InVision uses LightStep to produce complete end-to-end traces and robust metrics that explain performance behaviors and accelerate root-cause analysis.

Challenge: Access comprehensive distributed traces and address deficiencies of the legacy APM solution

InVision is a fully distributed company with employees in more than 20 countries around the world. Like the company, the architecture of the platform is also distributed and is comprised of more than 100 microservices owned and operated by dozens of engineering teams.

With distributed teams and distributed systems, pinpointing the root cause of performance issues was extremely difficult, if not impossible, with InVision’s existing Application Performance Management (APM) solution from New Relic. The company needed full visibility across the distributed services to understand the root cause and get the right team engaged in resolving the situation. InVision wanted a solution that would analyze 100% of the performance data. New Relic APM could not fulfill this need because its architecture forces it to sample at the host. Plus, its pricing model (which is based on hosts and data retention) was cost prohibitive.

Easily share full system analyses across teams and never miss an outlier

InVision chose LightStep because it’s the only solution on the market that analyzes 100% of the data, 100% of the time with no upfront sampling, so teams never miss a performance outlier. With its unique architecture, LightStep computes advanced statistics based on all of the application performance data going through the system and stores examples of important information forever.

Today, 13 engineering teams at InVision have replaced New Relic APM with LightStep, and they have reduced MTTR and costs as a result. Teams can more quickly identify the root cause of outages and incidents. “We can now identify the root cause definitively versus in the past when it was a process of elimination,” said Jeremiah Jenkins, Manager of the Platform Labs and Data Services team, InVision. LightStep has no upfront sampling, so the InVision team never misses a transaction that matters. It also provides the granular level of detail they need to definitively identify the root cause, something they couldn’t achieve with their metrics tool.

The team developed a tool to help customers migrate from one environment to another. Using LightStep, they were able to improve the performance of the tool by 75%. They were able to identify the non-performant portions of the transaction and reduce runtime from 16 hours to four. LightStep helps InVision meet its goals of developer efficiency, system performance, and reliability by providing a complete view of the system.

As the InVision team works on new capabilities, LightStep is critical in helping them understand the service-to-service interactions. Prior to LightStep, InVision lacked insight into how those interactions would work in a deployed environment. Now, once new code passes code review, it’s deployed to the test environment where LightStep is used to ensure latency hasn’t been introduced into the system and that the service interactions operate as expected. LightStep also helps the team understand how legacy or inherited code operates and performs.

Join us for our upcoming tech talk, InVision: Gaining Visibility into Service-to-Service Interactions, and get all of the details about InVision’s success.