Case in Point: A Year of Customer Experience with Percona

In 2017 we have welcomed many new customers into the Percona fold. It’s always interesting to find out what challenges the Percona team helped them to address and how they chose their relationship with Percona. As unbiased champions of open source database software, our consultancy, support and managed services staff apply their expertise across a wide range of technologies. Here are just a few stories from the past year.

Scaling applications on Amazon RDS the right way

customer experienceSpecializing in on-demand transportation services, Grab needed a high-availability, high performing database engine to serve their rapidly growing application. Grab operates in over 30 densely populated cities in six countries of Southeast Asia. Although they had implemented a split database with Redis caching, they felt there was still room – and a necessity – to improve performance.

Maximum RDS hardware size had been reached, so Percona consultants worked with Grab to rearchitect the database design and reduce its overall footprint. The database management team were left with a solution that was manageable and with the capacity to expand.

“[Percona] proposed solutions that met our scaling and performance needs. The suggested changes were implemented fast, with no database downtime, and we saw an immediate improvement in our performance.” – Edwin Law, Data Engineering Lead, Grab

Managed database services

customer experienceA B2C business with upward of 25 million subscribers, deal-brokering site has over 500 million page views a month. Data security is an issue at the forefront of their business. When their DBA left to take on a new challenge, the company was left with a dilemma common to many companies that have grown exponentially from a small, committed core of staff. With business continuity relying on a single resource, they knew they had to mitigate exposure to this risk, and Percona’s Managed Services offered a perfect solution.

Contracting out their database management provides 24-hour coverage for their databases, 365 days a year. Furthermore, rather than having to rely on one person’s knowledge and availability, in-depth expertise and a wide pool of knowledge are available if problems arise.

“Our subscribers expect deals that get posted on to not just be valid but scrutinized and rated by the community. Guaranteeing database performance is key to making sure our web applications are responsive and up-to-date. Percona Care Ultimate helps us to achieve these objectives.” – Pavel Genov, Head of Software Development at

Maximising database uptime

customer experienceFor Open Sky the challenge was to ensure maximum uptime. Their business model demands high availability with revenue directly tied to uptime. Using both MongoDB and MySQL in their architecture, hiring Percona to help with their DBA work made absolute sense, since Percona maintains distributions of these products.

Many smaller companies find it hard to justify the expense of a full-time DBA, never mind a whole team. Depending too much on a single person is an obvious candidate for a single point of failure. With high availability at the core of their business, not having DBA cover is a risky strategy.

Achieving outstanding database and query performance

customer experienceLMAX Exchange also needed high availability, but was looking for very high performance too. Clients create ad hoc reports using vast amounts of data. With their logo incorporating the phrase “Speed Price Transparency”, their reporting system had something to live up to. As with all of our engagements, we carried out an initial audit of their existing systems. Through that were able to make some recommendations off the bat for improvements to their database configuration. The key to this exercise was to deliver important performance gains without the need for wholesale application upheaval. Percona support services help keep them on track.

Preparing for database growth

customer experience

Alkemics’ challenge was that as a SaaS provider operating in a competitive industry and B2B, not only their own success but that of their customers relies on their delivery of an optimal service. The company was gearing for growth and needed to make sure that their database systems could support their ambitions. With that in mind, they hired Percona to carry out an audit of their database management and replication process. The database tuning recommendations once implemented led to a 45% decrease in memory usage. Along with overall improvements in query and database performance, Alkemics gained confidence in their ability to sustain planned growth.

Cloud Database Environments

Another factor influencing the need for optimization is cloud delivery, and the work with Alkemics illustrates what our team can achieve. During 2017, the number of applications using cloud infrastructure – like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud – increased rapidly, and we expect this trend to continue in 2018. With many cloud services charging solely on the basis of resource usage – disk space, memory, CPU, and IO all being factors – the DBA’s role has come into sharp focus in the context of cost. Percona Monitoring and Management underwent a substantial development, and in 1.5.3 incorporated support for Amazon RDS Aurora.

Optimizing database resource usage and cloud footprint

customer experience

Lookout uses the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform with Aurora as their main database software. Percona’s expertise with databases in the cloud helped Lookout to reduce their cloud footprint and, therefore, their operational costs. As a mobile security company, maximum availability in a secure environment is a core business function. As well as Percona’s database audit and optimization services, Lookout leverage Percona Monitoring and Management in the development of a resilient, pro-active approach to cloud management.

Check out our webinar with Lookout as well!

Summing up our customers’ stories

A common theme is that – whatever the size of their business – our customers are pushing the boundaries of technology with their projects and ambitions. This makes it an exciting place to work for Percona’s consultants, support, and technical account managers. Every new client brings a new challenge, an opportunity to look at the technology from a fresh angle and the chance to extend their knowledge.

If you are the kind of person that would enjoy this kind of challenge, then don’t forget we’re hiring!

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