SAN FRANCISCO – JANUARY 22, 2015 – eHarmony, one of the world’s leading online dating services, has successfully ported several of its key services from legacy Java applications to a Node.js and microservices environment, enabling it to serve far more traffic on far less hardware. eHarmony credits AppDynamics with playing a “critical role” in development and deployment, helping to maintain continuity of service during the migration, and delivering improved performance and scalability on the new system.
“In launching a new service, I expected to have many more production problems than we’ve had,” said Stace Baal, director of engineering for eHarmony. “I can actually say we’ve had no outages in production on any Node.js cluster since we’ve ported over, and I can credit a large part of that to AppDynamics. Any issue we’ve had, we’ve seen coming and been able to isolate and correct well before any user experience is aware of any issue.”
Performance is critical for eHarmony, particularly during sign-up to make sure the user completes the process, and then during ongoing use; because the user is paying for the service, they have high expectations for performance. The visibility that AppDynamics gives the eHarmony team not only helps them to keep the applications running in top form, which has reduced customer complaints, but also enables them to correlate drops in performance to drops in engagement. This, in turn, enables Baal’s team to effectively communicate performance priorities to management.
The transition to Node.js is not the first time eHarmony has turned to AppDynamics to help ensure application performance during a system change. After it had switched back-end storage arrays, the process of serving photos to users noticeably slowed down and sometimes failed — a significant problem for a site where users want to see their potential life-mates. The problem went on for weeks without being pinpointed. This was at the time when eHarmony was just beginning to deploy the AppDynamics platform for the first time.
“We had application agents and machine agents on all of our photo services,” Baal said. “And then as soon as we did a POC (proof of concept) to install the AppDynamics NetApp collector and monitor, I’d say within an hour, we had this nailed down and corrected.”
Today, eHarmony is using AppDynamics agents to monitor Java, Node.js, Oracle, and NFS. Two of the advantages that eHarmony puts high value on are AppDynamics’ comprehensive monitoring with a single pane-of-glass view, and baseline trending.
“The ability to set health rules based on trending baselines is important for a business like ours, because we do have certain surges and peaks in our business patterns that are completely normal,” Baal said. “Having to set flat thresholds causes a lot of noise and alerts, or we simply miss things that we should catch.”
One of the reasons eHarmony has been able to leverage such tremendous value out of the AppDynamics platform is because of the support that backs it up.
“I think out of about any vendor that I’ve worked with, the process of learning AppDynamics, deploying AppDynamics across our system, as well as supporting any question we’ve had, has been great,” Baal said.
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