Customer Stories/Kairos

Why AppSignal Is a Great Alternative to New Relic and Datadog for Kairos

Logo of Kairos
  • Stack

    Ruby on Rails, React, GraphQL, Kubernetes

  • Company

    B2B SaaS

  • Team size

    5 developers

  • Requests


Before AppSignal

  • Unpredictable pricing
  • Non-intuitive interface
  • A high learning curve for junior developers

After AppSignal

  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Low learning curve

For this customer story, we interviewed Daniel, the VP of engineering at Kairos, and Geoff, their senior engineer.

Kairos is a SaaS dedicated to helping elite sports teams across the globe maximize their preparation and performance. Their digital planning platform manages the complexities of scheduling and communications in elite sports.

Startup Friendly Monitoring Alternative To New Relic and Datadog

Before AppSignal, both Daniel and Geoff used New Relic and Datadog. Since they were working with startups, the pricing of both companies didn't suit their needs, and they also found New Relic too clunky for their taste. AppSignal was a great alternative that provided them with both functionality and affordability.

We have looked at other stuff since we've been using AppSignal, but we've never had reason to change. It does everything we need it to do. Datadog is more complicated, you almost need to go on a training course before you use it. Whereas with AppSignal you don't. Everything you need is right in front of you, and you don't feel like you're bewildered by all this. There's no information overload in it.

Debugging and Performance Optimization with AppSignal

The Kairos tech team found AppSignal very useful to hunt down issues in their app. Some issues are hard to pinpoint. Instead of jumping between the front-end and back-end, the Kairos team goes to AppSignal to investigate app behavior and draw conclusions.

AppSignal's performance charts and throughput are especially significant from an infrastructure point of view. Daniel is responsible for the Kubernetes clusters at Kairos, and he checks AppSignal to ensure that app performance is on point and to see if things need to be scaled.

I look at the longer-running issues in AppSignal. For example, whether we're progressively slowing down over the course of a month. Maybe we've had a ton of new users, and we need to scale the app.

Useful Features in AppSignal

AppSignal has some features that Kairos' tech team appreciates a lot. The first one is tracking errors against deploys. They can track a bug from the moment it was first introduced.

Tracking errors agains deploys

The second one is custom markers.

Say we released a new feature. We can put in a marker to say, "This happened at this point, and that's across everything," which is really nice.

Kairos tech also went through a phase of trying to increase performance in certain parts of the app. Using the tracing feature to see a breakdown of all the different calls was really useful.

Tracing feature

No Handholding Needed for Junior Developers

For Kairos, the barrier to entry with AppSignal is much lower than with New Relic or Datadog. They plan to add junior engineers in the coming period, and they aren't concerned about teaching them how to use AppSignal.

With AppSignal I can point them to an app and go, "Here there's an error," and I don't have to worry about them using it. Whereas with Datadog or New Relic, I definitely would have to handhold them. That's a big advantage for us.

I used to nearly dread going into New Relic, whereas AppSignal is friendlier. It's like a companion to you, you want to put your arm around it. That's my impression of it anyway.

The key benefit for Kairos tech is how easily they can access their data through AppSignal's intuitive interface. Developers can now intuitively, within seconds, find the data they need without diving into docs, which was not the case with New Relic.

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