steadily improve performance.

“The single largest headache we had was needing to migrate the company to AWS with no involvement from the development side. It was only with New Relic that we were able to make it happen. We used New Relic to get a snapshot of what the environment looked like without needing to get background from each engineering team. We were able to identify everything we needed to migrate and plan our work accordingly,” says Jason Johnson, head of cloud at Entrata.

reduction in daily error rate
months to complete cloud migration (down from 12)
“severity one” incidents since completing cloud migration

New Relic gave us the line of sight we needed to drive a successful cloud migration.


Streamlining cloud migration and improving business outcomes

Any company’s cloud migration will be a complicated process requiring careful planning and a thorough understanding of the tech stack. New Relic proved to be the differentiator for Entrata. This laid the groundwork for a successful, stress-free migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“We finalized our cloud migration in seven months, and the primary thing we used to give us line of sight was New Relic instrumentation. Our estimated time to complete the migration was 12 months, but the visibility provided by New Relic allowed us to accomplish it in just seven. New Relic helps us identify the impact on an individual. Previously, we could see customers as a cluster. We can now see impact at the level of each customer, each database, and each function of our product,” says Jason.

New Relic also allowed Entrata site reliability engineers (SRE) to quickly identify and address incidents, minimizing the impact these errors had on the end user. Entrata developers can intelligently observe critical application traces, allowing them to identify where bottlenecks or errors are taking place. When applied across the tens of thousands of property sites used by Entrata customers, these performance improvements result in a seamless experience for millions of users.

After overcoming the cloud migration hurdle, Entrata began using New Relic to proactively improve technology and business performance. Entrata SREs use synthetic monitoring to simulate customer traffic to critical services. The company can then proactively detect and resolve outages before they impact the customer. New Relic provides rich, detailed insight into how log-ins, transactions, and user movements are taking place on the Entrata platform, revealing where the most taxing database transactions are taking place and leading engineers to a long-term fix.

Entrata SREs use application performance monitoring (APM) to expose business logic and opportunities for product improvements. Entrata engineers extract usage patterns for the products, indicating why customers are using tools and reporting frameworks in one way rather than another. The engineering team then uses that data to show business leaders why specific product changes will lead to an improved customer experience. The Entrata team made these proactive recommendations by simply using the out-of-the-box telemetry provided by New Relic—deriving business value from end-to-end observability quickly. 

After seeing the benefit of New Relic out-of-the-box, Entrata began investing in custom instrumentation. This increased investment led to continued performance improvements, eventually reducing the number of severity one incidents—those that occur system-wide or impact multiple customers—to zero. 

With New Relic, we have a clear line of sight and actionable alerts. Now, our leaders see our core success metrics and how we’re improving them.

99.7% reduction in 500 errors and custom instrumentation

In addition to the complete elimination of severity one incidents, Entrata also saw daily error rates drop to under 100—by 99.7%—after deploying New Relic and fully migrating to the cloud. The same improvements can be seen in database duration metrics, which are Entrata’s primary metric for measuring the customer experience. Database duration tracks how long it takes for a user to retrieve information from a database, indicating how quickly users can complete actions on the platform. When viewing lists of apartment amenities, the percentage of people experiencing a database duration of more than three seconds decreased from 9.29% to 1.68%—resulting in a smoother user experience.

As Entrata continues to invest in New Relic and customer instrumentation, the company’s engineers are seeing the widespread benefit of observability. Since October, Entrata has reduced their daily error rate by 88%—to just 0.6%—for a company that generates millions of reports per day, that improvement has a dramatic impact.