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Iain Clark
CTO at Crowd Mobile

Production Monitoring Ecosystem

About the Team

Crowd Mobile provides a range of mobile services, operating across a multitude of platforms. The company supplies services in 30 different languages for thousands of network operators across the globe.

Key challenges and pain points:

Before OverOps, our main method for finding exceptions and errors was relying on our users to warn us when there was a problem or if something didn’t look right. Our workflow consisted of 3 parts:

  1. Tailing the logs on startup, checking if everything is up and running or if there’s an error.
  2. Relying on users to alert us whenever something bad happens, and then sifting through the logs trying to decipher what happened at that certain point.
  3. Searching the log for exceptions we might have missed, then checking if they’re critical or not.
Monitoring tools didn’t improve our workflow since we still had to manually create each type of exception in order to catch it and then wire it up to send an alert to the right person. This led to us setting up just one alert type, and we had to use different methods and tools to catch the rest. We needed an alternative.

Example problem that OverOps helped resolve:

Whenever one of our users reported an error, we knew it was going to take up a lot of time and resources to reproduce and solve it. We had to recreate the environment, change the logging levels, follow the user’s actions and hope to encounter the same outcome. This process would take up to 4 days, when most of our time revolved around trying to reproduce that critical error.

Thanks to the automated alerts in OverOps, we now have the ability to spot an error and get the complete source code and variable state within minutes. One look at the dashboard and it’s obvious what happened, where and why. Our whole debugging process was cut down dramatically, so finding, analyzing and solving each exception and error takes less than 1 hour.

Our developers are much more efficient, and we can focus on creating as well as improving features instead of looking for and solving bugs. This allows faster code releases, along with offering our users a better experience with our products.

Developers do more daring things if there's a safety net there to protect them. With OverOps, we don’t worry as much about deploying a new code because we know that we have something that would tell us quickly if there’s an error.

How are you integrating OverOps with your daily workflow?

After installing OverOps, the number of reported errors has gone down significantly thanks to the automated alerting system. We get these alerts through Slack, which helps us stay on top of each issue - identifying if it’s critical and fixing it quickly, before it hits our users.

We now have deeper insight into what happens inside our own applications and servers, which also helped us improve our response rate.

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