Altissia is a language learning software company headquartered in Belgium that believes languages open minds and build bridges between people and cultures. Their team is on a singular mission: that everyone should have the opportunity to learn a new language. From educational institutions, businesses, and government organizations, these customers leverage Altissia to offer language learning programs to students, allowing them to take lessons and assessments on their own time.
Grégory Schiano, Chief Technical Officer, knew if he wanted his DevOps team to build and scale quickly, they would need to break up into smaller project teams, with each team having smaller focuses that all laddered up to the department’s greater goals. The DevOps department at Altissia were early adopters of cloud-native, and have been working in Kubernetes for over two years now. For a small team, this meant a lot of time was spent making sure all of their Developers were well-trained in Kubernetes so they would be able to work effectively with it.
One of Altissia’s largest projects to date has been building an online language learning platform for a large learning program. The linguistics program supports over 350,000 students learning the official languages of the EU – from Bulgarian to Swedish, and everything in between. The success of the international program, and student success, relies heavily on Altissa’s ability to keep their applications up and running. With so many moving components, it became apparent that the team was in need of an observability platform. The team wanted to be quickly alerted when anything went wrong, have a tool to help pinpoint where errors lie, and have visibility into some of the use cases and habits of end-users, knowing these insights could guide the team for future updates to the application.
Grégory’s team evaluated two tools, Instana and AppDynamics. The team ultimately chose Instana for a few reasons. The first was the ease that comes with built-in automation. “We love how easy it is to deploy and maintain the agent. There’s no operational overhead.” The second being the product itself. “We really love Application Perspectives, it’s the feature we use most.” The third reason, and why he continues to renew, was his appreciation for the Instana team. “A part of my criteria for choosing a company to work with is their people, and I love the people working at Instana. We’re in close contact frequently. They know how to do their job. You can tell they enjoy working for the company, and for me, that’s amazing.”
Having Observability into every moving part of their website allowed the team to follow and report upon their SLAs. This includes keeping a running uptime of 99.8%. This became critical once the team started monitoring student usage of the language tool, and noticed many users were waiting until right before the deadline to submit assessments. This caused an increase in server usage during specific times, which when running against a deadline, could mean the difference between a pass or fail grade. The insight only became available to the team due to Application Perspectives, a feature that provides visualizations based on custom personalizations per user. Each team member is able to adapt their dashboard based on their own monitoring needs.
The Altissia team continues to enjoy many benefits from working with Instana for their observability needs.
“Altissia works with Instana, and continues to renew because the tool evolves with our needs. Sometimes even in advance. There may be a new feature, and at the time we don’t need it, but a few months later we realize we do and it’s already there.”
The team can rest assured knowing Instana will continue to meet their needs as they grow and scale their operations while continuing to be a partner and guide their monitoring needs along the way.