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cloudControl Case Study
cloudControl is Europe’s PaaS pioneer. Since 2009 they have been supercharging development by building the best platform, and helping developers to make better apps. Faster. cloudControl's technology is available through their own public PaaS offering and various infrastructure partners under their White Label PaaS model.

Their Problem

Before signing up to Server Density, cloudControl was experiencing problems with setting up their monitoring solution; especially when it came to automating the process of monitoring new servers; configuring alerts; and managing their monitoring processes across multiple offerings, not only for their own public PaaS, but for several White Label partners as well. It was taking too long to scale their solution, and as a growing business the DevOps team needed to focus time on building out their infrastructure, not their monitoring software.

Furthermore cloudControl was struggling with the reliability and availability of their monitoring, in particular their alerting system. They needed to be able to easily add new users to their account, and wanted to ensure alerts were getting to the right team members at the right time. I.e. before they became a problem for their customers.

Key Benefits

  • Saving money with multiuser: cloudControl needed the ability to add a number of users to their account. As team members had different areas of expertise, it made sense for them to assign different alerts to different people based on what they needed to monitor. With every Server Density plan, you get unlimited account users, and each user can have their own custom dashboard and alerts with the choice of how to receive them - from iOS to Android to email.
  • Saving time with a hosted product: Monitoring infrastructure is a hard enough job to master on it’s own, the cloudControl team didn’t have the time or want the responsibility of hosting their own monitoring system. By using Server Density, cloudControl removed any need to deal with performance, maintenance, backups and monitoring of the monitoring because it’s a hosted solution.
  • Monitor all the things: There’s little point in only half monitoring your infrastructure; being able to pull certain metrics can change the entire practicality of a monitoring solution. Server Density isn’t limiting by any means. Although the agent posts a range of default metrics, the software is flexible enough to graph anything and everything. And with a comprehensive API and vast plugin library Server Density makes it easy to build scripts and gather the extra application-specific stats that are needed.

How Server Density solved the problem?

Server Density is very easy to use/manage, and meets a large amount of cloudControl’s monitoring requirements right out of the box. The remaining pieces of the jigsaw are custom and can be easily monitored using Server Density’s growing plugin architecture and flexible API. Through community plugins, cloudControl are not only able to develop specific plugins for their needs, but they have found that a lot of plugins exist for their use cases already.

Furthermore, by integrating their monitoring through the Server Density API, cloudControl has also automated the process. Their monitoring grows and shrinks in real time, alerts automatically get assigned, and their elastic graphs auto update to include and or exclude new instances.

cloudControl can now alleviate a lot of the pressure from their ops team that comes with hosting their own monitoring solution. Server Density has reduced the stress and strain of worrying about alert delivery and monitoring their own monitoring. Furthermore, it is a multi-user software, so the ops team can have an unlimited number of team members, each with separate logins, dashboards and alerts.

Favourite Features

  • Flexible API - Server Density has helped cloudControl in simplifying their deploy process by integrating their cloud with the software’s API. Their ops team does not have to worry about installing agents manually on new servers, it is completely automated -- they never miss a moment and they never forget. This is true not only for the postback of data, but also alerting and graphing, which is also scaled automatically by Server Density.
  • SMS, E-Mail, Android and iOS Alerts - Alerting is one of the most essential features of any monitoring software. Through a lot of tweaking, cloudControl has been able to find the thresholds that work for their business and have set alerts to get notified of (potential) issues -- before they become a problem for their customers. This is essential in operating in an industry like cloudControl does, in that a lot of their customers are technically savvy and expect a fully reliable service.

What they've learnt

cloudControl have learnt that, first and foremost, monitoring is tricky enough without having to worry about all the things Server Density takes care of for them in the background. With the time they’ve saved using Server Density, cloudControl has identified the most important metrics for their business and tweaked their alert thresholds. Now they not only get alerted before things go wrong, but they are digging deeper into what their system is doing and how it can be improved in the future.

Server Density also proved to be especially helpful in managing monitoring across several PaaS offerings. With only a few small customizations, cloudControl was able to implement monitoring quickly and simply for not only their own public PaaS offering, but also for all of their White Label partners.

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