How Kambr Is Using The Elastic Stack To Monitor Its Integration With The Passenger Service Systems (PSS)
One of the most critical parts of any Airline Revenue Management -Application is the integration with the Passenger Service System (PSS). The PSS is at the core of an airline’s IT infrastructure and is responsible for managing customer interactions with airlines.
As you might expect, problems with PSSs might paralyze airlines and cost them millions of dollars in revenue. That’s why Kambr has decided to implement a whole solution to monitor the interactions between each of its clients and their respective PSSs.
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Don’t Underestimate Logs
Most developers only think about logs when they need them and when they are not implemented.
“You can’t fully understand databases, NoSQL stores, key value stores, replication, paxos, hadoop, version control, or almost any software system without understanding logs; and yet, most software engineers are not familiar with them.” Jay Kreps, 2013.
When mindfully implemented, logs give us meaningful information from business to infrastructure metrics.
Analyzing logs on the other hand is not a simple task. A log file might get to the millions of lines and scrolling along them is not the wisest way of analyzing all this meaningful information.
What’s the solution then?
Digesting The Data
How can we get meaningful information from millions of lines of logs?
The Elastic Stack is the answer. It was chosen as our monitoring solution because it is not as complex to be implemented as an application from scratch. And besides that, since it’s easily maintained and scaled, it would not take many resources whenever a feature needed to be added or a new dashboard needed to be set up for a new client.
The Stack is composed of several applications that work together in order to give us Business or Infrastructure metrics based on our logs.
Elasticsearch is the core application of the Elastic Stack. It is a fast and scalable search and analytics engine for all types of data. This is where all our data will be stored.
Kibana is our window to the whole stack. This is where we visualize our data and create meaningful dashboards composed of histograms, line graphs, pie charts, and maps.
Logstash is used to aggregate and process data and send it to Elasticsearch. It enables you to ingest data from multiple sources simultaneously and enrich and transform it before it is indexed into Elasticsearch.
Beats are a series of agents with the purpose of shipping data to Logstash. Filebeat, for example, is a light application with the sole purpose of shipping logs to Elasticsearch or Logstash. Heartbeat, on the other hand, is responsible for making sure all your hosts are alive.
As we stated before, closely monitoring the interaction between Eddy, our Revenue Management Application, and the PSSs so we can get meaningful information is crucial for our and our clients’ operations.
To do so, based on logs, we designed Dashboards and visualizations in Kibana to help us keep an eye on if everything is running smoothly.
This is an example of one of our dashboards of one of our clients.
In the first section of the Dashboard above you can see how we are able to monitor how the system is being used, how many requests are done daily, and at what time it’s safer to perform maintenance operations.
In the second section, you can see how we monitor not only if the Daily Import has successfully run, but how we also collect meaningful information about its performance, such as the duration of the execution and the size of the import.
In the last section, you can see how we monitor the export of flights to the PSS and whether they have been rejected.
We have also built custom in-house monitoring tools using the Canvas resource from Kibana. These tools allow our support team to easily monitor and diagnose our client operations.
The tool uses an alerting function that proactively and instantly notifies our support team when issues arise needing their immediate attention.
This is just a small part of Kambr’s monitoring solution. The solution is already playing a part in how Kambr is revolutionizing the Airline Industry by making sure Eddy is always running and ready to copilot our clients. What do you say? Ready to book a flight? 🛩