Client case Rakuten

Improve your infrastructure
and control of your systems with Pandora FMS

Rakuten, which is developing the widest range of Internet services in Japan, has created a highly reliable and low-cost monitoring infrastructure thanks to Pandora FMS. The Internet services offered by Rakuten Inc. must be available to everyone, all the time and from anywhere. To optimally operate a large Internet service with more than 73.6 million users at a low cost, Rakuten has chosen Pandora FMS Enterprise and established an integrated monitoring framework that flexibly responds to future service expansions.



Rakuten Inc. (hereinafter Rakuten) aims to be “the number one Internet services company,” and is developing a wide range of businesses from “Rakuten Ichiba,” Japan’s largest e-commerce and online store, “Rakuten Travel,” a travel business, “Infoseek,” a media business portal, “Rakuten Securities,” and “Rakuten Card,” which manages the financial operations and merchandising sales plans of the “Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles” professional baseball team. The company has created the “Rakuten economic bloc” where more than 73 million users (September 2011 data) enjoy various Internet services.

Rworks Inc, a Pandora FMS Certified Partner, presented Pandora FMS Enterprise to Rakuten Inc. as the solution to monitor the entire infrastructure of Internet services and has achieved a monitoring tool at a low cost, required for the operation.

It is necessary to say that the services offered by Rakuten must be of a high level. Taking Rakuten Ichiba as an example, it offers a large-scale service where 37,000 stores participate and register more than 88 million items (December 2011 data).

“To deliver top-level services to customers, we operate the bulk of the shared infrastructure consisting of hundreds of servers. The shared infrastructure ensures flexibility, robustness and optimal performance, so that the service is always operational. As a result, customers can use our services at their leisure.”

Yoshinori Nemoto, Head of Shared Infrastructure Development and Operations Group


Rakuten built a powerful integrated monitoring framework in May 2001. Since then, Rakuten has maintained optimal operations.

The integrated monitoring framework covers a few Rakuten services, provides monitoring of services and elements to operators according to their responsibilities, and establishes workflows for unforeseen situations. In the event that a service goes down, it is possible to respond appropriately and quickly.

The main operation of the monitoring system is real-time monitoring, but the number of targets and elements to monitor grows each time a service is added. These have increased by 20% to 30% in recent years and there are now more than 10,000 agents and items. However, there is no end in sight to the increase in services.


In addition, in line with virtualization trends and the shift to cloud systems in the common infrastructure, the number of targets and items is expected to increase more than ever. The cost increase becomes a major challenge for the company.

The new system had to respond to the business expansion at a low cost. That is why the renovation of the 10-year-old monitoring system was considered.


The deciding factor in choosing Pandora is that it is a superior product in every way.

The following five points were the focus of the evaluation of the new systems:

check   Cost of introduction and operation.
check   Simplicity of data migration.
check   Feasibility of a high-availability configuration.
check   Continuity of the operation process in the existing environment including the monitoring of existing items.
check   Implementation of new monitoring items in the future.

In addition to cost reduction, the high-availability configuration was a requirement for the monitoring tool. Ease of migration to the new environment was also indispensable in order to lighten the burden on the operators.

“We evaluated both open source and commercial products. We concluded that the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) including the Pandora FMS license was the best. In fact, we can control the improvement of our systems due to the increase of monitored items and the cost has been reduced by 40% compared to the current one.”

Yoshinori Nemoto, Head of Shared Infrastructure Development and Operations Group

Manually entering more than 10,000 monitoring items is impractical. As Pandora offers an API and Plugins the migration and insertion of items is straightforward.

The project began in August 2011. Four months later, in December, the operation of the new system was moved to the production environment. During the first quarter of 2012, we made the complete changeover to the new system.

In addition to the monitoring server in the data center, the configuration of the new integrated monitoring framework for which Pandora FMS was chosen.

It is divided into the following three groups:

check SYSLOG/SNMP monitoring with HA configuration.
check IPv4 services monitoring with 5+1 redudance.
check And IPv6 services monitoring with 1+1 redundancy.


As the configuration was also deployed in another data center, the system has redundancy over two data centers. Furthermore, this configuration can be easily extended by adding another server.

As Pandora offers an API and Plugins, the migration and insertion of the items is easy. After validating the high availability of the monitoring system, we found that Open Source products did not achieve a high availability configuration and that commercial products required very expensive additional cluster versions, resulting in more expensive systems than the existing one.

On the other hand, with Pandora FMS, it is easy to create a high availability system of higher quality than commercial products.

“From the point of view of those who use the monitoring service internally, the biggest merit is that the product can be deployed with the same configuration as the existing system without changing the operation process. I highly appreciate the product as it enabled a seamless migration despite the many existing operation processes and offering many functionalities.”

Kazuhito Fujimaki, Group Head Manager

“We developed a program to convert the data ourselves using the Pandora API. By exporting the existing data and entering the required set of values, we migrated several tens of thousands of monitored items in one day. The great flexibility of Pandora FMS allowed us to migrate the system smoothly. Although Pandora is a commercial software based on Open Source, it provides a high level of service and ensures redundant system monitoring. It is an innovative product. For Rakuten, redundancy and flexibility are very important and the product is very suitable for us.”

Shigema Takeda, Member of Shared Infrastructure Operations and Development Group


“Using Pandora, it is possible to integrate unplanned functions or custom developments into the integrated monitoring system. In the next steps, in addition to the current real-time monitoring, we want to use more user experience monitoring functionalities such as the time it takes to load a website, and content monitoring.”

Kazuhito Fujimaki, Group Heads Manager

Rakuten has full confidence in Rworks and its quick response, which fixed bugs in less than two days and provided feedback on adding new features within a week. Thanks to the creation of Rworks base procedures, Rakuten was able to reduce man-hours.

In order to achieve Rakuten’s goal of being “the number one Internet services company”, the creation of a flexible monitoring system is indispensable. Rworks’ distribution of Pandora FMS Enterprise is taking an important position in this.

We really appreciate Rworks’ speed of response. The large-scale deployment starts now, and we have high expectations for support from Rworks. In particular, we want Rworks to support us in everything we can’t do ourselves..”

Yoshinori Nemoto, Head of Shared Infrastructure Operations and Development Group

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