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Red Technologies Benefits from Datadog Optimization to Provide Transparency into Application’s Management

Streamlined visibility into metric collection, application performance, infrastructure, and user monitoring at scale.

Background

When Ben Garvin joined as Director of Red Technologies, the team was exploring the use of Stackify and Datadog to support Red Technologies’ monitoring needs. However, the team could only choose one long-term solution. Datadog won, so Garvin began working with Red Technologies’ Datadog account manager with the goal of properly adopting Datadog across teams with varying needs at the rapidly scaling company. Eventually, Datadog introduced Ben and Red Technologies to its partner program and suggested three partners to work with.

Challenges

Spot Freight, Inc. (Spot), one of the fastest-growing third-party logistics companies in the United States, quickly realized that having the right technology in place would increase efficiency and streamline communication. Rather than implementing an out-of-the-box solution, co-owners Andrew Elsener and Andy Schenck, developed proprietary software that provided complete visibility into their customers’ supply chain operations.

With this solution, Spot’s sister company, Red Technologies was born. Early versions of the software had some challenges. While Datadog was running on Red Technologies’ environments, Garvin stated, “it was nearly impossible to monitor the apps internal operations. The app didn’t reveal any errors that occurred or trends and associations that were important to operations.”

While the team at Red Technologies knew what Datadog was capable of, the sheer volume of customization potential on Datadog’s platform made it difficult for Red Technologies to adopt and optimize on its own. Due to these challenges, the team started to evaluate other options that the developers were familiar with: Elasticsearch and Kibana. After much internal discussion, Red Technologies’ leadership determined that it wanted to give Datadog one last try, but this time with external support. When Garvin asked about hands-on support, Datadog pointed the team towards the Datadog Partner Network’s Consulting Partners.

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Evaluating Trek10

Red Technologies wanted a partner that was thorough, with a passion for optimizing Datadog implementation, had a proven record and was customer-focused. Upon conversations and reaching out to references from each of the three partners Datadog introduced, the team enthusiastically chose Trek10 as its consulting partner. This decision stemmed from the structured software approach discussed in its initial call with Trek10 which revealed its experience with the Datadog platform.

Solution

After choosing Trek10, they embarked on a six-week initiative to optimize Datadog within Red Technologies’ environments. To achieve the level of adoption and utilization desired, several services and integrations were used:

  • Application Performance Monitoring (APM): Employ a comprehensive and scalable system and performance monitoring linked to all available data points.
  • Real User Monitoring (RUM): Discover insights into your application’s frontend performance from the perspective of real users and end-to-end visibility.
  • Infrastructure Monitoring: Gain complete visibility into your infrastructure performance as you deploy and maintain with an unparalleled breadth of coverage.
  • IIS Integration: Collect metrics from across all your sites or on a per-site basis as IIS Agent checks collects metrics for bytes sent and received, metrics for active connections, and more.
  • SQL Server Integration: Track the performance of your SQL Server instances as Datadog collects metrics for the number of user connections, rate of SQL compilations, and more.
  • Docker Integration: Get metrics from Docker in real-time to visualize your containers’ performance and correlate the performance of containers with the applications running inside. The Datadog revamp of Red Technologies’ environments significantly

The Datadog revamp of Red Technologies’ environments significantly reduced the time to resolve issues within the system and helped the developers at Red Technologies feel more comfortable in their ability to resolve any issues. As Red Technologies’ Software Development Manager, Alex Johnson, stated, “we have much better insight into what our applications are doing and how they’re performing to the point where I feel more comfortable as a developer answering any question that arises.”

Additionally, this project enabled Red Technologies to be more transparent to its customers about the health of its environments and applications. Dashboards were used internally to show sales and non-technical teammates performance analytics and customer concerns about experiencing sudden website outages were reduced.

Red Technologies was open to improving its experiences with consultants and “out of the gate, Trek10 provided a true consulting experience,” stated Garvin. He went on to say, “we were looking for a partnership and that’s exactly what Trek10 delivered.” To open lines of communication, Trek10 set up a weekly cadence of meetings with Red Technologies for optimum project communication; one on Monday to prepare for the week, one on Friday to wrap up the week and share progress, and ad-hoc meetings in between for technical guidance. Garvin stated, “the team at Trek10 was very approachable. I was able to ping them on a shared chat and get an answer quickly.”