Taleo scales application performance with AppDynamics
Leonard Igolnik, VP of Engineering at Taleo, was responsible for the engineering of Taleo’s Small- to Mid-Size Business product line, which included software engineering, quality assurance and product operations.
According to Igolnik, the Taleo Business Edition application processed about 5-6 million transactions a day with an average response time of sub-500 milliseconds, as part of Taleo’s Service Level Agreement (SLA). Most of those transactions were from applicants reviewing career websites and applying for jobs. “When companies are hiring it’s very important for them to attract the right talent, and we make sure the system is available to them,” said Igolnik.
“Over the last three years, we’ve grown from about 790 customers to 4,000 customers. With this growth rate we have to make sure we continue serving our customers and deliver the quality of service that’s expected,” said Igolnik. “Maintaining application performance and continuing to scale the application are obviously some of the areas we’re always looking at seriously.”
“As a large-scale SaaS vendor, we have been collecting a lot of metrics for a while now. We have logs and custom tools we’ve built around our products to look at them,” said Igolnik. “What we really liked about the AppDynamics platform is that it brings all those metrics into one place. It allows us to make sense of the madness of gigabytes and gigabytes of logs that our systems produce every day.”
Not only did the AppDynamics solution provide a holistic view of application performance, it allowed Igolnik and his team to address problems quickly and easily. “Being in the SaaS field we obviously have to support our support team, and when escalations come in it’s important for me to be able to look at the problems they’re reporting and quickly get to the root cause so we can fix the software and put the patch back into production,” said Igolnik.
“One of the interesting things we’ve seen so far in the product was the ability to respond to escalations more quickly,” said Igolnik. For example, when a key partner escalated an API performance issue, the AppDynamics solution was used to expedite a fix. “Using the AppDynamics platform we were able to take the escalation on Tuesday, look at the metrics, identify the root cause Wednesday, and have the patch in production Thursday?and for me to roll into the office Friday morning, look at my tool and confirm that the problem was actually solved before I get on the phone call with the partner was absolutely awesome,” said Igolnik.
The AppDynamics solution added value across Taleo’s business, “For example the operations team enjoys the metrics browser feature and some of the capabilities of collecting custom metrics and overlaying them on top of the standard metrics the tool already collects. Things like CPU versus business transactions, or number of logged-in users versus memory,” said Igolnik. This data was important to Taleo because, as a high-volume operation, the metrics supported capacity planning as well as troubleshooting.
“On the other hand, the software engineering team likes the fact that we get actionable intelligence out of the tool in the request snapshots. We can look at particular business transactions that may not be performing well and very quickly understand where the time is lost and whether it’s the SQL or the Java code,” added Igolnik. “It’s the dream you always have as a software engineer of running your profiler in your production application without degrading the performance 50% like a typical profiler does.”