The award-winning cloud communications company relies on Wavefront to deliver exceptional SLAs at scale.

CASE STUDY: 8×8

8×8 provides their enterprise customers with a Communications Cloud, unifying communications and connections between customers, employees, and applications. By eliminating information silos, 8×8 helps their customers to reduce complexity, increase productivity, and improve their own customers’ experience.

The Challenge

8×8’s cloud service has evolved dramatically from the time when it ran a monolithic piece of software that served their customers. In line with industry trends and best practices, they moved to a services model, and, ultimately, to microservices. This meant that they transitioned from a centralized development team working on a single program to many agile groups, each responsible for its own microservice.

Optimizing the manageability, performance, and reliability of their services required visibility into a huge number of performance parameters. With many different groups working semi-independently under the guidance of a single architecture team, it became a challenge to standardize how metrics and analytics were performed. They tried open-source tools like OpenTSDB and InfluxDB, but this proved time-consuming, complicated, and difficult to maintain, with ongoing internal debates on the best approach.

The highest priority was on keeping developers focused on building new code and features, not on figuring out how to emit and parse metrics for future analysis. As they scaled up, their developers were being pulled in the wrong direction. They needed a better solution.

The Solution

8×8’s Principal Architect of Site Reliability, Edgar Nidome, was already familiar with Wavefront when he joined 8×8. He was a firm believer in giving engineers access to useful production data, but it had to be done in a way that didn’t require a huge upfront investment in training. And he was sensitive to the need to keep engineers busy innovating rather than managing metrics. From his prior experience, he knew that Wavefront could provide exceptional metrics without side-tracking the developers.

Within two weeks, more than 100 engineers had been able to shift direction, emitting their custom metrics directly into Wavefront. They found Wavefront to be thorough, solid, and well able to handle their enterprise-level requirements. Developers could manage their own metrics, solving issues as they arose, without the cumbersome processes that had been required with prior solutions.

The Results

Because developers and SREs now own their metrics data, they can much more readily deal with issues, solving problems as they occur. This has significantly reduced the burden on the on-call staff, helping to prevent burn-out. With easy-to-follow instructions, the network operations center (NOC) can often resolve issues on their own, without needing to involve the developers.

In particular, 8×8 has changed their roll-out procedures for new code based on an instance where a latency issue wasn’t noticed until the number of customers using the service had scaled up. They now slow-roll their releases, monitoring performance metrics, so that they can catch and resolve any problems before they impact all of their customers at once.

Wavefront has enabled 8×8 to establish rigid service-level agreements (SLAs) with their customers. 8×8 can provide exceptional service to their customers because they have as much visibility as they need into how their code is performing. Early warnings when problems arise allow resolution before those problems become crises. They continue to build on the metrics that they create with Wavefront, making their service ever better for their customers.

“The Wavefront platform provides unparalleled visibility across all our cloud microservices helping hundreds of developers become more productive focusing on innovation, while enabling 8x8 to deliver exceptional SLAs and eliminate any issues with our cloud services.”

Dejan DeklichChief Product Officer, 8x8