A popular FinTech app in India, TrueBalance allows users to check their balance, data, minutes, and recharge their accounts. In Southeast Asian markets, smartphones have a low average revenue per user (ARPU) and operate on a prepaid basis. In India, unlike us, users check their balance using a method called "USSD.
Users in India contact their carriers via USSD codes to retrieve balance information.
To address inconveniences, TrueBalance developed a service to monitor remaining calls and data. With 10 million downloads a year after launch, TrueBalance is the fastest-growing fintech app in India.
Our interviewees, Gilsoo Jang and David Han, shared their feedback about WhaTap. Gilsoo Jang has been using WhaTap since the beginning. David Han handles managing the database and server.
Why Operations Matter at Balance Hero
Tell us about the current state of your IT infrastructure.
Gilsoo Jang (hereinafter Gilsoo): We utilize AWS for our entire infrastructure. As a company providing services in India, our servers are not located in Korea. Instead, we situate our main services in India. Except for disaster recovery (DR), we rely on AWS.
Please share the factors that led to your decision to use WhaTap.
Gilsoo: We adopted WhaTap five years ago, when it was just starting out. At that time, we didn't have any experience with other Application Performance Management (APM) tools. We were looking for an APM solution that was user-friendly and lightweight for easy implementation. WhaTap, being a new product back then, offered simple installation and configuration. It allowed us to access the essential features without much hassle. It was a perfect fit for our needs, and the WhaTap team provided excellent support from the early stages.
Tell me about the advantages compared to other products.
Gilsoo:When it comes to databases, it is most convenient to start with the basic settings. The agent method may feel different for each user. But even without skills, you can install the agent and connect it to the database to collect most of the monitoring data. Then, the necessary graphs appear quickly on the web page. In simple terms, it is easy to install and use. But with other companies' APMs, installation and setup can be challenging.
Usually, it is easy to install but difficult to configure. There are too many menus to navigate to achieve what you want. However, with WhaTap, from installation to configuration, I was able to complete it in about 30 minutes to an hour, even though I had no prior knowledge.
David Han (hereafter David):When it comes to APM, I have used demos, but I haven't extensively used other APMs. I often encounter difficulties when trying out demos of other products. The extensive setup process requires detailed configuration for the desired results. However, I have been using WhaTap for about three or four years. In the beginning, WhaTap had limited settings and customization options. Now it has introduced numerous features. While it may be slightly challenging, it is easy to use. Compared to APM solutions from Company D or Company E, I find WhaTap more accessible.
Which WhaTap service screen do you view the most?.
Gilsoo: On DB monitoring, I refer to the instance monitoring page, flex board, and graph-oriented services. In particular, instance monitoring displays real-time active sessions. It allows me to observe the query process.
David: In application monitoring, I rely heavily on hitmaps. Once you familiarize yourself with the patterns of hitmaps, it becomes easier to identify issues. For example, if there's a red line indicating three seconds, I focus on it to identify the threads causing delays. Additionally, we have encountered situations where we overlooked queues stored in cubes in the past. WhaTap makes it convenient to revisit and capture the correct patterns to track these issues. We have found WhaTap's EKS POD monitoring dashboard to be particularly useful and intuitive
It provides real-time visibility into the resource status of each POD container. It was also very helpful to be able to set each threshold. Alarms would trigger based on the conditions and be immediately viewed by the relevant personnel. WhaTap allows us to identify problematic URLs using statistical indicators. It enables immediate action and control if similar issues arise later on.
I recently started using server monitoring, and one advantage is that we use Xavics. Xavics allows us to check how a process utilizes the CPU or memory at specific points in time. It is not easily achievable with other tools like Radius. WhaTap's server monitoring keeps a historical record of server resource usage. For instance, I can easily track the CPU and memory usage of the Java application at a specific point in time. Therefore, I frequently review the CPU and memory utilization of processes.
Have you ever used WhaTap to resolve a problem?
Gilsoo: Normally, when I have an issue and I'm tracking it, I look at instance monitoring a lot. No matter what API I look at, whether it's Company P or Company D, it's very graph-oriented when it comes to instance monitoring.
While it is possible to inspect individual queries, WhaTap goes a step further. "Total runtime" in instance monitoring displays the executed query alongside the performance graph. This allows quick assessment of any unusual spikes in metrics unrelated to the query. It's advantageous to have all the information presented in one place. Additionally, with XOS, I can access process information, lock details, and database-related insights on a single page
This is particularly helpful in understanding multiple interdependencies. For example, it helps analyze the impact of numerous slow queries. Additionally, it assists in identifying queries experiencing a lock due to a recent change. By monitoring these factors, I can catch minor abnormalities and take proactive measures before they escalate into major failures. Given the critical nature of database failures, it is essential to identify and address issues before they occur. Real-time monitoring enables us to achieve that.
Receive alert notifications for any issues that arise during server deployment.
Gilsoo: For database-related concerns, I receive WhaTap warning alerts via Slack. This enables me to quickly address issues without constant monitoring. It's like having a 24/7 monitoring system at my disposal.
David: : I pay closer attention to application monitoring. It helps me track system performance and gather metrics and errors from our APIs. Since our service relies on a third-party provider in India, I need to be aware of patterns and any disruptions that may occur there. For instance, if there's a long-lasting outage, we may experience timeouts when connecting. As we deploy updates almost every day, I spend a significant amount of time monitoring them. Even with another engineer handling deployment, I vigilantly monitor for about three to four hours. Thanks to Slack alerts, I can respond promptly whenever an alert is triggered.
Features Recommended by Balance Hero
Favorite Features in DPM
- We primarily utilize the Flex Board and Hitmap Transactions.
- The method of using the agent varies among users. However, the installation process and connecting to the database are straightforward. The monitoring data is collected and displayed in relevant graphs. In summary, it is easy to install and simple to use.
- When we encounter unusual queries or database influxes, we analyze multiple metrics to determine their cause. We consider factors such as external influences, internal batch processes, and specific APIs.
Favorite Features in APM
- Among the available features, I find the Hitmaps most valuable, as they provide an intuitive overview of system activities. The failure patterns displayed by the Hitmaps help me identify and reduce potential causes.
- Additionally, the Cube Analysis feature helps me analyze CPU and memory metrics. It enables me to identify patterns and promptly address any issues that arise..
Gilsoo: The channel chat support provides real-time and detailed responses. Any unresolved matters are forwarded to engineers via email. I am highly satisfied with the technical support service..
What if you're a startup that has raised a Series B?
Gilsoo: As a startup company, I believe it's worth considering. When it comes to monitoring, I highly recommend WhaTap as a great starting point. It offers simplicity and effectiveness, avoiding the need for complex and extensive APM solutions. It offers simplicity without complications. The wide range of support services is exceptionally helpful and welcoming. 😊