"HowTo" Posts

The Curious Case of the StatsD Timer

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments


Instrumenting our application with StatsD is easy, especially when we just stick to Counters and Gauges. These metrics return just a single value when implemented. When you get to Timers, however, StatsD steps up it's game and returns eight metrics.

So let's explore the curious case of the timing metric. What do all these metrics mean? How can we use this for instrumenting our application?

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Django Application Monitoring (APM) with StatsD

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

One of the basic tenets in DevOps is that we measure EVERYTHING.

StatsD is the open source darling that has quickly turned into our tool of choice for measuring "all the things". StatsD is logging for metrics.

Instrumenting your application code via StatsD is lightweight, both in terms of syntax and overhead. It's the missing swiss army knife in your measurement toolbelt.

However, there are two sides to the StatsD equation:

  • Instrumenting your code (easy)
  • Setting up infrastructure to view your metrics

...well that second step is pretty involved. I'm antsy to get some StatsD in place. Let's cheat: we'll use use Scout as our StatsD backend. We'll have a dashboard like this in minutes:


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StatsD update to docker-scout

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in Updates, HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

We've all been exploring Docker lately, and back in March, we published Monitoring Docker with docker-scout with how to get started with Scout and Docker.


Today, we are excited to announce that we updated this container to include StatsD. Just like in our previous post, Rails App Monitoring (APM) with StatsD, we've made StatsD ridiculously easy to setup. Simply add the scout-docker container to your existing infrastructure and quickly start working with StatsD across all your containers. Here's how it works:

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Rails App Monitoring (APM) with StatsD

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in HowTo, Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

Application monitoring doesn't have to be complicated. Introducing scout_statsd_rack, a drop-in Ruby gem for monitoring key performance metrics in your Rails app.

scout_statsd_rack leverages StatsD for lightweight Rails app monitoring via Rack middleware.

Lets see how fast we can go from no monitoring to a Rails performance dashboard plus alerting.

rails app monitoring

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Understanding page faults and memory swap-in/outs: when should you worry?

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development, HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments


Imagine this: your library is trying to step up its game and compete in the Internet age. Rather than you browsing the shelfs, trying to remember how the Dewey Decimal works, you'll enter your book selections from your phone. A librarian will then bring your books to the front desk.

You place your book order on a busy weekend morning. Rather than getting all of your books, the librarian just brings one back. Sometimes the librarian even asks for your book back, tells you to walk out the door to make room for others, and lets someone else read their book for a bit. They then call you back in, shuffling you and the other book readers in-and-out.

What's going on? Is the librarian insane?

This is the life of the Linux's memory management unit (librarian) and processes (you and the other book readers). A page fault happens when the librarian needs to fetch a book.

How can you tell if page faults are slowing you down, and - above all - how can you avoid being shuffled in-and-out of the library?

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Understanding Linux CPU stats

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

Your Linux server is running slow, so you follow standard procedure and run top. You see the CPU metrics:

But what do all of those 2-letter abbreviations mean?

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