Power Home Remodeling Increases Server Speed by 40% with FastRuby.io's Tune Report
Power Home Remodeling (Power) is the nation’s largest full-service exterior home remodeler and a top workplace.
Headquartered in Chester, Pennsylvania with offices in 18 territories across the United States, the award-winning company’s primary product line includes windows, siding, doors, roofing, solar roofing panels, and attic insulation.
In this article we will share how our Tune Report helped Power speed up their application by reducing their average page load time from 5 to 3 seconds.
Power provides homeowners with top-rated customer service, and quality, energy-efficient products that help upgrade their home’s exterior. While a home remodeling company at its core, Power has also become a leader in workplace culture, leadership development, and technology.
Behind the scenes, Power’s unique, state-of-the-art collaborative intelligence platform—known as Nitro—enables seamless, real-time communication across the business.
The company’s technologists are responsible for developing and delivering Nitro’s software through continuous integration, as well as the three data centers that manage it.
According to Wade Winningham , Principal Developer, “We don’t use third-party applications for our sales, lead generation, tracking, and fulfillment. We’ve built everything ourselves and we’re proud that we operate our own platforms and technology without much reliance on an outside cloud.”
Wade, who helps set standards for the entire department, is always on the alert for ways to enhance and refresh their technology infrastructure. For the past six years, they have reached out to us anytime they needed support with Ruby on Rails maintenance, development, and upgrades .
Several years ago, the Ruby on Rails version underlying Power’s software was getting stale, but due to the size of their application, it was going to be a daunting task to handle internally.
We were hired to help with the upgrade from 3.2 to 4.0 . “OmbuLabs/FastRuby.io is an expert in Ruby and Rails, and we knew it was going to be in our best interest to hire them,” explained Wade.
“The upgrade was a huge success . The developers were top notch, knew what they were doing, understood our internal application, and helped us through it.” We collaborated with Power’s team to get them all the way to Rails 6.0 and then they continued their upgrade journey.
Our next challenge was to find ways for our clients to identify optimization opportunities within their Rails applications.
The Solution: Tune Report
Recently, in partnership with Nate Berkopec from Speedshop , we launched our new Tune Report , which helps our clients accelerate their Ruby applications, reach a higher level of performance , and reduce server costs.
We shared our new service with Wade and his team, and they immediately saw the benefits. “We thought it would be great to have an outside perspective of our application. The Tune Report would look at areas that we weren’t focusing on or even aware of having potential issues.”
See the results:
Our first step was to meet with everyone involved. The business technology team provided access to their repositories, internal hardware statistics, application metrics, and codebase to monitor and observe the application.
After we had a chance to explore, read, and analyze the source code, we delivered our Tune Report, which provided a list of key areas that could be immediately addressed and others that could be improved upon over time.
Doing More with Less: Improved Server Performance Results in Reduced Costs
Power’s applications run in a containerized environment. Their theory was that if they had more server instances and fewer processes running in those servers spread out over a wide area, that their application would be more resilient.
However, our Tune Report revealed an excessive amount of memory available, compared to the amount of CPU they were able to use within their servers.
Our recommendation was to reduce the number of server instances and increase the number of processes that each server executed.
For example, instead of having 60 servers with 2 processes, it would be far more efficient to have 20 servers with 6 to 8 processes each.
With more processes per server, there is less chance of one of those being busy when a request arrives. By making this adjustment, we were able to drive down the wait time from an average of 20-50 milliseconds to almost 0 milliseconds.
With this, and all other changes made so far from the report, page loads were reduced from 5 seconds to below 3 seconds.
“This was a huge win for us because we were able to size our application accordingly across multiple server instances,” said Wade. “It only took a few days to test this and verify that they were right.”
By running fewer server instances, hardware is freed up and computational power can be reallocated; ultimately, this results in cost savings and increased speed using half the server capacity.
We also found ways to improve query performance by adding indexes in the database. “These were simple for us to add and immediately improved performance across our application,” said Wade.
The Importance of Regular Checkups
For Wade, the Tune Report was like another set of eyes on areas they may not have thought to look at.
“It was great to have OmbuLabs/FastRuby.io’ insights. They came in, showed us where we could make improvements, and it was easy to implement their suggestions.”
Our team delivered a report that enabled Power to show noticeable results to non-technical stakeholders:
“Our executives were thrilled with the report,” shared Wade. “They liked the fact that we could take action immediately to experience an almost instantaneous impact, and recommended that we invest in a Tune Report on a regular basis.”
Wade felt the Tune Report was well worth the time and effort of getting an outside perspective and said:
“I was shocked that we were able to do so much in a short amount of time and to show that kind of return on investment. The Tune Report came at a really great time and showed us how beneficial it was to do—not just once, but routinely. It’s like taking your application to the auto mechanic for a checkup.”
“I really enjoy working with OmbuLabs/FastRuby.io. They’re experts at what they do, and I’ve always been impressed with their skill, professionalism, and knowledge,” concluded Wade. “They are also very involved in the Ruby community which just adds to their credibility.”
The collaboration between Power and OmbuLabs/FastRuby.io exemplifies how external experts can bolster in-house technological capabilities. The Tune Report proved an invaluable resource in optimizing Power’s Nitro platform, leading to improved performance and cost savings.
The success of this collaboration underscores the importance of regular performance audits and the value they bring in terms of enhancing user experience, reducing costs, and maintaining a competitive edge in a technology-driven world.
The Tune Report, product of a collaboration between FastRuby.io and Speedshop, proved instrumental in identifying optimization opportunities, leading to a significant decrease in average page load time, from 5 to 3 seconds.
One of the key recommendations, reducing the number of server instances and increasing the number of processes per server, resulted in a drop in wait time from 20-50 milliseconds to almost 0.
WHO WE ARE:
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, our experienced and diverse team of developers is ready to do whatever it takes to help your business grow. To learn more, visit us at OmbuLabs.com .