Case Study

How Switching
from PagerDuty to Opsgenie
Helped this Data Center Company
Save $100,000 Per Year

In an industry where downtime can cost a staggering $5,600 per minute, maintaining uninterrupted operations is paramount. Recently, a leading data center solutions provider sought a more cost-effective and efficient integration solution for their incident management. They were looking for a tool with functionality that would ensure that all stakeholders are notified during incidents. Previously relying on PagerDuty, the company aimed to find a comprehensive alternative that would reduce escalating costs and seamlessly integrate into their existing operating model.

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Background and Pain Points

Founded in 2009, a California-based hyper-infrastructure solutions provider catering to storage, computing, and virtualization needs had achieved remarkable growth. They had shifted to a subscription model in 2020, becoming one of the fastest companies to surpass $1 billion USD in revenue within 20 years. Their revenue surged to ~$1.394 billion USD in 2021, positioning them as a leading provider of scalable data center solutions in the SaaS IT infrastructure landscape.

However, amidst their rapid growth, the company needed a transformation.

Pain Points

  • The company was looking for a more cost-effective total solution.
  • They aimed to reduce or eliminate the escalating costs associated with additional ‘bolt-on’ solutions.
  • They needed to find a solution with improved integration into their existing operating model.
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The Business Challenge:

While initially satisfied with PagerDuty as their incident management tool, the company wanted a solution that provided timely notifications and kept incident responders and stakeholders informed during these incidents. PagerDuty’s cost model charged for both responders and stakeholders, along with additional fees for bolt-on capabilities, led the company to consider a change. Moreover, limitations in integration with the Atlassian ecosystem, such as the number of Jira issues per incident and field limitations, were having an impact on incident remediation speed.

Past Solution

The company had initially chosen PagerDuty, which served around 800 cross-functional engineers. They utilized various capabilities of PagerDuty, including monitoring, war rooms, notifications, incident post-mortems, and on-call processes. Their PagerDuty instance had multiple integrations, such as AWS CloudWatch, Data Dog, database CPU spike alarms, Linux patching, ServiceNow, Splunk, and bespoke monitoring tools. However, escalating costs and limitations within the Atlassian ecosystem prompted the exploration of alternatives.
During a Jira test-case management initiative with Trundl, the company learned about Opsgenie as a potential solution to address their limitations in incident remediation. Opsgenie offers improved integration into their existing operational model, allowing for seamless collaboration with Jira and Confluence. This solution opened doors for a potential shift in incident management tools and paved the way for finding a more cost-effective and integrated solution that aligns with the company’s needs.
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Analysis and Solution:

To ascertain the root cause of the problem and evaluate the switch to Opsgenie as an incident management solution, Trundl worked with the company to conduct a detailed analysis of their tech stack. The analysis focused on comparing the cost difference between Opsgenie and PagerDuty, with Opsgenie’s annual license cost being roughly 50% of PagerDuty for the same user base and configuration. Furthermore, since the company was already using Jira, switching to Opsgenie would eliminate the need for stakeholder licenses, resulting in additional cost savings.

Some of the other critical features of Opsgenie the team considered in their analysis were:

  • Active and Passive Monitoring
  • Alert Aggregation, Paging, and Notifications
  • Incident Lifecycle Management
  • Integrations
  • Runbooks and Knowledge Management
  • War Room and Centralized Collaboration
  • Process Logic and Escalation Capabilities
  • CI/CD Pipeline Analysis
  • Post-Mortems and Post Incident Remediation

After a thorough evaluation, the team selected Opsgenie not only because it matches the capabilities of PagerDuty but also better aligns with the company’s operating models. Further, this analysis provided valuable insights into the decision-making process. As a result, it enabled the company to have better visibility into the work in progress, connections between cross-functional teams and projects, and equal access to knowledge through Confluence.

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The Transition from PagerDuty to Opsgenie:

The transition from PagerDuty to Opsgenie was time sensitive as the company needed to make the shift within four months to avoid extending their existing PagerDuty contract.  

Trundl devised a comprehensive plan to tackle the challenge of creating a seamless automated migration process between the two tools without a pre-existing solution. Within a short timeframe of three months, Trundl recreated teams, services, integrations, on-call schedules, and escalation policies in Opsgenie to ensure a smooth transition.

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The entire project was completed before the expiration of their PagerDuty contract. Moreover, the return on investment was immediate. Year 1 brought net savings of (net of the total cost of the professional services) ~$42,000, while annual savings are projected to be at least $100,000. Most importantly, the company was able to maintain and upgrade its service level commitments and incident management capabilities while making the switch to Opsgenie.

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