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Case Study – UALA

What were your team's challenges and pain points prior to using Sematext?

When we started designing the UALA infrastructure, we had to face the important issue of constantly monitoring dedicated servers, with all the services contained within a Docker architecture. Our main concern was the inevitability of challenging production issues that would be difficult to identify, find the root cause, and resolve quickly enough that they don’t affect our customers.

What were the requirements for monitoring and / or logging solutions?

We looked at all possible monitoring and logging solutions we could adopt. We decided against developing an in-house logging system because we knew that with the amount of gigabytes of logs produced by our services the infrastructure required would not be trivial. It would have performance issues and would be expensive to maintain.

We have therefore drawn up the main requirements for the search for the ideal solution:

  • The possibility of deploying the agent with Docker: our policy requires all applications to run in Docker containers
  • The agent must be light and must not disturb other applications, even when handling large volumes of logs
  • A single, simple observability panel where for both the logs and the status of the machines
  • Ability to define filters on logs to be sent
  • Ability to receive notifications in real time in case of any problems or anomalies

Why did you choose Sematext?

It was not easy to find a solution that could meet all our requirements and at the same time be accessible to small startups as we were when we started.

Sematext immediately gave us confidence, believing in our project and helping us by providing us with an ideal solution at an affordable price. We are very grateful to Sematext and we continue with great satisfaction to use the logging services even today as the only solution: it is the ideal monitoring tool for our infrastructure.

What problems does Sematext solve for you?

Thanks to Sematext, we can monitor the entire infrastructure in UALA at all times. Thanks to a comprehensive real-time dashboard we have the complete control of each service and we can easily monitor all containers. We have also created specific rules to monitor specific cases, so that if there are any anomalies, the technical team immediately receives alerts whether they concern the physical state of servers or any service.

Please share some insights into your implementation process and transition to Sematext.

Today, in UALA we use more than 40 dedicated servers distributed in different data centers. For orchestrating our containers we use Rancher. With Rancher and Sematext the configuration is immediate and it enables us to deploy the Sematext agent automatically on each new machine that we activate in just a few moments.

We initially started by doing tests and creating rules to test things out and verify that Sematext works correctly. After having ascertained that everything was working optimally, in a short time we activated Sematext to monitor all of our infrastructure and to date every new service or server is immediately activated with monitoring services when it first boots.

What was the outcome and which product feature(s) do you find most helpful?

We currently use Sematext Logs and Monitoring. The former helps us manage the logging part of any container within the infrastructure, while using the latter we monitor all our physical machines.

We find the ability to automatically register all services with a single agent per machine extremely valuable and this is one of the things that we consider most useful as our infrastructure grows.

Another advantage of Sematext that should be taken into consideration because it may not be immediately obvious, is the possibility of using Kibana together with Sematext Logs. This enables us to create powerful dashboards using data we send to Sematext.

Anything else you would like to add?

Sometimes it can be difficult to rely blindly on a new SaaS like Sematext, that may not be marketed as heavily as some others. We wanted to overcome these superficial prejudices and we immediately turned to Sematext now back in 2016, because we really appreciated the work set on the value of the service and on the features: Sematext offers a lot of substance, not frills. The UALA infrastructure today has grown enormously and Sematext has always managed to meet our expectations, supporting us every day constantly through excellent technical assistance and always taking our suggestions or requests for changes very seriously.

It is essential for us to monitor the logs at all times. Since our start with Sematext in 2016 we have used Sematext constantly. This long-term reliance on Sematext is a clear expression of Sematext’s absolute reliability and quality of service.

Challenges before Sematext

  • Docker monitoring
  • Quickly identifying and solving production issues

Favorite Sematext features

  • Fully managed log managed solution
  • Lightweight agent
  • Seamless Docker integration
  • Log alerting
  • Unified logs and monitoring
  • Kibana integration
  • Reliability and quality of service

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