• Case Study

    Bitnetix and e-commerce retailer implement Nagios, leads to 98% annual uptime

web-logo Industry: E-Commerce Download PDF: Nagios and Bitnetix

Company Profile

Bitnetix provides outsourced IT management and consulting to non-profits and small-medium businesses. A recognized leader in the field of IT monitoring, Bitnetix has received numerous awards for its work with Nagios. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Bitnetix is privately held and committed to returning a portion of its revenues to local charities every year.

Business Needs

Bitnetix was tasked with monitoring an online store for an e-commerce retailer with a billion dollar annual revenue. Beyond keeping the lights on for the store, Bitnetix needed to ensure that the cart and checkout functionality was up and running, check for website defamation, and notify the necessary staff if anything went awry.

“In real dollar terms, the company was able to achieve almost $125,000,000 in
additional sales as a result.”

Eric Loyd, CEOBitnetix

The Challenge

Bitnetix hit a roadblock upon realizing that the client’s data center was located in Seacacus, New Jersey, more than 500 miles away from their staff in Rochester, New York. The two areas required unique – but equally comprehensive – monitoring for the production, quality assurance, staging, and development of the same platform. Equally problematic was the fact that monitoring would be hampered by the firewall restrictions between different application sites, functions, etc. To top it all off, most of the notifications sent to the client were ignored because there were so many false positives.

Why Nagios?

Nagios lent our expertise to Bitnetix’s needs by:

  • Adding SSH firewall rules for Network Operations Center (NOC) personnel and equipment.
  • Analyzing web pages to check for defamation occurrences.
  • Converting notifications to Nagios alerts and escalations with specific time periods for different groups.
  • Configuring event handlers to restart services before notification, a fix for 90% of all issues.
  • Using Nagios Core (deployed via automatic configuration management) on multiple servers at the NOC facility. Each Nagios “worker” was deployed at the application level with direct access to hosts.
  • Using this architecture for production, quality assurance, staging, and development environments

The Bottom Line

With Nagios, Bitnetix helped the e-commerce retailer achieve:

  • A dramatic reduction in notifications (thanks to the event handlers’ new configuration)
  • A dramatic reduction in false positives (thanks to Nagios’ escalation logic)
  • An increase in uptime from around 85% annually to more than 98% annually, leading to happy and well-rested SysAdmin and Development teams (thanks to
    Nagios fixing problems as they arose)
  • Estimating the need to log in to multiple boxes and change configuration files (thanks to Nagios configurations maintained in a central repository and pushed
    automatically to the appropriate servers)