At Xsolla, we offer many services to the Gaming community, from Payment services to account management to advanced analytics. We are proud to count world-class customers providing some of the largest available MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games such as Steam (Valve), World of Tanks, and Game of Thrones (BigPoint).
We are very careful to stay as focused as possible on our core competencies, and we want to avoid wasting time in areas that are critical to the business but not differentiating. A typical example is log management, a chore that’s necessary but hard to do in a convenient, well-organized way. We experienced major pain in this area until Loggly came around to change the way we managed our log messages.
“In a few hours, we were able to transform a primitive process of storing logs ‘just in case’ to an indispensable tool for each member of our team: analysts, developers, testers, and deployment-managers,” says Anton Jvakin, one of our back-end developers. “We are saving three person-hours per day, significantly improving our bottom line.”
What Log Management Does
To clarify for those who are unfamiliar, log messages are text strings that are generated by a computer or an application whenever specific events happen. For example, a web server receiving a connection request can generate a log message with corresponding context about that event, including the date, time, originating IP address, and port number. Today, most IT systems can automatically generate these messages. If you are developing an application, you have the added luxury of being able to specify when a log message is generated and what that log message contains. Logs have the power to give you instant visibility into everything that is happening with your apps.
Loggly at a Glance
Once the logs messages are generated, Loggly can manage these for you by collecting them, storing them, and making them available to you via simple yet powerful graphical tools. With Loggly, you are able to see why the new code that you pushed is generating errors and where the performance bottlenecks are. You can also analyze root causes, monitor error codes during releases, understand long-term trends about your apps, and more.
Xsolla’s Implementation of Loggly
Xsolla is a mediator between payment systems and gaming companies. We are responsible for three technical systems, namely the game, the payment company, and our own system. We partner with hundreds of gaming and payment companies all over the world, managing over 200,000 unique transactions daily. We always strive to provide the best service, and our technical team works non-stop to ensure smooth operation with a simple goal in mind: None of our users should ever experience any misbehavior from the systems or degradation in level of service.
Our customers are not aware of the technical challenges of payment processes, and they shouldn’t have to be. All they expect is good service, and we need to be ready to instantly react to any deviation in our payment systems.
Because of this requirement, we selected Loggly as the clear answer to help us save a lot of time – we are today saving more than three person-hours per day! Loggly has also helped our DevOps team be more focused and allowed them to spend time on their core mission, making sure that our apps and systems are always available.
What do we use Loggly for?
Before Loggly, even a simple log search was a difficult and cumbersome drain on our resources. We had to scour system after system, understand in which directory our logs were stored, manually get these log files, and grep them… not a very efficient process.
Thanks to Loggly’s convenient full-text search functionality, we can now find relevant messages rapidly and easily. We have adopted JSON-structured logs we can navigate vast amounts of log messages quickly. All of our logs are centralized through Loggly, and they are ready to be filtered according to any requirement or any technical information.
Dashboards and graphics
We also easily built aggregated data views to surface very meaningful information. Graphs and dashboards show the current standing of the whole system and allow an “at a glance” view of the health of our apps and infrastructure.
We customized Loggly’s native alert functionality, and we can now quickly respond to error rates that are higher than our SLA. We extensively use this feature when we deploy updates or new products, and we are instantly alerted in case of errors with a new code base.
We use Loggly’s API to incorporate advanced statistics on errors for any payment system on any game into our internal management dashboard.
We can automatically do in-depth searches for specific logs or for the number of errors that occur for each combination (payment system, game), and we have this information populated in our internal tools.
Benefits to Implementing Loggly
Some of the benefits to implementing Loggly include:
- Fast integration into current systems
- Great API
- Convenient and functional interface
- Extra storage space on our local systems
- No need to worry about disks filling up or log file rotation…
- Additional alert system
- Quick and convenient search system
- Global coverage
“Previously, we had to look for information in several multi-gigabyte files scattered all over our infrastructure,” adds Jvakin. “Thanks to Loggly’s full-text search, we can now find the handful of log messages that we are looking for among millions, in just a few seconds. There is no need to think about the structure of the folders used to store logs, no need to use “grep” and error-prone regular expressions. I can simply set a desired tag in a message structure and quickly filter on it. All required logs then appear. And Loggly’s deployment has been a breeze; we were done in a few hours.”
Loggly-powered Xsolla is providing a second-to-none service for our many customers in the gaming and payment spaces.
Check out our friends at Loggly and sign up for a free trial from them!