Monoova, an Australian payment services provider, has reached its 5-year mark in the financial services industry, processing over $100 billion in payments to date. Nicholas Tan, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Monoova, knows that the reliability of their platform is what ultimately drives company success.
To help maintain observability of their critical business applications and infrastructure, Monoova relies on Logz.io’s Open 360™ platform for essential observability.
Using the platform, Monoova enlists a unified interface for managing telemetry data and investigating incidents that reduces Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR). Kubernetes 360, part of the Open 360 platform, helps them maintain their Kubernetes environment, and Data Optimization Hub allows them to reduce their metrics usage by 50%, thus lowering costs.
Monoova appreciates Open 360’s ease of use and the manner in which the platform extends the team’s expertise, providing significant value around critical use cases with OOTB features including pre-built dashboards, and Logz.io’s level of customer support.
Monoova’s primary business focus is providing a comprehensive payment API. Over the past 5 years, the company has witnessed significant growth, largely driven by the widespread adoption of real-time payments in Australia, especially in the domain of account-to-account transactions.
Nicholas likens Monoova’s payments platform to a dynamic organism, with payments flowing through it like blood through the body. Driven by its complex payment ecosystem environment, the company’s success requires a robust tech operating model. Initially, Monoova needed to address various platform observability issues that were impacting their ability to provide a seamless experience to clients.
“If there’s a blockage somewhere, the way that our dashboard is set up, shows the end-to-end flow of a payment through the system,” Nicholas says. “The first thing from an MTTR standpoint is trying to understand where the problem is so you can actually zoom in and look at the right information.”
Before Open 360, inconsistent approaches to problem-solving resulted in longer MTTR, a critical factor for a payment business where even minutes of downtime can lead to revenue losses.
“We need to have something that provides 365/24/7-type capability with monitoring and alerting,” Nicholas says. The company’s tech stack evolved to accommodate these requirements, transitioning from a monolithic architecture to microservices and cloud-native solutions.
He adds that having “very fine, granular metrics” allows Monoova to pinpoint a particular behavior that could be an outlier, thus triggering a recovery action.
Thanks to Open 360’s smart approach to data management, Monoova has moved away from “boiling the ocean” to leveraging fine-grained metrics that could pinpoint specific behavioral outliers.
Monoova operates within a larger national payment system, and Open 360 allows them to understand and address issues upstream, such as disruptions in other ecosystem participants.
By quickly identifying issues beyond their control, like an ecosystem participant being down, Monoova can proactively inform clients, demonstrating their commitment to customer service.
Logz.io also allows Monoova to democratize their monitoring capabilities within the organization. Instead of needing SMEs to cover the Open 360 platform 24/7, members of the lean observability team are able to utilize the technology as an extension of their work with other colleagues.
Nicholas notes that some senior business leaders also use custom offices display dashboards to track critical business indicators as an extension of its overall observability practice.
For Nicholas, working at other organizations helped him develop advocacy for open-source adoption. His firsthand experience in transitioning from monolithic architectures to cloud-native solutions underscores the complexities and challenges of managing such transitions.
“I have experience using some of the other SaaS observability players in the market, and they also came with their own challenges,” Nicholas says. “It was very easy to get very expensive very quickly, in terms of your volumes going up.”
In re-examining the market, Nicholas noted that progression towards a cloud transformation away from monolithic architecture would be important for Monoova’s journey. Logz.io provides managed Prometheus and Jaeger through a SaaS platform in a way Nicholas found attractive.
Kubernetes has played a pivotal role in Monoova’s journey towards scalability. Nicholas mentions that Kubernetes has become the standard building block for technology solutions today. With cloud providers like Azure, AWS, Google, and even Oracle offering managed Kubernetes services, it has become more accessible and manageable for organizations of all sizes.
Monoova employs Kubernetes 360, part of the Open 360 platform, to monitor and manage its Kubernetes environment comprehensively. The tool provides real-time dashboards and allows for easy scalability. They have also expanded their metrics to utilize included open source security components like Trivy and Falco to enhance their Kubernetes security.
“How do we make sure that we can scale the bandwidth of people and use microservices? From a cloud engineering function, having something like Kubernetes 360 that leverages off the metrics deployment is important,” Nicholas says. “With Kubernetes 360, we started to get a broader footprint with our metrics.”
“There’s an amazing ability to get use out of your Open Telemetry data already when you start with Logz.io,” Nicholas says.
Monoova is keen on optimizing its metrics collection process. Thanks to the Data Optimization Hub from Logz.io, they can reduce their metrics usage by up to 50% by selectively turning off metrics that were not linked to any dashboard, providing more headroom for their operations.
“It’s very easy to use, you just go through and click things off that are marked as not being linked to a dashboard,” Nicholas says.
Nicholas shares a powerful example of observability in action. During an analysis, Monoova detected a latency issue within the payment ecosystem. With the help of granular metrics and tracing through Open 360, they were able to pinpoint the problem immediately, saving time and resources compared to the traditional approach of manual investigation.
Logz.io’s constant customer support automated alert notifications also provides a huge assist to Monoova’s team. Instead of needing to constantly have eyes on glass—even during the night—wondering if their system is running smoothly, they can rest easy knowing Logz.io is there.
“Logz.io provides us that extra ability to trigger and manage our observability through a broader set of endpoints and that’s certainly been helpful in terms of team management,” Nicholas says.