Proactive IT Monitoring to Address Critical IT Challenges - Case Study

eG Enterprise at eBay

The ROI of eG Innovations exceeded our expectations. Not only did we get those chargebacks reduced, we also benefitted IT as a whole because help desk tickets weren't created and time management was a lot better-- we weren't spending hours trying to pinpoint issues, we could reallocate those resources to other, more important activities. Quote

Peter DinhSenior Virtualization Engineering Lead, eBay Inc.  |  Download Case Study

Key Benefits

  • Fewer cases opened by Partners (Incident Reduction)
  • Significant reduction in Severity Alerts (Major Incidents)
  • Improved IT efficiency via automated triage
  • Increased productivity through improved SLA performance
  • Cost savings through reduced partner chargebacks
  • Improved end user experience via proactive management

Why eG Enterprise?

  • Complete end-to-end view from end user to the data center–every layer of every tier
  • Dashboards and alerting mapped to multi-supplier requirements
  • Automated triage and embedded analytics enable proactive management

eBay: Company Background

Unified Monitoring Case Study - eBay

As one of the world's largest marketplaces, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world. Today, eBay has about 68 million buyers, $11 billion in mobile sales and over 12 million new listings every week. To attend to the needs of the millions of buyers and sellers, eBay has call enters around the world. Call center agents use Citrix application virtualization technologies to support their customers.

As the lead for eBay's team charged with supporting over 10,000 users in call centers around the world, Peter Dinh, Senior Virtualization Engineering Lead, is responsible for ensuring that eBay's customer support services can consistently meet the organization's service level objectives. When slowness is identified, it must be diagnosed and attended to quickly so that eBay's buyers and sellers can continue to transact online and business continues as usual.

The Challenge: Moving Multi-Provider Management from Reactive to Proactive

With locations and suppliers located around the globe, isolating performance issues with the customer support services infrastructure and applications was a huge challenge. There was latency and slowness in critical applications, and isolating the location of each problem required hours of work. "Sometimes we had to triage between global partners when problems arose. Finding where the slowness was coming from was very time consuming", said Mr. Dinh. Even worse, eBay's partners were charging the company for downtime when the call center agents could not work. Because the IT team could not isolate the true source of the issues, these charges could never be verified.

To address the problem, eBay had been using a mix of home-grown tools coupled with systems management tools from several vendors. But when a key developer departed the organization, it quickly left the IT team with both a major knowledge gap and a serious management challenge.

Further, with siloed dashboards for the various service delivery components, isolating performance issues was very difficult and time consuming. Given eBay's rapidly growing IT environment, there was a critical need to improve their monitoring capabilities.

The Solution: Unified Monitoring with eG Enterprise

Given their experience with a proliferation of siloed monitoring tools that provide visibility into the network, server or desktop, the eBay IT team looked for a monitoring solution that could provide them with true end-to-end visibility. "We had enough of tools that were either network-centric or desktop centric. The monitoring solution we chose had to be truly end-to-end: from end user to data centers, including storage, compute, hardware, VMs and the Citrix software layer", said Mr. Dinh.

eBay was introduced to eG Innovations by Entisys360, a Citrix Platinum Advisor and an eG Innovations Premier Partner. "With the eG Enterprise solution from eG Innovations, we were able to get the end to end visibility we were after. The metrics and the reporting is very detailed, and the layered views make it easy for us to focus on the data that is most relevant for a situation. Most importantly, eG Enterprise has allowed us to prove to our business partners that latency was not coming from our eBay data centers. All of the information that you would manually look up when troubleshooting is all in one dashboard, in a layered view.... It makes life asier when we can see the color codes of a certain service or a process and the system tells us exactly what we need to go look at.", said Mr. Dinh.


How Unified Monitoring Worked for eBay

Unified Monitoring Tools

The ability to pinpoint performance bottlenecks has ensured that eBay's Citrix operations are now proactive. "We are now able to identify and fix issues before users even notice them. This has allowed us to become proactive. Our users have now been able to go about their business day to day without worrying about IT problems", said Mr. Dinh.

eG Enterprise quickly provided ROI on eBay's initial investment. By isolating performance issues without requiring hours of multi-supplier meetings and bridge calls, eG Enterprise has saved the eBay IT team many man hours of fire-fighting time. eG Enterprise's proactive alerting and dashboards gave the Citrix team a solution that enabled high-level views for firstlevel support staff, as well as more in-depth dashboards that automated the triage process for tier 2 and 3 support teams. Mr. Dinh noted, "The support I have received from eG Innovations since day one has been excellent. Their engineering team worked us to get the product working, create custom dashboards and provide all the customizations needed to help us achieve our end goal of true end-to-end visibility and proactive monitoring. Any time I had a problem, question or needed help with training to our personnel, the eG Innovations support team has been immediately responsive."

The single-pane-of-glass view that eG Enterprise provided had other positive impacts as well. Not only did the solution allow eBay to prove to their partners that latency and slowness was not coming from eBay's data centers, but by providing partners with their own dashboards allowed both eBay and partners to move from reactive to proactive management.

The results included fewer cases opened by partners, significant reductions in "Severity Alerts" (i.e., Major Incidents) and increased IT efficiency for both eBay and its partners. Also, eBay continues to save money by avoiding partner chargebacks for downtime when the performance issue are proven to exist outside of eBay's infrastructure. Going forward, eBay plans to expand the use of eG Enterprise to include more cloud compute resources and continue to leverage eG Enterprise capabilities around automated operations.

Unified monitoring is most effective when there's a single source of actionable truth. It's what is moving eBay away from diagnosis-related activities, toward collaborating on how to establish selfhealing properties when those patterns are identified. This is not only more cost-effective, it's a more unifying" activity than troubleshooting, and improves performance and business outcomes for all parties.