"Features" Posts

Updating monitoring on 100 servers with 1 mouse click

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

UPDATE – Copy and Paste has been replaced by Server Roles.

You realize a default alerting threshold is too low or you want to add additional monitoring functionality to all 100 of your servers.

Do you login to every server, update the scripts, and reload? Maybe build a custom script to automate this?

Follow the lead of the smart people at Railsware – Web Apps Made with Passion. Railsware, an Agile Rails development firm which manages a large cluster on Amazon EC2, saves a lot of time (and a lot of pain) using Scout to monitor many servers:

It’s difficult to imagine updating monitoring scripts across dozens of our servers manually. What takes a couple of mouse clicks with Scout might take hours with traditional monitoring software.”
- Yaroslav Lazor, Railsware Co-Founder

Video Demo

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SMS Notifications

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

12/23 - UPDATE - Scout Agent v5 has exited the BETA phase. If you're already using Scout, upgrade instructions appear when viewing a server at scoutapp.com.

We’ve prepared a BETA release of the Scout Agent that supports SMS notifications and makes creating your own plugins easier. We and a group of beta accounts been running it internally for some time, and now we invite you to try it out.

Get the New Agent

1) Install the Scout agent gem version 5.0.2:

sudo gem install scout

2) Change your crontab entry for Scout so it runs every minute, which is just
* * * * * on Linux. Your current setup is */3, */10, or similar.

Dual-tier SMS Alerts (Ultimate Accounts only)

When things go really wrong it’s important you find out quickly. Using Scout’s triggers, you can now specify a separate threshold for SMS alerts. For example, send an email alert if disk capacity is over 70% and an SMS alert if disk capacity is over 90%). Here’s how:

1) Enter your SMS info in the new "notifications" section of Scout:

2) Edit/create a trigger. You’ll see a new option for the SMS threshold:

When the entered threshold is crossed, you’ll receive an SMS alert. SMS alerts are currently available only on Ultimate accounts.

Easier Plugin Creation and Editing

Because the new Agent pings us every minute, it is much more responsive to changes you make in configurations on Scoutapp.com. Any changes you make will be picked up within 60 seconds by the new Agent, regardless of your plan level.

Explicit Checkin Times

When you upgrade to the new Agent, you'll see the "Server Contact" box on your server homepage, providing visual confirmation of most recent and next checkin times:


Get your new Agent here:

sudo gem install

We’d love your feedback on the new Agent and functionality. Leave your comment here or send an email with with any comments.


Tune triggers from your email inbox

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

When you get started with Scout, we try to setup sensible default triggers for events you may need to investigate on your servers.

For example, Scout generates an alert if your disk usage exceeds 85% or CPU Load over the last minute exceeds 3.

However, every server and application is different. For example, a CPU load of 3 is fine on some servers but a problem on others. We’ve made it easier to tune Scout for your setup if Scout is sending too many alerts.

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First Impressions Count

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

Scout is making a better first impression than ever starting today. When you start monitoring a new server, you'll immediately get a high-level summary of the vital stats:

Scout reports this for you automatically. From there, you choose the deeper metrics you need, like Ruby on Rails monitoring, MySQL Slow Queries, Process memory usage, etc.


Cloud Monitoring in one line of code

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

UPDATE – Cloud Image Monitoring has been replaced by Server Roles

The greatest roadblock to monitoring is monitoring itself – installing software, tweaking scripts, remembering how to reload scripts, etc makes it painful process. It’s even more of an issue when setting up monitoring for cloud deployments – running a large configuration script or installing a lot of software with a saved image makes your environment very fragile, especially when deploying new servers is a frequent task.

We’re debuting a new feature in Scout that makes monitoring your cloud servers a single crontab entry – no scripts to setup, edit, reload, or coordinate across multiple instances.

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In-depth Rails Monitoring using only a production log file

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Plugins, Features Bullet_white Comments Comments  Bullet_white no trackbacks

No Rails plugins to install. No performance hit during the request cycle. Nothing to break your application code. Nothing to restart. With just the path to your production Rails log file, Scout’s new Rails monitoring plugin alerts you when your Ruby on Rails application is slowing down and provides detailed daily performance reports.

First, an open-source shoutout: thanks to Willem van Bergen and Bart ten Brinke (the Rails Doctors) for their Request Log Analyzer gem, which we built upon for this functionality.

Rails analysis made easy

  1. Easy setup. All we need is a path to the log file of your production Rails application. That’s it. There’s nothing to configure in your Rails application. Unlike our previous Rails analyzer, you don’t have to install a Rails plugin or even redeploy your Rails application. There are zero changes to your Rails code base.
  1. In-depth analysis. Get rendering time and database time on a per-action basis. Know your error code rates, HTTP request types, cache hit ratios, and more.
  1. No performance impact. Since the analysis happens out the request-response cycle, there is no performance impact on your running Rails app.
  2. Alerts. Like all Scout plugins, you can get alerts based on the flat data the plugin produces. Get alerts on requests/minute, number of slow requests, and average request length.

How it works

The plugin performs a combination of incremental and batch processing on your application’s logfile. Every time the Scout agent runs (3min-30min, depending on your Scout plan, it parses new entries in your log file since the last time it ran. This provides key metrics for near-realtime graphs and alerts.

Once a day, the Analyzer runs to crunch the numbers for more in-depth metrics. This is what provides the breakdowns among all your actions, analysis of most popular actions, most expensive actions, etc.

Try it out!

Install the Rails Analysis plugin. If you don’t already have a Scout account, all of our accounts have a 30 day free trial.


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