TrackVia empowers people to build custom applications to run their departments or business with no programming required. We talked with Matt Knox, System Administrator at TrackVia, about how VictorOps helped him empower Ops and Engineers too. This is what he said.
“Before VictorOps, I felt like I was always on-call.”
We used to have our monitoring systems alert everybody. Because we’re so customer-centric, anytime an alert would trigger we’d often have multiple people responding to it immediately and all at once. And I’m the type of person who doesn’t like things to go unanswered, so I too felt compelled to respond to every alert. It felt like I was always on-call.
VictorOps aggregates all of our alerts into one place where it can follow a route and get to the right person. That person can ack an alert when it comes through, so everyone else knows that someone acked it and the rest of us can relax.
Overcoming the “I-don’t-want-to-bother-them-right-now” boundary
There have been a few times where an alert is triggered and the TrackVia person assigned to it needed some help. In the past, they may have tried to figure it out on their own versus asking for help unless they absolutely needed it. With VictorOps, people feel comfortable messaging in the app immediately. It doesn’t feel like an interruption to message someone in VictorOps, so we get the right people on the problem faster. It’s definitely improved our time to resolution.
VictorOps chat has been huge. Whenever we aren’t in the office, we rely on chat because we know notifications are quick and people are going to see them. Outside of the office, VictorOps is definitely the way to go.
Devs go on-call
Before VictorOps, it was a real pain to change on-call rotations because we had to change it in multiple monitoring systems.
With VictorOps, it is a lot faster and easier for us to manage larger numbers of people on-call, more sophisticated routing, and more frequent rotation changes. We completely restructured how on-call works when we signed on with VictorOps.
As a result, we’ve more than quintupled the number of ops people and engineers in rotation at any given time. This has been especially good for engineers as it gave them a more holistic build-to-deploy view of things. We even built a wiki with common problems and how to resolve them so everyone felt like they had more power and could take responsibility.
We also like VictorOps’ ability to transfer on-call rotations. For example, if I get busy and need someone to pick up my on-call rotation, I can just use VictorOps to quickly switch with someone. People can just handle the schedules on their own, and we know the systems are being taken care of.
VictorOps vs. the competition
I hate to recommend something without knowing the other product, so we experimented with competitive solutions for a while. The competitors we looked at all seemed to just build a product and just leave it there. In other words, they didn’t seem to be investing a lot in further developing their solutions. That definitely wasn’t the case with VictorOps. In my opinion, they’re definitely innovating.
VictorOps’ interface was another a big part of why we chose them. With competitive products, it feels like you need to be the sys admin to operate it. VictorOps is a much cleaner interface. It feels like anyone can use it.
I definitely recommend VictorOps.