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Case Study: Fan.TV

Fan.TV, an entertainment discovery engine that allows people to track, find, watch, and share movies and TV shows across streaming services, faced a common operational challenge: They used separate tools to handle system metrics, server logs, and alerts. This wasn’t a problem in and of itself, but when a crisis hit, getting those tools in sync proved extremely difficult.

“When servers would inevitably go boom,” said Alon Rohter, one of Fan.TV’s founders, “we needed to be able to track down and solve the issues quickly. The problem was that it was nearly impossible to correlate subsecond-level events across multiple monitoring tools. Timestamp differences, timezone issues, and jumping between tabs was a huge hassle, particularly when dealing with large volumes of log and metric data.”

Alon’s team evaluated nearly every commercial (and noncommercial) monitoring system in existence in the hopes of fixing the problem. Each one fell short – until they found Scalyr.

What was different? Scalyr is the only tool to put log management, monitoring and alerting under one roof and one interface – and provide lighting-fast performance.

Aaron Blohowiak, Fan.TV Engineer:

“Scalyr is Google for my logs.”

This has brought new log visibility and efficiency to Fan.TV’s operations team. By allowing them to instantly search gigabytes of data, graph critical system metrics, and correlate their logs to key events, they can now more rapidly diagnose, repair, and, ultimately, prevent server issues. When things go boom, Scalyr helps them put out the fire.

The benefits aren’t limited to the operations team – Scalyr has helped Fan.TV expand usage of systems tools across the organization. Customer support and engineering teams are now able to make use of log data directly (without having to work through the operations team).

“Having a system that’s as easy as possible for developers to play in is key.”

Why? For Fan.TV, it matters because empowering developers to be systems-aware is a critical component of building robust software. They’ve adopted what they’ve termed Monitoring Driven Development—a process by which engineers build dashboards and dive into system metrics as they code. This lets them see—in near real-time—the performance of their work on production-equivalent hardware.

Scalyr helped Fan.TV consolidate their tools, improve systems visibility across departments, and improve developer performance. This helps them run smoother and solve problems faster.

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