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70+ plugins, realtime charts, alerts, and Chef/Puppet-friendly configuration.

Dashboard updates: stacking, naming charts, and more

Posted in Features

Thanks for your feedback since the launch of our new dashboards UI last week! We're taking your suggestions to heart - here's what we've been working on.

Stacking

stacking

You can now stack metrics just like before. Choose the "stacked" display option in the chart settings.

You'll also see a total across metrics on the chart when hovering over the chart.

Name your charts

name

We give your charts a default name, but sometimes you have a more awesome name. Now you can rename your charts at-will.

More metrics in the tooltip

We've increased the number of visible metrics in the tooltip to 15. Don't forget you can scroll through the metrics in the tooltip if you have more. Also, tooltip metrics are sorted so you'll see the highest values first.

Coming: different metrics on the same chart

We launched with the ability to create charts with a single metric. The top request we're hearing is the ability to place multiple metrics on the same chart (ex: CPU I/O Wait, CPU User %, CPU System).

We're working on this! We'll update when this is available.

We'll keep making dashboards more awesome

We won't rest until you start taking Instragram photos of your favorite Scout dashboard moments.

Send your feedback/suggestions/bug reports to support@scoutapp.com.

 
 

Launched: the new dashboards UI

Posted in Features

Dashboards and charts are the swiss army knife of monitoring tools. In fact, dashboards and charts account for roughly half of all page views in our UI.

A couple of months back, we decided it was time to revamp our dashboards and charts experience in Scout. Like a swiss army knife, our goal was to strike the balance between utility and ease-of-use. Today, we're excited to rollout our the new experience to everyone.

The new UI delivers a buttery-smooth experience while providing what you need to monitor your growing server footprint.

Unifying dashboards and charts

Dashboards and charts used to be two separate areas of Scout: now, two have become one. It's never been easier to get all of your key metrics onto a single page.

dashboards

The sidebar lists all of your metrics. As your Vim-loving colleague would tell you, the fastest way to work is via your keyboard. It's the same with dashboards: to filter metrics, just start typing. Use your up/down keys to page through metrics and hit enter to create a chart.

When you add a chart, you'll see that metric across all of your servers. Say goodbye to clicking check boxes!

add chart

What if you want to filter metrics (example: memory usage on just your application servers)? Easy stuff. Use the global filters at the top of the page to apply that filter to every chart on the page:

global filter

...or just use the chart-specific settings to apply it to just this chart:

chart filter

Drag and Drop + Resize

You can drag-and-drop plus resize charts at-will to get your dashboard exactly how you want it.

drag and drop + resize

Lightweight: embrace ad-hoc

Frequently, we'll whip up a dashboard for something we want to inspect. Dashboards don't get in the way: you don't need to name dashboards or charts just to view or share a dashboard with a colleague.

Elastic

As you add/remove servers or plugins, charts will auto-update with the changes. Filters are applied via environment names, role names, and server names - not specific IDs - so they stay current as your infrastructure grows.

Sharing is caring

Want to share a dashboard with a friend that doesn't have a Scout account? No worries - just click the "Share" link:

share

Less noise w/range

When you have many servers, charts get very noisy with lots of lines. Our range display solves this problem by displaying a line for the average and a band for the min/max across all of your servers.

You can always toggle to the breakout display to view a line for each server.

range and breakout

Full-width

The charts will resize dynamically as you adjust the width of your browser window.

Synced tooltips

When inspecting a chart, you'll see a vertical line on the other charts over that same point in time. With this, correlations become clear.

Easy date navigation

Just like before, our flexible date parser makes it easy to select the end time for a chart. You can select between different durations and move forward+back in time.

date select

What about your existing charts and dashboards?

You'll be able to access these under the "Legacy Charts" navigation area in Scout. We'll be deprecating support for old dashboards and charts in the next several months. Rest assured we'll communicate this timeline as it develops.

