Investing in greater application performance
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa entrusts its application monitoring to IBM Instana Observability
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Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, a mutual banking group and a leader in the banking and insurance sector, wanted to modernize performance monitoring for its 14,000 application instances. It sought a way to deliver key insights to Dev, Ops and its business teams—to promote greater application stability end to end.

In late 2021, the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa IT division looked into the renewal of its application performance management (APM) solution, whose license was due to expire. It required an APM tool that covered the company’s entire information system as well as those belonging to some of its subsidiaries.

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa wanted to make its APM system a joint solution for Dev and Ops to foster collaboration between these teams, which account for a total of almost 1,200 users.

“Our APM is intended to serve three types of audiences,” explains Crédit Mutuel Arkéa PaaS Service Manager Guillaume Pape. “The developers (Dev) are the initial customers for the solution. They use it before their code is put into production, to check that it does not cause bugs in performance terms, but also after production, in order to monitor applications and when reporting incident tickets.”

The second audience, Pape says, are the operational teams (Ops). “They take advantage of the tool’s monitoring and alerting capacities, in order to automate supervision of the applications. As they are accustomed to a high level of automated monitoring, we are in the process of linking their workflows, with the objective of connecting the APM to their monitoring tools as well as to existing automatic remediation mechanisms.”

He continues: “Finally, the third group of people are the business team members, who will be able to draw on various business metrics: monitoring the number of loans granted, measuring campaign effectiveness, etc.”

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14,000 instances

 

IBM Instana Observability monitors the operation of 14,000 application instances.

275 weekly users

 

APM usage grew from only 20 connections per day to 275 weekly users making several hundred daily connections.

We immediately liked IBM Instana Observability from a technical and functional point of view. As a result, we naturally chose this observability solution. Guillaume Pape PaaS Service Manager Crédit Mutuel Arkéa
Deployment accomplished in less than one year

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa decided to replace its APM tool with a new generation observability solution: IBM® Instana® Observability. “The work started in March 2022 with the will to complete the project by late 2022,” sums up Pape. Because the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa IT division endeavors to retain control of the technologies it uses, it managed the migration project to IBM Instana Observability in-house.

“IBM Instana Observability is a rather simple tool to set up and use,” explains Pape. “No major problems were encountered during the project, which we were able to perform independently, with the support of the Instana teams. We started with a PoC phase, with the deployment of a pre-pilot within the IT division, before continuing with the deployment of pilots for each functional unit. At the same time, we trained our staff to run and use the solution, with the help of IBM.”

On completion of the work, the tool was deployed in three environments: production, acceptance testing and validation. As regards to Ops, their solution still needs to be connected to their IBM supervision tool. Lastly, major groundwork has begun with the business teams to ensure that they acquire the metrics-driven culture required to take advantage of a solution like IBM Instana Observability.

The IBM Instana Observability solution should also help to reduce the environmental impact of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s IT infrastructures: “IBM Instana Observability provides us with interesting data regarding our applications’ load. This allows us to better understand our IS, with the possibility—in the long run—of improving the dimension of our application instances,” says Pape.

IBM Instana Observability has allowed us to improve our knowledge of our IS and be more responsive. It allows us to be more efficient and thus to save time ... and therefore money. Guillaume Pape PaaS Service Manager Crédit Mutuel Arkéa
Strong growth in connection numbers

“Our previous APM tool was vastly underused,” remembers Pape. “IBM Instana Observability is a much more user-friendly solution, with a modern user interface. It was adopted immediately. Previously, we used to have a ceiling of about 20 connections per day, whereas now there are about 275 users accessing IBM Instana Observability each week, which translates into several hundred daily connections.”

The Crédit Mutuel Arkéa IT division has succeeded in making application performance a key issue for all its teams, while making communication between Dev and Ops more fluid. The ease with which alerts can be set up on IBM Instana Observability—and connected to internal team chats—has also contributed to the solution’s success.

The adoption of IBM Instana Observability has also resulted in advances in application stability. “IBM Instana Observability provides concrete and reliable metrics on the quality of deliverables, allowing us to put code into production that is more compliant with our quality requirements. When a problem is detected, it allows us to pinpoint the source, thus facilitating the work of our developers,” says Pape.

The next challenge for the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa IT teams will be to ensure this solution is adopted by the business teams. “Our priority was to focus on Dev and Ops, but we believe that IBM Instana Observability will also provide added value for the business teams, by providing them with useful production metrics. We have already set up a pilot with certain teams to whom we offer a business insights dashboard designed from technical measurements provided by IBM Instana Observability,” notes Pape.

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa logo
About Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa (link resides outside of ibm.com), a mutual banking group, is both a regional player with a strong presence in Brittany and Southwest France, and an international player through its many subsidiaries, including Fortuneo Banque, Financo and Leetchi. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa employs more than 11,000 people and boasts a total turnover of more than EUR 2.5 billion.

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Produced in the United States of America, May 2023.

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