Redfin Implements Circonus to Scale its Monitoring, Reduce Costs, and Improve Accuracy of StatsD Analysis

Over 90% of Redfin’s metric data will be represented in Circonus’ log linear OpenHistograms, which will reduce their metric footprint by 50-60%.

We’re pleased to announce today that Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage, has selected Circonus to replace its existing metrics platform. Redfin chose Circonus because of its ability to provide unlimited scalability and redundancy; more data frequency and granularity for better insights into services; and reliability for on-premises and cloud deployments.

StatsD Monitoring Challenges

Prior to Circonus, Redfin’s telemetry pipeline was based on a combination of StatsD and Graphite, which was unable to scale with the increasing monitoring requirements of the rapidly growing company. It also required significant operating costs, lacked the ability to slice and dice metrics, could not dynamically calculate SLOs, and did not provide the metrics granularity and accuracy Redfin desired. Redfin is not alone. Many organizations are currently exploring alternatives to their legacy StatsD pipelines because of these challenges.

Scale, Ease, & Unified Visibility Push Circonus Above Other Well Known Monitoring Vendors

Says Richa Sehgal, Senior Software Engineer at Redfin, “We evaluated multiple monitoring platforms and ultimately selected Circonus because of its ability to collect, store, and analyze massive amounts of telemetry data at such high frequency and granularity. This is exactly what we needed to ensure our data analysis is accurate. We also liked that Circonus integrates with our Grafana implementation for visualizations, and that it provides comprehensive visibility across both our private datacenter and also our infrastructure in AWS.”

Circonus is monitoring all of the core infrastructure and application data from Redfin’s website and mobile application. The Circonus Agent collects all StatsD telemetry, which is then ingested into Circonus as OpenHistograms. OpenHistograms allow Redfin to generate aggregation analytics on-demand rather than requiring pre-aggregation, allowing teams to set and measure their own Service Level Objectives (SLOs) – a capability critical to Redfin as it implements more modern Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) principles.

Benefits Key to Redfin

Redfin chose Circonus for the following benefits and capabilities:

  • Reduced Costs: Over 90% of Redfin’s metric data will be represented in Circonus’ log linear OpenHistograms, which will allow Redfin to store highly granular data for years at very low cost, as well as reduce their metric footprint by 50-60%, thereby reducing network bandwidth.
  • Accurate StatsD Sampling and Analysis: Circonus’ brokers and agents eliminate the need for a StatsD server and can aggregate StatsD metrics on-demand at extremely high granularity, ensuring accurate real-time and historical analysis of StatsD metrics.
  • Support for Tagging: The ability of Circonus to add tags to metrics will drastically improve the insight discovery process for Redfin. The additional context and metadata makes it easier to analyze across various dimensions and will simplify managing the millions of unique metrics that Redfin uses.
  • Dynamic SLOs: Circonus collects all source data and stores latency measurements as OpenHistograms, enabling Redfin to dynamically compute aggregations from raw data. This flexibility simplifies defining and measuring optimal SLOs for existing and emerging business use-cases for Redfin.
  • Data governance: Using Circonus as a centralized metrics platform gives Redfin a consistent metrics framework across teams and services to ensure everyone is looking at the same data.
  • Improved data redundancy: Circonus operates with data replicated across multiple availability zones, stores multiple copies of data in a cluster of nodes, and ensures data retention in cases of network instability with its store and forward technology.

As companies migrate to more complex IT environments, experience significant growth in data, and address “always on” customer expectations, they need more advanced monitoring and analytics platforms like Circonus that can handle the scale and granularity required for accurate analysis and monitoring. Having a centralized platform for all metrics also streamlines monitoring processes organizationally in a way that enables organizations to gain deeper business insights. Redfin saw the need for these more sophisticated capabilities, which will ultimately give them a competitive advantage and allow them to provide better experiences for their customers.

You can read the full announcement here.

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