Pandemic lockdown in 2020 brought an unprecedented surge in online shopping all across the world. Online retailers had to handle the increased demand and traffic suddenly — and for the entire year. But the year-long online shopping spree by no means hampered expectations for online Black Friday. Retailers needed to be prepared.
One of those retailers was GittiGidiyor, the Turkish subsidiary of eBay. GittiGidiyor serves a user base of 33 million buyers and sellers. Like most online retailers, business was already skyrocketing in 2020.
GittiGidyor had already established excellent scalability through modernization. About 80% of its applications are microservice-based and containerized, including all front and back-end services and its hyper-critical payments system, which is really the engine of the business. Black Friday would provide GittiGidyor’s biggest test yet, increasing its overall volume by four or five times. Meeting this challenge would require a clear, consolidated view of potential issues arising across a complex, distributed application landscape.
The Path to Enterprise Observability
During an audit of GittiGidiyor’s Kubernetes clusters in 2019, technology consultancy Kloia recognized an opportunity for GittiGidiyor to increase monitoring visibility. GittiGidiyor chose Instana for its ease of custom dashboards and full visibility into both off and on-prem databases.
In 2020, GittiGidiyor saw 20 million new downloads of its mobile app (a 57% increase from 2019), and its mobile sales revenue surged by 82%. The company used Instana for comprehensive visibility that helped it accommodate 4-5x growth and maintain performance.
That observability helped handle the Black Friday boom too.
The team came away impressed that a single installation produced valuable visibility almost immediately. “We installed it once and it auto-detected our apps,” explains Oguz Yarimtepe, GittiGidiyor’s Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) Team Lead. “Other tools require more of a process and changing Docker files. Now, we don’t need to do that.”
Upon installing Instana, GittiGidiyor also quickly established greater fidelity over the interdependencies between microservices. According to Mehmet Gökhan Akgül, Software Development Team Lead, “It allows us to discover the whole structure of our system and brings observability to our dependencies.”
The Rubber Hits the Road on Black Friday
By the time Black Friday approached in 2020, GittiGidiyor had already learned a great deal about using the Instana solution to boost reliability and performance despite rapid business growth. Based on the company’s projections for the business surge plus the insight it had gained from Instana about the resource levels it needed to accommodate certain business volumes, GittiGidiyor developed a proactive plan to right-size its infrastructure and keep its site humming.
The team set up a custom dashboard where it could watch latency in real-time, both within the payment system and in responses from partner applications. For example, the payment system interacts with any of the numerous partner banks to facilitate purchases. On Black Friday, as the team monitored latency, it noticed when response times from particular banks began to lag and directed transactions to other banks on the fly. This kept purchases moving — keeping the shoppers clicking and helping GittiGidiyor capture the enormous potential of the day.
Bringing observability to a flexible, modernized architecture helps ensure that GiddiGidiyor’s engineering teams are gaining the full benefits of that flexibility. “If we decide to migrate, to run on another infrastructure, it only takes one person to understand what’s going on,” Yarimtepe explains. ”Otherwise, we’d need a Systems Engineer, an SRE, a Developer, maybe an Architect and a Network Engineer. We’d need to run a tcpdump to check all of the dependencies and ensure there are no problems. Now, it’s one person.”
A subsidiary of eBay based in Istanbul, GittiGidiyor is an online shopping platform that connects consumers in Turkey to sellers of a wide range of goods. It offers retail and auction-based sales from domestic and international sellers.
An IT consultancy with offices in UK, Netherlands, and Turkey, Kloia is a team of experienced engineers that helps customers adopt modern practices in DevOps, cloud, test automation, and microservices.