Chartbeat | Pingdom

Chartbeat

“The places where Pingdom shines, in general, is cost-effectiveness and ease of use.”

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Industry
Software

Customer since
2011

Location
New York, USA

Why pingdom?
- Straightforward UI
- Cost-effective
- Public status pages

Understandable data on users’ behavior

Chartbeat is a real-time analytics platform for measuring who’s on your website right now and what they’re doing. With Chartbeat you get live stats about your site’s visitor behavior – from traffic stats, to engagement metrics, to geographic data and everything in between. Chartbeat have a wide customer base ranging from small blogs, e-commerce and applications, all the way up to major news and media publishers both in the US and Europe.

Pingdom helps see issues from a customer’s perspective

Nathan Potter is the VP of Engineering at Chartbeat’s office in New York, and he shares a bit about Chartbeat’s fairly extensive network: “We’re hosted entirely on Amazon’s EC2 service. We maintain well over 300 servers, and have a lot of infrastructure to support the traffic that we’re getting. We hit over 8 million concurrents on a daily basis and handle up to 200,000 requests a second.”

There are two halves of Chartbeat’s infrastructure. One half is the JavaScript code that lives on the customer sites. “The JavaScript loads with their site and they’re pinging back to Chartbeat’s servers from the sites,” says Nathan Potter. The other half is the dashboard where users come to get the information that were gathered from those pingers.

There is a lot of internal monitoring in place already at Chartbeat, which is very helpful and help out to diagnose and fix and issues that come up quickly. “We’re looking for a service that will help us monitor that externally, from the sort of perspectives of what our customers are saying. So we have monitors set up that load the JavaScript and ping back to our beacon servers, and make sure that those are all responding in a timely manner globally,” Potter says and adds “then we have some of our similar checks that are monitoring our dashboard, as well as the APIs that support our dashboard globally to make sure that our performance times are within acceptable limits.”

“We use Pingdom for the majority of our external monitoring because it’s the most cost effective, as well as covers most of what we’re looking for,” says Nathan Potter. Chartbeat do have a couple of other services that they use because their customers use them. “But our primary source for external performance metrics as well as uptime alerts and that kind of thing, is Pingdom, and has been as long as we have been doing external monitoring.”

A great help to the support staff

Chartbeat has checks set up for their JavaScript which loads up with CDN, and their beacon servers which is getting those pings. On the dashboard side Chartbeat have three separate monitors set up for all their historical data, and a separate monitor set up for the dashboard itself. “We use the public uptime page that Pingdom provide, and we have it up on our screen in our office so that we can always see what the current performance is,” says Nathan Potter.

“Our support staff uses that to see if there’s any issues that they should be aware of. Then we also have that hooked up to PagerDuty, so that if we have any significant downtimes, our technical support folks get paged for that.”

“Recently, one of our customers was reporting an issue with some of our services and we quickly set up a check specifically for them so that we could compare to what they were seeing, and diagnose the issue that way,” says Nathan.

But Chartbeat also test their API using Pingdom checks, and Nathan explains how: “For those APIs, we’re looking for specific response codes, in terms of the content that’s coming back. We’re particularly interested in response times, because we want those to be fairly fast and then we’re also just looking for general time outs and make sure that they’re just responding at all.” Those APIs are either gonna respond correctly or not at all which is exactly what Nathan and his team at Chartbeat is looking for.


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