Humio at Bloomreach: Helping scale e-commerce and get real-time access to application logs

Providing the scalable log management developers need for cloud-native environments.

Bloomreach is the leader in e-commerce experience, helping companies around the world to grow online revenue by creating, personalizing, and scaling commerce experiences for global customers. They power e-commerce experiences across the US and Europe supporting companies like Neiman Marcus, Capital One, Staples, and Puma. They give enterprise customers extra agility by providing a flexible experience platform that can integrate external solutions like digital asset management, commerce backend solutions, and frontend hosting solutions.

The difficulty of accessing application logs

As part of serving their customers, Bloomreach needed a way to deliver application logs to developers to track app performance. At first, they tried doing it themselves using Elasticsearch, but they found their customers found it too difficult to get access to the data they needed.

The solution was going underused. Bloomreach needed something that was developer-friendly and was something they would find useful. They sought a solution that balanced performance with ease of access — something that matched how they wanted to run their own platform. They found the answer they needed in Humio.

The search for cloud native logging

Bloomreach needed a means of getting logs from different clusters in a cloud environment and bringing them to one place. There weren’t many options on their list for tools that met that requirement. After a quick proof of concept with Humio, the engineers at Bloomreach immediately saw the value Humio could provide.

Transitioning to Humio

Humio makes transitioning easy by allowing users to keep their current file shippers in place to route their logs. All users need to do is to change where their logs are being shipped to Humio. For Bloomreach, they simply reconfigured Filebeat and they were receiving logs in Humio.

As an additional implementation detail, Bloomreach required that their platform logs and access logs for internal use were kept separate from the application logs that developers at their customers would want to access. Built for multi-tenancy, Humio is made to pass on the power to manage accounts within a deployment using its Views feature — which allows administrators of Humio to control who has access to what data repositories.

To separate out data, logs are tagged by the shipper as access, platform, or application. Then Humio uses that information, in combination with identifying information which says which cluster the logs came from, to attach them to different access rights.

The transition was also made easier by the fact that Bloomreach’s clusters were dockerized in a Kubernetes implementation, a platform fully supported by Humio.

Winning over the engineers

Bloomreach’s initial goal was to provide a front-end, customer-facing solution to give customers real-time access to their application logs. Humio met this goal, making it easy to search and find logs that help determine the root causes of application errors in less than a second. Bloomreach links their customers to their data logs with a one-click link, making it easy to access and use.

In addition to the external customer developers that use Humio logs to monitor their apps, Bloomreach saw the value in using Humio themselves, and its use expanded to other internal teams: platform developers, application developers, support engineers, and operations engineers. Bloomreach adopted Humio as the source for all of their logging.

Their internal engineering teams use Humio for real-time alerts and monitoring dashboards.

Humio gives these teams access to log data through alerting, and also through live dashboards which display spikes in performance data. Internal performance and support teams keep a live watch over the system from these dashboards, and Bloomreach is able to use Humio to provide personalized status dashboards to each of their customers.

Unexpected benefits of log management

One of the more impressive components of Humio was when customers of Bloomreach saw their log traffic go up by over 1000%, and the logging still functioned flawlessly. Humio is designed to meet the future logging needs, easily handling extreme spikes and working normally.

Even with no intention of using Humio as a security feature, Bloomreach was able to use it to put the concerns of their customers about possible brute force attacks to rest. They were able to use Humio alerts to look at denied login attempts, and then show that those attempts were from authorized users and not a threat.

Bloomreach continues to find new sources of value in Humio and shares those gains with their customers. They’ve discovered, like many other Humio customers, that giving engineers easy access to logs also gives them the power to create new solutions based on that data.

Find out how log management can start creating solutions for you by requesting a free demo.