Marketing analytics provider Moz is renowned for its advanced tools and accessible, community-centered approach. With his personal mission to bring sanity to the process of software development, Tyler Murray, senior engineering manager at Moz, is perfectly suited for the complex task of doing Moz system analytics.
Murray was certainly experienced with running cutting-edge analytics when he took over leadership of Moz Analytics Platform Engineering. Tasked with rebuilding the analytics platform from the ground up, he went with what he thought would be the easiest, yet most efficient and comprehensive solution. We caught up with Murray to hear more about the Librato implementation and use.
You were tasked with getting the analytics product out the door. Can you describe your environment?
We were dedicated to running and maintaining the SEO analytics services that Moz users access in their subscription packages. The engineering behind it is a large distributed system with many moving parts, and we used Librato to track any number of things in that system: queue sizes, time-to-data for customers, raw counters, etc.
Really, monitoring and analytics were most of what we dealt with during our work day.
It made so much more sense than building an in-house monitoring solution. Librato was basically plug and play. We had metrics being reported on within a day. We were able to focus on making inferences, rather than putting in time to build and maintain a monitoring system of our own.
Tell us about how you used Librato.
We leveraged practically all of Librato’s functionality, with two primary use cases. One was the ability to generate composite metrics from existing streams. The other was alerting. Perhaps my favorite Librato feature is the ability to generate the composite alerting functionality tied to PagerDuty. Our on-call engineers received actionable alerts based on key indicators for system health, data quality and speed.
How is “bringing sanity to software development” going on the monitoring front?
Librato is about as sane as you can get with implementing a metrics monitoring system. Our users also won. We were able to reduce our time-to-first-data for the user to under 30 minutes, meaning that we could quickly acquire data from users, process it and send it back. When people caught on that benefit, more people started to use Moz, and they used us for longer periods of time.
If you were to give a word of advice on monitoring to your peers, what would it be?
If speed and agility are most important and you need immediate insights with little overhead, then Librato is the perfect choice. Librato’s plug and play approach will enable you to make inferences sooner, so you can maintain your system health and give users a superior app or web site experience.
To learn how Librato can help your engineering team, sign up for a free trial today.