Last week, our background task that sends out emails went down. When it came back up, the task sent out a large amount of emails, and it looks like some folks marked the emails as SPAM to clear their inbox. This is causing emails from Scout for some customers to enter their SPAM folder with messages like the following:
We're working on some technical fixes - the fastest way to ensure alerts from Scout don't die in SPAM:
- Search for "in:spam from:scoutapp.com"
- Select all conversations
- Click the "More button" and select the "Not spam" option
- Add the scout notification addresses to your Gmail contact list.
- Google Apps Enterprise customers can whitelist scoutapp.com in the
Google Apps administration settings such that they don't go through
the spam filter at all.
Kevin Lawver, President @ Rails Machine, is our guest author for this post.
Few things feel worst than rolling out a High Availability (HA) system, then regularly seeing that system collapse. For our team at Rails Machine, that failing HA system was MySQL Multi-Master Replication Manager (MMM).
We've been searching for a MMM replacement for a while, and a few months ago, we made the switch to MariaDB + Galera Cluster for High Availability MySQL.
What's wrong with MySQL MMM? What's special about Galera Cluster? Read on!
With the introduction of server roles, we made it easier to manage large setups. Most Scout customers have multiple servers of each type (example: app1, app2, app3), and roles have been a big hit:
of new accounts use roles
But, we got some feedback
You said you needed flexibility on alerts, even when servers are in the same role. An application server in staging has different alerting needs than an application server in production.
Now you can assign environments to your servers in Scout, and manage notifications accordingly:
- create any number of environments (production, development, etc).
- apply roles across environments. For example, production and staging servers can both be part of your "database" role.
- customize notification settings by environment
- filter your account homepage by environment. You'll see only the servers you want to see, with less noise.
Here's an example of a trigger with notification groups customized by environment:
First, select Environments from the account menu, and create one or more environments.
Next, specify an environment with the agent's -e parameter on your server. You'll need the Scout agent version of at least 5.7.0 to use environments.
Don't need environments yet? They'll stay out of your way
If you're using Scout in only one environment, the new feature won't add any complexity. You'll only see the new settings after you've added multiple environments via the account menu.
Read up on environments in our docs.
I've been hearing how Docker is the new awesome, but it didn't click for me until I dug in with a practical question: if we deployed Scout via Docker, would deployment be a more pleasurable experience?
My three takeaways are below.
Just in time for PuppetConf 2013, we've added an official Scout Puppet Module to Puppet Forge. Configuration instructions are right there in the Scout UI:
We're also excited to be a sponsor for PuppetConf - if you'll be attending, drop us a note. We'd love to meetup and talk all things Puppet and monitoring!
A big thanks to Eric Lindvall of Papertrail for adding steal time to Scout's CPU Usage Plugin and helping out on this blog post!
Netflix tracks CPU Steal Time closely. In fact, if steal time exceeds their chosen threshold, they shut down the virtual machine and restart on a different physical server.
If you deploy to a virtualized environment (for example, Amazon EC2), steal time is a metric you'll want to watch. If this number is high, performance can suffer significantly. What is steal time? What causes high steal time? When should you be worried (and what should you do)?
Today we're excited to announce the BETA release of Chart Queries, a faster way to view your metrics on charts.
Rather than selecting metrics via checkboxes, just search!
Is email just not fast enough? Do you want instant notification of Scout alerts in your HipChat room? We've added a direct integration to HipChat:
Setup is just what you'd expect - provide your API token (a notification token is fine) and the room name or ID:
Once set up, the HipChat intgration can be added to any of your notification groups. If you need notifications in multiple HipChat rooms, just click "Add HipChat" multiple times (you can reuse the API key for multiple integrations)
If you aren't familiar with HipChat, think group chat built for teams. It's designed for the simplicity of consumer IM, with business-oriented administrative tools.
Keeping Scout Connected
HipChat joins PagerDuty, Zapier, webhooks, email, and SMS as ways to send Scout alerts. Got another way you'd like to hook up your Scout notifications? Let us know!
Zapier glues together hundreds of online applications so they can talk seamlessly with one another. Think Legos for web services. Or Unix pipes for the web world. Want a task assignment in Basecamp to trigger a HipChat message? Zapier makes it possible.
Scout alerts are now supported as Zapier inputs. So, you can wire Scout alerts to any of Zapier's 200+ services. How about giving a shoutout in Google Talk whenever a Scout alert fires?
A couple of years ago I visited Argentina. I have trouble enough pronouncing my limited English vocabulary and I don't speak Spanish, but after a bit of time, it was pretty easy to order food, buy groceries, and use a taxi. However, occasional hangups that happen during my regular life in the states would throw me out of sorts in Spanish: a taxi driver trying to explain he doesn't have enough change would send me off the rails.
Ruby is my English when it comes to writing software, so when I hit hangups installing something Ruby-related, I can usually work my way out of them. Our monitoring agent at Scout is a Ruby gem, and while most of our customers already have Ruby installed, for those that don't a seemingly small hangup to me can be frustrating for them.
Now, thanks to Omnibus, there's an easy way to distribute your Ruby gems as standalone, full-stack program. This means folks without Ruby can have as smooth of an experience with your hip new gem as a hardened Rubyist.
Here's how I've built a full-stack installer for our scout Ruby Gem.