With over 27 million monthly active users and more than 2.5 thousand coders, storytellers, explorers and data-scientists, Playtika is one of the leading social and mobile gaming companies.
Platform triumphs & challenges
Playtika has standardized on Kafka as their platform for the exchange of information between their microservices. Its performance, wide adoption in the marketplace & scalability by design were crucial to this decision.
The early stages of Kafka involved using a variety of different open source tools to provide visibility. Challenges soon emerged as the environment grew. Their tools had neither the functionality nor the integration to manage this mission critical platform. Developers & SRE’s found themselves having to investigate problems by requesting access to various open-source tools & scripts.
This problem was exacerbated as Kafka was adopted across more & more games. Hundreds of people in engineering & operations needed system access to maintain this large landscape. In addition, the design, marketing & other teams needed access to drive the analytics that power their games, & their business. The lack of visibility was slowing the productivity of the teams; something had to change.
Lenses.io has been critical for us in making Kafka production-ready & adopted across all our games. It has also significantly increased productivity for hundreds of our developers which has meant we can accelerate the delivery of new features to market.
Ella Vidra, VP IT at Playtika
A central view over all of Playtika’s Apache Kafka clusters
First, the team attempted to develop an in house solution. However, they quickly discovered the free-to-use Lenses.io DataOps workspace, a fully featured developer version of Lenses. Playtika saw that Lenses.io met their needs for monitoring & managing the data platform. They were very quickly able to show management that their requirements were met.
Playtika does not use a Schema Registry as it was not available when starting with Kafka. This makes exploration of message payload being published onto Kafka even more essential: Although Playtika try to document their data sources, many find it easier & more up-to-date to understand what data is being produced directly in production with Lenses. Visibility into messages is also critical for developers & SREs when needing to investigate problems across production & non production environments.
Prior to using Lenses this process could take hours.
Today developers, analysts, QA and operations have access to a fully audited GUI & CLI to inspect message payloads.
We were able to solve an issue impacting millions of gamers in less than 15 minutes after other teams had spent hours looking in completely the wrong place and had even triggered DR procedures. Without Lenses visibility into message throughput it would have been impossible to understand. Today developers, analysts, QA and operations have access to a fully audited GUI & CLI to inspect message payloads. They previously had to open tickets to ask teams to run commands in various different open-source tools. I can’t even begin to explain how much time this saves them.
Ivan Vasyliev, Systems Architect, Playtika
Today, hundreds of people across engineering and operations investigate and inspect Kafka through a clear, centralized Lenses.io workspace every day. They previously had to use dozens of different tools and run commands. Can you begin to imagine how much this saves them?
In fact, Playtika estimates that on average developers save over 30 minutes per day. If that doesn’t sound like much, across 600 developers, QA, operations and analysts, that’s over 300 man hours per day.
At 200 EUR per day that’s almost 2.0m EUR per year.
Now that’s Return-on-Investment.