Conga is growing rapidly with more than 125,000 Salesforce users across 35 countries. Conga applications run in Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the company wanted more visibility into their application delivery chain and greater ability to monitor and manage performance in the cloud, especially with issues involving Active Directory, DNS, and load balancing.
Conga turned to ExtraHop to analyze all of its real-time wire data—all application communications including full bi-directional transaction payloads—something that no other management or monitoring tool had been able to offer, especially for a predominately AWS environment.
"I spoke with over a dozen monitoring companies at Interop," says Christopher Murdock, Systems Engineer at Conga. "But only ExtraHop didn't turn me away when I said we're primarily on AWS. They said, 'Not a problem at all, we have an appliance out there, go ahead and fire up a free version for yourself.'"
The Conga team went on to purchase the ExtraHop platform to diagnose internal problems, measure the impact of Salesforce latency, and create a live geomap that shows merges and the associated geographic locale in near real time.
Tracking merge requests with wire data
Conga applications merge data from Salesforce. Using ExtraHop, Conga can extract key performance information and display the resulting application metrics in real time.
This information enables Conga to see which Conga server in AWS and Salesforce pod is associated with an error, for example.
Because of the asynchronous and distributed nature of the application, there was no practical way to gain this critical insight prior to deploying ExtraHop.Data Point 1
Payload ID, which is displayed in the ExtraHop user interface.Data Point 2
Operation IDs for particular sessions so that merge requests can be monitored by instance and region.Data Point 3
Merge requests status to identify cancelled or exceptions by Salesforce pod.Data Point 4
Salesforce request count, process time, and bytes sent/received to correlate Salesforce and Conga server performance.
Fewer "Unknown Unknowns"
Before ExtraHop, the Conga team lacked insight into how its applications were behaving in AWS. Now, they can see the volume of traffic in Regions and Availability Zones and understand when and why auto-scaling events occur.
"ExtraHop has given us visibility that's led to eye-opening moments," says Brad Blake, Director of IT at Conga. "Even during the ExtraHop demo with our testing environment, we happened to notice an incorrect configuration that wouldn't have affected customers but could have caused us development headaches. Being able to pinpoint that cause so quickly really sold us on the value—and that alone justified our investment."
Deeper, More Meaningful Data
The Conga application is very modern in its use of asynchronous connections, and many built-in monitoring tools do not provide the level of detailed visibility needed to troubleshoot and tune the application.
ExtraHop has helped Conga reduce business risk, improve mean-time-to-resolution, proactively address service degradation, and optimize AWS resources for greater efficiency and lower costs.
Real-Time Insights for Better Customer Experiences
Equipped with insight from their wire data, Conga is now more proactive in responding to issues. They have set email alerts based on performance thresholds, and have also set up video screens throughout the office that display live data from ExtraHop, with custom metrics such as "Merges by Device." Business analysts—representatives who work closely with customers to help them use Conga applications—now know when a performance slowdown is due to Salesforce and proactively notify customers about the issue.
"When we come into the office, one of the first things we do now is turn on the displays with the ExtraHop dashboards," says Blake. "We are always watching them to see user experience, activity levels, and application behavior in AWS. ExtraHop has fundamentally changed the way that we monitor and manage the business."
More Cost-Effective AWS Management
An unnoticed increase in errors can lead to unnecessary—and costly—automatic provisioning of new AWS compute resources. "That was our first win with ExtraHop," says McIntosh. "I walked around the corner and saw this huge spike in requests on our screen. We found and were able to solve the problem before it could cause an auto-scale event."
Conga was able to quickly realize value from ExtraHop due to an easy installation and intuitive interface.
"ExtraHop was very simple to set up and install," says Murdock. "Especially the ease of configuration, installing the packet forwarders, and the fact that ExtraHop has an AWS image out on the Marketplace—so all I had to do was fire it up, and it did everything."
"The interface is clean, modern, and supports drag-and-drop actions. The built-in HTML 5 elements make it very easy to create visualizations of our wire data. I've used tools such as Splunk and Nagios, and ExtraHop is worlds apart in terms of how quickly you can get up to speed, how quickly you can get useful data out of your environment."