T2 is a market leader in Parking Access Revenue and Control Systems (PARCS) technology, and that leadership position has fueled rapid growth. The IT Operations team at T2 faces the challenge of managing growth in its cloud platform while providing excellent performance for its SaaS customers.
"Even as we're growing and increasing our IT budget, we continue to be more efficient with our IT spend," says Jim Hutchins, CTO at T2. "We need visibility into all our applications and infrastructure in order to maximize our efficiencies."
Before choosing ExtraHop, T2 had considered agent-based application performance management (APM) tools. They decided to evaluate ExtraHop because of its promise to passively tap into the wire data flowing through T2's environment.
"I gave the ExtraHop sales engineer four hours to install it," says Hutchins. "Within an hour, we were seeing actionable data— information about our systems that we had not been able to easily access before."
Whenever a T2 customer reports a problem, T2 is now able to diagnose the issue quickly. "Throughout the process, we give real-time updates to the customer based on what we can see in ExtraHop. We wouldn't be able to provide that level of service if we didn't have ExtraHop in place," says Grant Dawson, Director of IT Operations at T2.
Planning for High-Volume Events
A unique aspect of the parking industry, especially for large universities, is when parking permits go on sale at the beginning of the Fall semester. They become available at 12:01 a.m. and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that for a single university, the system might have to support nearly $10 million in transactions, most of which occur in the first 20 minutes of the sale.
ExtraHop helps monitor these sale events, drilling down to each page to see what's happening in real time in the environment. Afterwards, T2 uses ExtraHop to generate custom performance reports for their customers.
"It's like a Beyoncé Ticketmaster sale," says Dawson. "During one of these events at a very large university, we were providing reports from ExtraHop showing response times down to the millisecond and how many permits they had sold every five minutes. The customer was thrilled that we had done this work."
With ExtraHop, T2's IT Operations team is now able to create performance baselines for all tiers of the environment, better anticipate traffic peaks, and receive earlywarning alerts about issues that could affect customer system reliability and revenue.
Unparalleled Customer Service
ExtraHop enables T2 to provide real-time data about application performance to their SaaS customers. "With ExtraHop, we can provide clients with objective, realtime data about the performance of their application," says Hutchins. "The response time of our competitors in the PARCS world is days to weeks. When something's broken, their answer is 'Open the gate, we'll dispatch a technician and he'll be there tomorrow.' ExtraHop enables us to provide industry-leading service for our SaaS customers."
A Dynamic Tool for Developers
ExtraHop provides production access to developers. By experimenting with this access, T2 has been able to improve its own applications to respond to an ever-growing array of system traffic and transaction patterns, particularly in busy permit seasons.
More Accurate Data for Capacity Planning
By simulating high-traffic sale events in a staging environment and monitoring the results in ExtraHop, T2 has made significant improvements to its parking application and gained insight into where to make IT resource investments. Now developers are using ExtraHop to model what transactions will look like across T2's whole customer base. For example, ExtraHop has also enabled T2 to prepare for permit season by creating alerts, which will notify the appropriate team if a web page goes over a certain threshold of wait time.
One of the key differentiators for ExtraHop is that you can involve your development team in production. You can hand developers the keys to the kingdom, so they can actually get in there and improve product deliverables for our customers.
Jim Hutchins CTO, T2