Uprise’s “Monitoring on Steroids” with Anodot
About the Company
Uprise is an adtech company that specializes in performance advertising, using its machine learning algorithms to target the best performing ad placements for its customers.
Continuous Delivery Requires Continuous Monitoring
As a successful advertising technology company, Uprise needs to keep track of hundreds of thousands of metrics, which is the lifeblood of its business. The company develops its software using the “continuous delivery” approach, which means that the team pushes around 20 new software releases into production each day. Each new release can affect the ad-tech platform’s performance (positively or negatively), so it is crucial to monitor results in a timely fashion to determine if the new release should be kept in production or rolled back.
In addition to the rapid release schedule, the ad tech environment itself has many moving parts, each of which is a potential point of failure. These can include server issues, changes at the ad affiliates, introduction of ad blocking software, or even fraud. Whenever a problem occurs, isolating the source can require complex, time-consuming analysis.
Identifying issues in the first place is also tricky, since network traffic behaves seasonally. With the traffic naturally reaching various peaks and valleys throughout the day, noticing a 20% loss or gain at any given point is next to impossible. For major problems like outages the company was using Pingdom and Nagios, however these only identified the most extreme cases, for example if a server went down or ran out of space.
Anodot Monitors 100% of Uprise’s Metrics
With so many metrics, with traditional solutions, one must choose what to monitor, but with Anodot, Uprise can simply monitor everything, letting Anodot do the work of identifying anomalies.
“My philosophy is, if you can think about it, you can monitor it or put it on a graph,” said Doron Ben-David, Uprise’s CTO. “Now that we have Anodot, I have asked our developers to push everything into Anodot so we can see how the data behaves. We add new metrics to Anodot every day.”
Currently, Uprise uses Anodot to track KPIs such as revenue, spend, fill-rate, and performance.
Where previously an on-call support person may have received an alert at 3 am from their standard server monitoring solutions, now Anodot alerts much earlier since it is looking for the metric anomalies, rather than relying on static thresholds.
Anomalies can signify positive events as well as negative ones. In one case the data for one country rose sharply, and it was traced to a Facebook outage. “People in that country did not have access to Facebook and it meant they spent more time on other sites, so we saw a distinct increase in traffic and related metrics,” Doron said.
In another concrete benefit, Uprise was able to identify a software bug simply by monitoring certain metrics with Anodot. Anodot provides the exact timestamp where an anomaly began, so the Uprise team can correlate it to a specific software release.
“We collect a lot of data, so we have a lot of noise,” said Doron. “We use Anodot to cut through the noise.”
Looking Ahead: Anodot in Every Room
Anodot is so easy to use that every single Uprise employee has a login to Anodot – from R&D to devops/IT to business intelligence – and most are using it all the time. Even Uprise’s CEO logs in to Anodot after important software releases to check how the change has impacted company revenue. The company plans to roll out computer monitors throughout the office that display the relevant Anodot visualizations to each team.
Doron said, “If something breaks, or something changes suddenly, I want to know about it immediately. Anodot helps us achieve this.”
“We collect a lot of data, so we have a lot of noise. We use Anodot to cut through the noise.”
– Doron Ben-David, Uprise CTO