FamilySearch Saves $4.8 Million with AppDynamics [Infographic]

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Everyone and their mother is talking about big data these days – how to manage it, how to analyze it, how to gain insight from it – but very few organizations actually have big data that they have to worry about managing or analyzing. That’s not the case for FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogy organization. FamilySearch has 10 petabytes of census records, photographs, immigration records, etc. in its database, and its data grows every day as volunteers upload more documents. Ironically, this organization that’s tasked with cataloging our past is now on the forefront of the big data trend, as they’re being forced to find new and innovative ways to manage and scale this data.

From 2011 to 2012, FamilySearch scaled almost every aspect of their application, from data to throughput to user concurrency. According to Bob Hartley, Principal Engineer and Development Manager at FamilySearch, AppDynamics was instrumental in this project. Hartley estimates that FamilySearch saved $4.8 million over two years by using AppDynamics to optimize the application instead of scaling infrastructure. That’s a pretty big number, so we broke it down for you in this infographic:

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How FamilySearch Scaled

  • From 11,500 tpm to 122,000 tpm
  • From 6,000 users per minute to 12,000 users per minute
  • From 12 application releases per year to 20 application releases per year
  • From 10 PB of data to approaching 20 PB of data
  • No additional infrastructure
  • Response time reduced from minutes to seconds

Before AppDynamics

  • 227 Severity-1 incidents/year took 33 hours each to troubleshoot
  • 300 pre-production defects per year took 49 hours each to troubleshoot
  • This amounts to a total of 36,891 man-hours spent on troubleshooting every year

After AppDynamics

FamilySearch estimates that they saved $4.8 million with AppDynamics in two years. That’s a huge number, so let’s break it down:

Infrastructure Savings:

  • FamilySearch would have had to purchase 1,200 servers at approx. $1,000 each, amounting to $1,200,215 in savings
  • Those 1,200 servers would cost $2,064,370 in power and air conditioning
  • Those 1,200 servers would cost $200,000 in administrative costs over two years

Productivity Savings:

FamilySearch estimates that they’ve reduced troubleshooting time for both pre-production defects and production incidents by 45%, amounting to $885,170 in savings for pre-production and $460,836 in savings for production incidents (based on average salaries for those positions).

To learn more about what FamilySearch accomplished and how they use AppDynamics, check out their case study and Bob Hartley’s video interview on the FamilySearch ROI page.

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