Customer Success Stories

I am Raymond Steenvoorden, and I work as a Principal Performance Engineer at Backbase. I am responsible for multiple value streams, which include not only the retail value stream where we build retail apps but also business banking, digital assist, and the employee app. Additionally, I manage other performance engineers and empower teams to run performance tests.

Why is performance engineering important for Backbase?

Performance engineering is important because nobody wants to use a slow website or slow mobile app. Response times are extremely important for us, as well as for the end users of the banks. Additionally, by practicing performance engineering, we ensure efficient, resilient, and scalable software, which, in turn, provides value for the customers. Speaking of efficiency, continuous performance engineering allows us to stay in control of costs, especially in the cloud environment: the better the application performs, the fewer cloud resources it costs. This is a significant matter because many of our customers migrate to the cloud.

How did you approach performance engineering before Perfana?

Previously, performance engineering existed within the organization; however, the approach to this practice was not as professional and well-structured as it is now.

What were the challenges that you wanted to solve?

We wanted to have a clear framework and yet to provide teams with more flexibility and eliminate some top-down decisions. Now, with Perfana, we have an established performance-related framework that empowers teams to choose the tools that work best for them, ensuring they can optimize performance testing according to their specific needs. And that’s a significant advantage.

Why did you decide to start using our solution?

We adopted Perfana for several reasons. It brings consistency to our workflow thanks to auto-generated dashboards for standardized testing. This centralizes observability and ensures teams use appropriate dashboards, sparing them from building their own and ensuring correct SLOs and SLIs. Perfana established a clear performance testing framework for us. Moreover, it uniquely supports our shift-left approach in the development cycle and seamlessly integrates with our pipeline, Jenkins, and GitHub Actions.

What other unique needs and requirements did Perfana address?

One of the valuable insights we gained with Perfana is based on its seamless integration with Jaeger tracing. This allows us to drill down into a transaction response time because only measuring and detecting a slow response time is not enough for our teams. Another important out-of-the-box feature Perfana provides us with is integration with Pyroscope.

Was there anything that you needed clarification on before you started using Perfana?

The onboarding process was quite easy as a result of the dynamic dashboards generation. You don’t have to create a project. With Perfana, it’s just a matter of setting up your configuration, and then it works out-of-the-box. And that’s powerful.

Key results. Can you give a specific example of improvements achieved with Perfana?

Overall, with Perfana, we prevented a number of performance issues in production over the last year. For instance, we detected and resolved an interesting performance issue within a backend service with the help of Perfana and its seamless integration with Pyroscope. Initially, a 1.5-second delay (backend call) in bill payment processing persisted for several months, but our customer accepted this. With Perfana’s precise measurements, we identified a specific backend operation improperly logging data into the hard disk instead of memory, impacting response times. Our solution involved optimizing the logging process, resulting in an impressive 20% reduction in overall response time – from 5 seconds to 4 seconds – by minimizing the backend call to just 0.2 seconds. This achievement highlights the value of Perfana’s capabilities.

What is the business value of such a reduction?

Firstly, less response time means less resource usage, which in turn saves money, especially in the cloud. Secondly, faster response time leads to handling a higher throughput. Thirdly, in terms of competition, response time reduction gives us a competitive advantage because we want to provide our customers with the fastest software platform, facilitating the needs of end users (e.g., faster transactions).

What are the features of Perfana that teams at Backbase particularly appreciate?

On the whole, Perfana works for us out-of-the-box and saves our teams a lot of time – they test more and more often, yet spend less time on testing. As for the features, I would name pre-configured dashboards and easy integration with well-known tools. It provides the end user of Perfana with control to enable/disable integration with Jaeger, Pyroscope, GitHub, Jenkins, etc. Our teams appreciate this flexibility, fostering a sense of ownership. For instance, during one test, our backend developer detected duplicated calls in his audit message when he simply enabled Jaeger tracing at Perfana.

How many teams are using Perfana?

We have a license for 100 systems under test. There are 20 teams currently using Perfana, but I think we can easily double that.

How likely you would recommend our solution on a scale from 1 to 10 to a friend or colleague?

It`s a 9.

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