SendGrid Case Study




The complexity and amount of data involved in sending transactional email are surprising. As Silvia Botros, Lead DBA, explained, a combination of three factors created a difficult scaling challenge:
1. High transaction rate, which is driven not only by email sends, but also opens, spam reports, clicks and more.

2. Large dataset size, which results not only from the email messages but also from data about portions of the messages, such as tracking information on links.

3. High resource demands on hardware. SendGrid uses high-performance SSDs and other cutting-edge hardware to provide high I/O rates, large amounts of memory, and plenty of CPU cycles. Still, their workload drives these servers hard.

In addition to the database challenges, SendGrid’s rapid growth resulted in challenges for the developer and operations teams in other areas, and the DBA and operations teams became overburdened with requests.

VividCortex has helped us identify problems before they happen. The real-time graphs have allowed us to really understand the performance impact of every single code release. - Chris McDermott, Manager of Product Operations, SendGrid.



VividCortex provides streamlined query insight that allowed SendGrid to solve problems with ease. Rather than resorting to haphazard methods to find an offending query, the team can solve problems through VividCortex's sophisticated query sampling capabilities.

VividCortex provides insightful views such as before-and-after comparison of top queries across time ranges, making it easy to see what's changed. Daily reports shed meaningful light on database performance, saving DBAs the trouble of performing tedious reporting on query performance. According to McDermott, they 'are easier to read, get delivered to a much broader audience, save us money every quarter, and allow our people to spend their time on more fun and challenging work.'


  • Enable development teams to self service
  • Save on hardware costs
  • Understand the performance impact of every single code release
  • Identify bottlenecks and solutions
  • Spend more time on fun and strategic initiatives


Since installing VividCortex, SendGrid is able to solve problems that were previously unsolvable. The team saves on hardware cost because they are able to measure and optimize usage. The entire developer team is more efficient because they are able to self-service. VividCortex and SendGrid are continuing to collaborate and are excited for the future of database monitoring.

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