“Pingdom shows you the status of your service just the way your customers see it.”
LiveChat was founded in 2002 and has since been developing the online application that lets companies around the world talk to their customers in real time. With offices in both USA and Europe, LiveChat have around 7,000 customers worldwide that use their service every day.
Bartosz Olchówka at LiveChat knows all too well that a fast growth of the customer base can shift the development team’s focus to uptime and the quality of all backend services. “Whenever our service was down, hundreds of conversations between companies and customers were cut off,” says Bartosz. Getting as close to 100% uptime as possible became LiveChat’s primary goal if they were to deliver a quality product.
“When you start building a software product, it’s usually not prepared to handle the big traffic, as you have more important issues that you should focus on first,” says Bartosz Olchówka.
Pingdom is one of many monitoring services used by the team at LiveChat. They found one major advantage with Pingdom over its competitors though “It imitates a real customer’s behaviour. It checks our services from external servers, and it’s the most reliable way to do so,” tells Olchówka and continues “All in all, you build your software for the customers, and they connect to your service from outside of your datacenter, too.”
LiveChat has a number of servers and their customers’ accounts are distributed across them. To make sure that all services are up and running on each of these servers, Bartosz and his team set up Pingdom to check multiple accounts, with each located on a different server. “This gives us a reliable monitoring service of all of our most important services. These include our API machines, chat server machines and more,” he says.
Bartosz say that the setup is actually not that complex “We perform standard ‘HTTP GET’ API calls and check if the response contains the string that should always be included, e.g. the name of the object holding the actual JSON response (e.g. ' "chats": ')” and continues “Of course it does not cover some use-cases when the data would be corrupted and we would think everything works OK.”
With Pingdom monitoring in place there were no longer any difference in what customers reported as incidents and what LiveChat themselves noticed with their internal monitoring tools.
“Focusing on the service uptime helped us earn trust from our customers, mainly because they heavily rely their businesses on LiveChat.” They have also seen a great progress in terms of their service uptime, “Pingdom helped us understand that product’s availability is a very important factor to a SaaS company,” he concludes.
The developers at LiveChat are also having a go at the Pingdom API, automating the process of assigning multiple checks to a single person. “We’ve built a simple app that lets us do that with the help of Pingom’s API,” says Bartosz.
“Pingdom shows you the status of your service just the way your customers see it. And it’s very reliable - when the check is “down”, you can be sure that something is wrong.”