"Updates" Posts


Thanksgiving Support

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

First, Happy Thanksgiving to all of our U.S. customers! We couldn't ask for a better group of folks to work with on an every-day basis.

Second, our team will spending time with their family and friends tomorrow and Friday. We'll watch for urgent issues and will still be checking our emails to support@scoutapp.com over the holiday.

This weekend our support staff will be have limited availability. Response times may be slower. Non-critical issues will be addressed on Monday.

 

App Monitoring for the Modern Dev Team

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in App Monitoring, Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

How we're building apps as developers is changing. Fast. The breadth of our responsibility is decreasing (yeah), yet the complexity of our code is increasing (meh).

We've just launched our app monitoring service for the modern development era.

We think it will dramatically change how you make your web apps faster - but don't take our word for it:

Scout gives us unprecedented performance insights into our web apps: down to the slow line-of-code, associated database calls, the developer that wrote it, and when the code was changed. Putting the pieces together without Scout would take hours - we're able to do it in minutes with Scout.

- Aaron Scruggs, Director of Engineering at AcademicWorks, the leading provider of scholarship management solutions for universities, community colleges, and community foundations.

How did we get here and what problems are we solving?

The full stack/full responsibility era

Just a few years ago, if you were lauching an app, you were responsible for EVERYTHING. You and your dev team deployed and maintained the full stack:

full stack

Scaling a full stack isn't trivial. It takes valuable developer/devops time to do this. We started to look at ways to cut out pieces of our stack...

The birth of services

In 2009, Amazon introduced Elastic Load Balancing and Relational Database Service (BETA). This decreased the hardware your dev team was responsible for maintaining.

full stack

We started to like these services. What other parts of our stack could we offload?

App Services Era

It didn't stop with building services for the basic infrastructure building blocks. Today there's everything from file upload to user authentication services.

app services stack

The upshot? We're responsible for less plumbing code than ever before. I'll never complain about having to write an ImageMagick or user auth system again.

As the number of app services have grown, we've been able to off-load specialized infrastructure to vendors. This means we're focused more on just our custom app code...

The acceptance of PaaS

If our infrastructure is simpler, our deploys are simpler too. It's just git push.

If you are running on a PaaS like Heroku or Cloud Foundry, your stack has just become:

paas

With our time freed up for writing custom app code, we're now writing more specialized apps. We're adding more awesome sauce.

This custom code is frequently slow.

Scout is intentionally NOT full-stack app monitoring

If we're not responsible for the uptime of the services beyond our app code, it makes a lot less sense to monitor those services. That's why Scout is the first app monitoring service that's intentionally not full-stack monitoring: the most time-consuming perfomance problem today is fixing bottlenecks in our own custom code.

If our ELB/RDS/File Upload/Web Socket service isn't performing, we'll submit a support ticket with those vendors. We won't debug them ourselves.

In short, Scout is a New Relic Alternative for modern dev teams.

Fixing slow custom code before Scout

Before Scout, fixing slow app code looked something like this:

  • Look at an overview chart of my app's performance
  • Oh there's a spike - I hope my app monitoring captured the slow request then (since they just sample)
  • If my APM tool happened to sample the right slow request, inspect it.
  • Ok - I don't think I wrote this code. Who on my dev team might know about it?
  • How long has this slow code been around?

Tracking people down is hard. I'll wait on this for now.

Fixing slow code with Scout

We've gone beyond code metrics: Scout adds critical pieces to make it easier to track down problems and find the person on your team best equipped to fix slow code.

What you used to suck up hours of dev debugging time now takes just minutes:

apm overview

3 Key Features

  • Don't miss a slow request - most app monitoring services just sample slow requests. It's almost 2016: we capture every one. It's the slow requests that help us learn the most about our app's performance.
  • Git Integration - we git blame your slow code so you can quickly find out who wrote it and when.
  • Context - when you have a slow request, it's super helpful to know the email address of the user that triggered it, which database shard it hit, their monthly spend, etc. Easily add this with our API.

No-Haggle Pricing. No Contracts.

We're confident Scout stands on its own merits: that means no pricing tricks or contracts. Try app monitoring free for 14 days.

App Monitoring for the Modern Dev

As Scout customer Aaron Scruggs of AcademicWorks says:

"We liked New Relic, but we love Scout."

We're committed to building the first APM service that's built for you, the Heroku-deploying, AWS service-using, fast-moving developer.

Questions? Just email us at apm.support@scoutapp.com.

 

Order your Scout cycling kit

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

We're big fans of the outdoors - and cycling - at Scout.

I'm excited to announce Scout is the title sponsor for a development team in our home base of Fort Collins, Colorado. It's a super talented team you'll find all over North America in 2016. We'll have more details later, but lets talk about kits (that's what cycling uniforms are called).

I wanted to make sure the team looked great on the road - there's a lot of ugly cycling kits out there. I wanted one that stood and out and felt classy at the same time.

There's an initial concept on the right - we'll be dialing this in more. Besides looking good, the kit will be produced by Castelli, the same clothing manufacturer behind many of the top professional teams.

If you're interested in ordering a kit, email us. We'll add you to the list. The kits will be ordered later this month. It will be the best-fitting kit in your cycling wardrobe.

Get a free Scout Cycling Kit

We're hiring. Join our team (or refer someone we hire) and we'll get you a kit.

 

Learn about Go @ Scout: Denver Go Meetup Tomorrow

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

go love

Go has become an increasing part of our stack at Scout. At tomorrow's Denver Gophers Meetup, we'll be delivering two short talks for the price of one:

  • Dave will be talk about Native Ruby Extensions in Go. Lots of folks are using Ruby and Go together. We'll take about making that marriage smoother.
  • Chris will talk about our usage of InfluxDB, an open-source distributed timeseries database written in Go. We store tons of metrics: you'll hear our lessons learned.

Hope to see you there!

 

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.

statsd

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:

Read More →

 

StatsD Tech Preview Now Available!

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

UPDATE: StatsD is now available on all accounts. To enable StatsD on your account, simply go to your billing page and select the new StatsD plan.

You've told us that you are experimenting with StatsD. You've even said that you've tried a few application metrics - but what you really want is Scout's beautiful dashboards and robust alerting without having to setup a new technology stack. You want StatsD to have the same reliability and ease that you have already found with Scout.

Ready for some awesome news? We just started a tech preview of StatsD. We're calling them Custom Metrics. As a sneak peak, here's the setup documentation to get you started.

Once your account is setup for the preview, the scoutd agent can send your metrics to the Scout dashboards that you already know and love. What's even better? You can setup the same robust triggers that you already have in Scout on those metrics. Now, there's no reason not to put critical metrics into your application.

Here's your new workflow.

statsd_workflow

Pretty sweet, huh? No infrastructure. No maintenance. Just works. Contact us to check it out now.

 

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