“Pingdom shortened what 10 years ago would have taken 8-10 hours into just a few minutes worth of work.”
Founded in 2007 Zuora is one of those companies where people who benefit from the service might not know they’re using it. They do online subscription billing and payments and financial. Zuora do everything from the order, the credit card processing, reporting, financial reporting, recurring revenue forecasts, as well as the re-billing of the subscription businesses.
Keith Freedman is the Senior Site Reliability Engineer at Zuora, where their customers are all over the globe and operate 24/7. Anything you might think of buying on a subscription-form are the kinds of customers they have. “We are mission critical. Our customers depend on us to provide reliable and scalable services 7 x 24 x 365. So, it's important to us to make sure that not only we can measure our system availability, but also our response time around the world. That's why we looked to a service like Pingdom who can show us what our user experience is all over the globe. This is one way we show our customers we are enterprise ready. ” says Freedman.
“I've been at Zuora for two years, and we've used Pingdom the whole time and we're very excited. We haven't implemented all of Pingdom's new features, which we're planning on doing through the summer, but we wanna use Pingdom to help measure some of those more in-depth interactions as well.”
Zuora reports back to their customers, on a monthly basis, what their availability was to meet the SLA in the agreed contracts. So rather than having a dispute between themselves and a customer whether the service was available or not, Zuora use Pingdom as a neutral third party.
Since many of Zuora’s customers use Pingdom as well, they don’t need to send out reports about the availability. Instead the availability data can be used proactively when talking to both existing and potential customers. “We don't specifically publish the Pingdom reports to customers. They’re used by our account managers to demonstrate to customers what our availability was,” says Keith Freedman.
“It’s fairly complex the way we measure some things, which is also why Pingdom is valuable to us, because we have different customers with different components that use different components of our application. In a case where we have a partial outage, it’s important for Pingdom to tell us which parts of our application were down,” he adds.
Keith Freedman uses the weekly reports from Pingdom for himself and his team. Needless to say, the reports are very valuable to a team working on the site reliability management. The team also rely heavily on the alerts from Pingdom. “We get the email alert, the up and down time, email and SMS messages, which our operations team uses to notify the on-call person. Those have actually shortened our response time significantly.”
Zuora use the ping checks all the time, mostly to help them understand response times around the world. They have had many cases where they have had customers, even as nearby as Canada, that were getting several hundred milliseconds of latency.
“Pingdom was able to show us that it was actually certain network providers travelling from Canada into the United States that were having some problems. So we were able to work with our customers to help them work with their upstream providers to find better routes for them to get into the country,” says Keith Freedman “It shortened what 10 years ago would have taken 8-10 hours into just a few minutes worth of work.”