India's online grocer BigBasket taps New Relic to scale operations

India's online grocer BigBasket taps New Relic to scale operations
Image Credit: BigBasket

And quickly deliver new business models.

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BigBasket, India’s largest online grocer with more than 10 million customers has started using observability solutions provided by New Relic to optimise internal operations and enhance customer experience.

The online grocer said it had been able to quickly experiment and launch new businesses within a few weeks, a process that normally took up to a few months. 

As an operationally intensive space with a need for heavy optimisation and automation, BigBasket has built "much" configurable systems in small geographic locations, to understand demography and its customers in order to scale operations. 

“We have been able to scale up operations pretty fast with New Relic,” Sandeep Grandhi, BigBasket’s Associate Director of Engineering said at a fireside chat organised by New Relic. 

Grandhi said the firm’s BBnow initiative which ideally delivers groceries within 15 to 30 minutes, as the best outcome they could roll out in just one and a half months. 

BigBasket had begun shifting to asynchronous work queues in 2018, isolating workloads into containers, breaking up its monolithic architecture and evolving into a heavily microservices-based system running over 100 services.

It has handled diverse technology stacks with Java,Vert.x, Node js, Golang, Python and infra components that have a complex nature of interactions or metrics.

The firm then deployed New Relic to help them build detailed graphs to understand the dependencies of services, Grandhi said. 

From an infrastructure perspective, the grocer wanted to upgrade its whole infrastructure and had moved to a Kubernetes-based system, managing its own Kubernetes clusters to ensure cluster uptime and its ability to support the services. 

“New Relic could give a holistic view of what an application is doing, what the infra is doing and how an application is utilising the infra... This helps us to identify issues and their root cause,” Grandhi said. 

However, we are now trying to isolate compute environments at a project-level non-prod environments with New Relic, he added. 

BigBasket is also looking at creating disposable environments for developers to speed up development cycles. 

Customer experience

While most of the grocer’s customers use Android and iOS devices, page load times, API performance and alerts for untoward incidents have been the major target to ensure a good customer experience. 

BigBasket uses mobile events available in New Relic to create custom events and trace customer journeys. 

“With New Relic mobile integration and custom event integration, we could easily identify issues and enhance better performance,” he added. 

The firm has also focused on backend services to enhance customer performance. It has helped to monitor the historical trends of customers every month to work on capacity planning and scaling up services.

Not only as its online support, Grandhi said, but New Relic's AI alert functionality has also been inevitable even for their offline store Fresho, a completely self-man store with automated billing and checkout. 

Speaking on the future plans, Grandhi said BigBasket would explore New Relic’s synthetics monitoring to build and understand custom journeys. 

“We are currently evaluating logs, other infra components like Kubernetes, Kafka, databases and caching layers to bring them under a single source of observability,” he said. 

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