SurveyMonkey lets its users create and send online questionnaires for research purposes, which results in a lot of data being processed by the firm, including around two million survey responses every day.
It's engineering manager Mike Sela responsibility to develop, maintain and monitor the applications that enable SurveyMonkey to do this.
"We have on our servers 40 separate applications that we've written, and every single one of them produces machine data, is spewing out statistics on what it's doing, how it's doing it and how quickly it's doing it," he told Computing at Splunk Worldwide Users' Conference 2013 in Las Vegas.
SurveyMonkey uses Splunk's big data solution to maintain a high level of performance for its customers.
"We need to always at any point in time be able to ask Splunk how quickly are people seeing the page where they take a survey? When they add a question to a survey, how quickly is that occurring? This is so we can make sure our customers are having a good experience," said Sela, who examines statistics for 40 different applications everyday.
"I get dashboards with statistics I can quickly look at and discern if things are performing poorly, or errors are going up, and it's very easy for me to tell if the website is operating as it should," he said.
Sela explained that before adopting Splunk he and his team struggled to properly monitor applications but now doing sophisticated analysis has become quick and easy.
"We really had no easy way to monitor the health of our applications before. We had a couple of guys who would stare at log files, which isn't a sophisticated way of doing analysis. So this is really now the first time that I can do sophisticated analysis on how healthy the website is and quickly," he said, adding that Splunk allows SurveyMonkey to detect and fix problems before users even notice.
"Alerts and reports mean I can identify things that are slowing down or going wrong before the customers are aware of it, which is great.
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