ParkMobile Goes Cloud Native with Help from Datadog and AWS

Datadog is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner

Executive Summary

When mobile parking payment and reservations provider ParkMobile began moving its on-premises data center to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, it needed a new monitoring, logging, and application performance management (APM) solution to replace a legacy toolset that was no longer right for the task. After an intense review, ParkMobile chose Datadog, which gave ParkMobile a 360-degree view of its cloud infrastructure. “It offered 10 times the observability of our previous logging and monitoring solution at half the cost,” said Chris Salomon, Director of Software and Cloud Engineering at ParkMobile.

After Riding into the Sunset: Observability in a New Cloud-Native World

In 2018, ParkMobile decided to sunset its on-premises data center and managed service provider (MSP). Deployment lead times were more than a day, outages were common, and the MSP was not meeting SLAs. ParkMobile was going cloud native with a full migration to an AWS Cloud infrastructure. It was a major shift, and it took several months to get complete buy-in and alignment. “But the wait was definitely well worth it to be cloud native and have the capabilities to move and set up infrastructure quickly,” said Salomon.

Part of the big move included migrating applications to containerized workloads on AWS. It was soon obvious to the ParkMobile team that the existing monitoring and logging solution was not going to fit in a Kubernetes and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) world. Open source solutions were not the answer, either. ParkMobile needed a more turnkey solution that didn’t drain engineering time and resources. After assessing other solutions, ParkMobile chose Datadog.

“We went from one week being on an open source monitoring and logging stack to the following week onboarding everybody to Datadog.”

- Chris Salomon, Director of Software and Cloud Engineering, ParkMobile

Opening the Black Box

Much of the new cloud infrastructure was a black box for ParkMobile, because the cloud-native services were unfamiliar to the team and because the services abstract away much of the underlying infrastructure. With Datadog, ParkMobile can hook natively into AWS to see key performance metrics. “This is huge for us. We have a full view of our entire infrastructure with Datadog. It's fantastic,” said Salomon, "The engineering team even started sharing metrics on monitors around the office. It was also easy to adjust and reform dashboards quickly so that the people who wanted the same metrics from the previous solution could have them."

Visibility That’s Kafkaesque

Datadog also provides ParkMobile metrics for AWS Lambda, AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (MSK). The visibility into Amazon MSK is key. ParkMobile is moving its API strategy to a more event-driven model, and Kafka is going to be front and center of this initiative, primarily with Amazon MSK.

“If you are looking for a 360-degree view of both your infrastructure and apps, Datadog is the vendor to go with.”

- Chris Salomon, Director of Software and Cloud Engineering, ParkMobile

Tracing Down to the Pods

A big advantage for ParkMobile’s engineers is Datadog’s distributed tracing. A big issue with the previous solution was that engineers did not always know the source of requests, because—with disparate systems—requests can easily get lost. Datadog’s distributed tracing eliminates that problem. Engineers can trace all the requests coming through with ease. They can also trace what is coming in from AWS CloudFront all the way down to the EKS and see the amount of compute that is being used by those requests.

“With Datadog, we get true observability. It just gives us full visibility into our north-south and east-west traffic.”

- Chris Salomon, Director of Software and Cloud Engineering, ParkMobile

ParkMobile

About ParkMobile

ParkMobile helps millions of people find and pay for parking on their mobile devices, without having to use a meter or kiosk.
 
CHALLENGE
To migrate legacy on-premises infrastructure to AWS, ParkMobile needed monitoring, logging, and APM to manage the transition and support cloud-native services and design patterns.
 
SOLUTION
Datadog allowed ParkMobile to index all its logs, see them alongside metrics, and trace its applications with support for the languages it uses.

RESULTS

  • 10x the previous observability
  • 50% cost reduction from previous logging and monitoring solution
  • Dramatically reduced full data center migration by months
  • One-week learning curve
  • Complete visibility into the cloud infrastructure

About Datadog

Datadog is a monitoring and security platform for cloud applications. Its SaaS platform integrates and automates infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring, and log management to provide unified and real-time observability of entire technology stacks. Datadog is used by organizations of all sizes and across a wide range of industries.

Find Datadog solutions in the AWS Marketplace.

Published December 2020