We've been using the new UI internally for a while and we can't imagine going back. Charge is hard, but we think this will be a transition you'll be excited about.

Feedback

As always, send your thoughts and bug reports to support@scoutapp.com.

 
 

Another round of updates for the new dashboard+charts UI

Posted in Features | Comments Comments

Dashboards have exited beta - see our launch post for the details.

Thanks for your feedback on the first preview of our new charts UI. You spoke, we listened, we coded:

  • Resize + drag-and-drop your charts. Total control over how you view your key metrics.
  • Chart-specific settings to toggle either a range display or breakout display of your metrics. View min/avg/max of every metric.
  • A number of subtle UI enhancements for applied chart filters.

The UI formally known as Charts Beta is now Dashboards Beta

In our initial release of the UI, we referred to it as "Charts BETA". However, rather than just replacing charts, the new UI encompasses both charts+dashboard functionality. Going forward, we'll be referring to this as "Dashboards BETA".

URL change for Dashboards

We've changed the URLs for old-style dashboards in Scout. If you have a dashboard loaded on an external display, the URL now looks like this:

https://scoutapp.com/YOURACCOUNT/old_dashboards/ID

That's an "old"_ prefix before dashboards.

Your existing charts and dashboards will continue to function.

Will legacy charts and dashboards be supported?

We'll support existing charts + dashboards for the time being, but we do plan on deprecating the legacy functionality sometime in the future. Rest assured we'll communicate this timeline as it develops.

We've been using the new UI internally for a while and we can't imagine going back. We think this will be a transition you'll be excited about.

Feedback / Letters to the Editor / etc.

As always, your feedback drives Scout. Send your feedback to support@scoutapp.com.

 
 

Preview our new Charts UI

Posted in Features | Comments Comments

Dashboards have exited beta - see our launch post for the details.

We're rebuilding the charts experience in Scout from the ground-up. Want a preview of where we're heading? Click the "Charts Beta" link in your nav bar.

Highlights:

  • There's no faster way to view your metrics. Start typing to filter metrics in the sidebar, key up/down, hit enter. You'll see that metric across all of your servers.
  • Readable by default: with lots of servers, charts can become a mess. With our new charts, you'll see the range of min/avg/max values across all of your servers. Simply click a chart for details on individual servers.
  • Navigate forward/back in time with the arrow buttons at the top of the page.
  • One metric per-chart - multiple y-axes are confusing.
  • Filter metrics by environment, role, and server name (including regex support).

We'll be iterating quickly on this. Send your feedback to support@scoutapp.com.

 
 

Scout is NOT vulnerable to CVE-2014-0160 AKA Heartbleed

Comments Comments

All of Scout's infrastructure has been checked, and we have confirmed that Scout is not vulnerable to CVE-2014-0160.

 
 

OpsGenie adds Scout Integration

Posted in Updates | Comments Comments

Opsgenie, the IT alerts company, now integrates with Scout. Email, SMS, phone calls, and and mobile push - OpsGenie lets your team receive alerts exactly how and when they want.

OpsGenie has a full integration guide on their website. Here's the gist:

1. In the OpsGenie UI, click to add a service integration with Scout.
You'll see a webhook URL. Copy that to your clipboard.

2. Create a Webhook in the Scout notification area using the URL provided by OpsGenie above.

3. Add the OpsGenie webhook to a notification group.

Boom! You are ready to go with OpsGenie.

 
 

Introducing the Revamped Server UI

Posted in Features | Comments Comments

If you are using the latest Scout agent, you'll notice a beautiful new view of your server metrics:

overview

The new server view combines several moving parts to deliver an at-a-glance, auto-refreshing view into your server with minimal effort.

Key Metrics at the top

CPU Usage, Memory Usage, Disk I/O, and Network Activity are the four key metrics for server performance. The new server view puts these at the top of the page, no scrolling required.

