High performance during an unprecedented boom
How IBM Instana Observability helped an eBay company reach new heights
Experience IBM Instana Observability
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In 2020, while the entire planet spent months at a time in lockdown, online commerce surged to unprecedented volumes across the world. For online retailers, it was like a yearlong online shopping spree.

In November, as Black Friday approached, retailers saw enormous revenue potential. But they needed to be prepared to handle the demand.

One of those retailers was GittiGidiyor, the Turkish subsidiary of eBay. GittiGidiyor serves a user base of 33 million buyers and sellers. Like most online stores, it saw business skyrocket in 2020. Still, Black Friday would increase its overall volume by four or five times.

To be ready, GittiGidiyor needed a clear, consolidated view into potential issues arising across its application landscape. It needed immediate visibility into where and what the problems are, and how to resolve them, even across complex modern, containerized architectures.

Luckily, GittiGidiyor recently gained these capabilities when it implemented IBM Instana® Observability .

Growth in revenue

 

GittiGidiyor saw mobile sales revenue surge by 82% in 2020

Rapid business growth

 

On Black Friday, Instana Observability helped accommodate 4–5x business growth

We installed it once and it auto-detected our apps. Other tools require more of a process and changing Docker files. Now, we don’t need to do that. Oguz Yarimtepe Site Reliability Engineer Team Lead GittiGidiyor
Monitoring a modernized environment

GittiGidiyor had already established excellent scalability through modernization. About 80% of its applications are microservice-based and containerized, including all front-end and back-end services and its hyper-critical payments system, which is the engine of the business.

But where modernization brings scalability and flexibility, it also adds complexity. Replacing a monolithic application with a microservice architecture creates new communication pathways between each microservice. To maintain high application performance, a company must monitor those pathways and keep data flowing.

During 2020, when GittiGidiyor saw 20 million new downloads of its mobile app—a 57% increase from 2019—and its mobile sales revenue surged by 82%, the company used Instana for comprehensive visibility that helped it accommodate growth and maintain performance.

That observability helped it handle the Black Friday boom, too.

Big-picture clarity, instantly

When Instana Partner Kloia (link resides outside of ibm.com), a cloud, DevOps and microservices solution provider, helped GittiGidiyor audit its Kubernetes clusters in 2019, it recognized an opportunity for GittiGidiyor to increase monitoring visibility using Instana.

Kloia helped GittiGidiyor evaluate its application performance needs and define performance-monitoring requirements, and it continues to work with GittiGidiyor to help resolve issues and extend Instana monitoring to Node.js applications.

When GittiGidiyor piloted Instana, the team came away impressed that a single installation produced valuable visibility almost immediately. “We installed it once and it auto-detected our apps,” explains Oguz Yarimtepe, GittiGidiyor’s Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) Team Lead. “Other tools require more of a process and changing Docker files. Now, we don’t need to do that.”

Upon installing Instana, GittiGidiyor also quickly established greater fidelity over the interdependencies between microservices. According to Mehmet Gökhan Akgül, Software Development Team Lead, “It allows us to discover the whole structure of our system and brings observability to our dependencies.”

Yarimtepe adds, “We have the big picture of our infrastructure, we can see what’s talking with what. I can see what clusters I have, the resource usage, how many PIDs, what kind of deployments, namespaces, whatever. I can just look at the screen and see them very fast.”

When GittiGidiyor developed a secondary data center as a disaster recovery site, the SRE team needed to discover the dependencies of the second infrastructure to understand how requirements would change when switching apps from one site to the other. As Yarimtepe explains, “We need to be able to run a back-end cluster, a front-end cluster, a PCI cluster, etcetera, across the two sites.” Using Instana, it was easy. “I can just see it,” says Yarimtepe. “Instead of running a TCP dump or going to a Git report and searching for configurations, I have the power to understand exactly what’s going on from an application perspective.”

For its most critical application, the payment system, GittiGidiyor appreciates the ability to find issues immediately, so as not to lose an opportunity to close a sale. Instana offers Smart Alerts, which allows users to create custom thresholds or establish KPIs on different services to proactively alert on issues before they become a problem.

We have the big picture of our infrastructure, we can see what’s talking with what. I can see what clusters I have, the resource usage… I can just look at the screen and see them very fast. Oguz Yarimtepe Site Reliability Engineer Team Lead GittiGidiyor
Capturing enormous potential

By Black Friday in 2020, GittiGidiyor had already learned a great deal about using the Instana solution to boost reliability and performance despite rapid business growth. Based on the company’s projections for the business surge plus the insight it had gained from Instana about the resource levels needed to accommodate certain business volumes, GittiGidiyor developed a proactive plan to right-size its infrastructure and keep its site humming.

The team set up a custom dashboard where it could watch latency in real time, both within the payment system and in responses from partner applications. For example, the payment system interacts with any of numerous partner banks to facilitate purchases. On Black Friday, as the team monitored latency, it noticed when response times from particular banks began to lag and directed transactions to other banks on the fly. This kept purchases moving—keeping the shoppers clicking and helping GittiGidiyor capture the enormous potential of the day.

Bringing observability to a flexible, modernized architecture helps ensure you’re gaining the full benefits of that flexibility. Yarimtepe illustrates it perfectly: “If we decide to migrate, to run on another infrastructure, it only takes one person to understand what’s going on. Otherwise, we’d need a systems engineer, an SRE, a developer, maybe an architect and a network engineer. We’d need to run a TCP dump to check all of the dependencies and ensure there are no problems. Now, it’s one person.” Because of this, the team saves precious time while accelerating the kinds of changes that improve business performance.

On the development side, the transparency GittiGidiyor has achieved makes requirements clearer to stakeholders and helps make sprints more productive, accelerating time to deployment. According to Akgül, “It helps us understand how to refine our designs and communicate the paths between microservices to the development team. And it also helps with post-deployment validations. We can more easily see if we delivered as expected.”

The same goes for GittiGidiyor’s business as a whole. Observability helps align performance to expectations. So as online commerce continues to grow, GittiGidiyor is well equipped to handle any day of the year.

GittiGidiyor and Instana logo
About GittiGidiyor

A subsidiary of eBay based in Istanbul, GittiGidiyor is an online shopping platform that connects consumers in Turkey to sellers of a wide range of goods. It offers retail and auction-based sales from domestic and international sellers.

About Kloia

An IT consultancy with offices in the UK, Netherlands and Turkey, Kloia (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a team of experienced engineers that helps customers adopt modern practices in DevOps, cloud, test automation and microservices.

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Produced in the United States of America, August 2021.

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