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Alerting Beyond Ops Metrics

Skyscanner is a global search engine that enables people to find comparisons for flights, hotels and car hire. Headquartered in the UK, Skyscanner has been an excellent customer of ours, providing feedback on new features and helping us with testing. When Lance Gobaira, a web operation engineer at Skyscanner, offered to share with us how they’re using VictorOps to alert on key business metrics, we jumped. Read on to see what he had to say…

Here at Skyscanner Engineering, we are serious about our metric collection and alerting solutions. We track every aspect of our network, application performance, service uptime, and higher level business metrics using various tools. We leverage AWS Cloudwatch to keep track of our cloud. We track partner performance, and even our SaaS tools.

From an engineering perspective VictorOps has been an easy sell to our organization. Most are thankful to have an easy-to-use alerting platform. We make use of VictorOps throughout the workday and during out of hours on-call ROTAs. We can on-board new users to the platform within a matter of minutes and alerts start flowing soon thereafter.

Sounds like nirvana right?! Almost…

One of the core tenets of effective monitoring and alerting is getting the right metrics to the right people at the right time. We were doing a great job embedding VictorOps through our engineering squads, but we still relied on legacy methods to inform non-engineering squads of any service degradations. Not cool.

Our Paid Media squad took a keen interest on understanding how our DevOps squads determine service health. They are always looking for new ways to increase their ROI. Spending money on ads which direct users to a broken or degraded pages is not efficient at increasing ROI.

The Paid Media Squad no longer rely on often delayed e-mail communications and are now able to make intelligent decisions on their campaigns based on real time data provided by canonical sources.

But wait, there’s more!

After our small experiment, our paid media team inquired if we could use VictorOps to trigger on non-operational metrics. Well, of course. Due to VictorOps easy-to-use integrations and some Seyren wizardry, we were able to parse data from our media partners’ API and send alerts (all with transmogrified annotations) to the new Paid Media Squad on-call ROTA when ROI changes are detected.

In short…

VictorOps enables increased agility and provides a valuable resource to teams who wouldn’t fit the “DevOps” profile. Everyday we find new places where people need real-time alerting on business metrics and VictorOps has proved reliable and easy to use even for non-techies.

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