We're using d3 for all of the charts. We love the control (and the crisp, pixel-perfect charts). You'll also notice smooth transitions when your page refreshes every minute.

You don't need to install any plugins to collect these metrics, and Scout auto-detects new devices.

Key Metric Details

Click on an any of the overview charts for details.

memory

Processes

The new agent automatically collects process metrics. You'll see these processes listed on the page.

processes

Key Processes

Want more details on a process? Make a process a key process. You'll be able to view time series charts of any key process and add triggers on process metrics.

Plugins

You can toggle between viewing processes and your custom-installed plugins. We're using Isotope to provide a dense display of data - in many cases, the vertical screen hight will be half the height of the old server view.

You'll also see a sparkline bar chart for every metric a plugin reports. This makes it easy to identify trends across all of your server metrics.

plugins

Time Selection

You can change the end time and the duration (from 30 minutes to 1 day) on the server view to easily view past data or longer-range trends.

Upgrading

When you gem install scout on your server, you'll automatically be upgraded to the new UI. No data is lost when you upgrade - all existing plugins continue to report.

What's next?

We'll be taking major strides forward on the Scout experience in 2014. Next on our list? Charts and dashboards. Follow us on Twitter for sneak peaks.

 
 

Scout Realtime @ Boulder Ruby Group

Comments Comments

Interested in the tech behind Scout Realtime, our open-source tool for realtime server metrics?

Boy, are you in luck! I'll be diving into the guts of Scout Realtime @ the Boulder Ruby Group this evening. The fun starts at 6pm with a beginner's track.

 
 

Scout is Hiring! Come Build the Future of Monitoring as Developer #2

Posted in HowTo | Comments Comments

We take pride in building a server monitoring product our customers love with a lean, flat team. We're looking to add the fourth human to our close-knit group.

So, what's special about being a Ruby dev @ Scout?

First, great people! Second, great tech: come build beautiful realtime monitoring visualizations in d3 and Ruby. There won't be an LDAP integration in sight, we promise. Third, you'll have a tremendous impact as developer #2.

About you

Please be comfortable with Ruby and a framework like Rails or Sinatra. You should have some Javascript chops. Experience with high-throughput, data-heavy apps will give you a leg up.

Beyond the technical chops, the single most important thing is your initiative. Will you dive into a problem unprompted? Point out problems and give suggestions on fixing it? Given a high-level goal, can you break it actionable chunks, ask for help when you need it, and see everything through to completion? We're a flat organization, and we won't micro-manage your work.

Benefits

Competitive salary, health care reimbursement, and unlimited vacation time.

Location

We'll consider great remote candidates, but we'd love for you to join us in Fort Collins, Colorado.

A few things about Fort Collins: best place to live (Money Magazine), ranked 3rd on the Best Bicycle Cities list, one of the Ten Best Vacation Cities for Beer Lovers, and 300 days of sunshine! Our office is located minutes from Old Town, the heart of Fort Collins.

How to apply

Email us at punch.the.clock@scoutapp.com. Resumes are fine, but a more personal email is better.

 
 

Stand-alone Realtime Charts

Comments Comments

Scout is going all-in on realtime in 2014. As a first step, we're releasing a new open-source (free!) tool, Scout realtime:

The project is currently in beta, and we'd love your feedback on it.

Like top, but better

Ever wish top had some charts, so you didn't have to catch numbers flashing on and off your terminal? That's exactly what Scout realtime is. It's much easier to troubleshoot a server issue when you've got a few minutes of historical data on top processes, network traffic, etc.

Give it a try!

gem install scout_realtime
scout_realtime start

You'll get best results on Linux boxes with the /proc filesystem.

How it works

Scout realtime is a lightweight daemon that serves up a single, auto-updating web page. It's small enough that you can leave it running in the background and not worry about it.

Don't be shy with feedback or suggestions. The project link again: http://scoutapp.github.io/scout_realtime

 
 

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