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.

 

DevOpsDaysRox

By Mark Bullet_white Comments Comments

Last week, I spent Thursday (4/23/15) and Friday (4/24/15) at DevOpsDaysRox. If you've never attended a DevOpsDays events - find your closest one here and signup now.

So what makes DevOps Day special? First, you'll find an active community that prides itself on inclusion and making everyone feel welcome. Second, you'll find industry leaders, podcast hosts & great sponsors. Third, if you're looking for new team members or looking to find a new team - I can't think of a better way to recruit or be recruited within the DevOps community.

With all that said, there was one thing that really stood out for me, and that was Open Spaces. If you happened to look at the program on the DevOpsDaysRox - you'll notice that close to 5 hours of time was scheduled for Open Spaces.

So what are Open Spaces?

OpenSpaces are first organized by forming a line and handing out a few packs of sticky notes. Basically, you write down the topic you want to talk about on the sticky note, step up to the mic, "sell" your topic to the crowd and then place the sticky note on a board.

Yup. This is where the magic happens. This is where instead of just being an attendee you actually get to talk and participate in the conference. You can pick any topic you would like - things that you want to learn more about, or topics that you've already got some experience in and want to share with others. It's all open.

Once all the topics are gathered, the organizer then groups the topics and gets a sense from the audience as to what topics other members would like to attend. Based on this feedback, space is allocated appropriately. Big topics with lots of interest probably end up in the main hall. Smaller topics end up in ancillary areas. A schedule is published - and boom, everyone is turned loose.

I attended several of these OpenSpace talks and the more I attended, the more impressed I was. I found everyone to be considerate and I felt like everyone had a voice. Naturally, a few people emerged as leaders within a given group - but I never felt like I was being lectured at. It was really just a free exchange of ideas amongst a group of professionals.

The most important thing for me was - I felt like I had a stronger connection with my fellow attendees. For a conference with over 240 people attending - that was a great feeling.

Based on this experience, here at Scout we're already looking forward to more Dev Ops Days. Our plan right now is to attend Minneapolis and Chicago. Hope to share an Open Space with a lot of you in the near future!

Photo: Pål-Kristian Hamre, Dev Ops Days Rome 2012 Original

 

"Monitoring", "Sparkly DevOps Princess", "StatsD" ....BINGO!

By Mark Bullet_white

The 2015 Conference Season is upon us and we couldn't be more excited. The first one of the year for us is right in our backyard - DevOpsDaysDenver. We're hoping to meet a lot of customers - and have a little fun.

In talking with the event organizers, they wanted to keep the sponsors area low-key, and focus on the attendees. Makes sense to us, we'd much rather focus on talking to people about their monitoring challenges.

They said "most companies will be doing things like business card fishbowls for prizes".

Well, as a tech guy - that sounded pretty low tech to me - and honestly, I don't have a fishbowl.

So, what did we decide to do instead? What's an easy way to keep the audience engaged?

Introducing DevOps Bingo! @devopdaysrox edition.

If you're attending DevOpsDaysRox, we hope you'll play along. Everyone who signs up will be entered for a chance to win a $300 gift certificate from Sparkfun. Score a BINGO and claim your very own world-famous Scout t-shirt.

 

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

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development, HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

swap

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?

Read More →

 

Meet Mark Morris, Scout's New Team Member

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

Tap. Tap. Is this thing on?

Hi. My name is Mark Morris, and I just joined the Scout team as the new Dev Evangelist.

Whoa. I already like Scout, I don't need to be preached to.

In my first two weeks, I've already had the chance to talk with some of you. It's been great hearing how many customers already like Scout. But what about all those other people who are missing out on Scout? I need to help spread the word.

Scout is a bunch of developers who would much rather be heads down and work on awesome new features. While I enjoy digging into code as well, I'm unusually social for a geek, don't consider myself too disruptive around "normal" folks and I don't mind occasionally talking in front of a few people. Seems to be a good fit.

Ok, but what sort of skills do you bring to Scout?

Well, I think I bring initiative. When knocked down, I picked myself up and took the initiative to make a major career transition. I'm not likely to settle for "good enough" and just like the rest of the team, I want Scout to be the best monitoring solution in the world.

What else?

I spent some time at a Ruby on Rails/Javascript consulting firm, so I guess I've got a few codez skillz. I've also got life experience, er, a nice way of saying that I rolled around in the corporate world for 20 years or so. More importantly, I believe I bring a "Let's solve this problem together" attitude. I look forward to working with all of our customers.

I'm so excited to be joining team Scout! Feel free to contact me or check me out on Twitter.

 

Monitoring Docker with docker-scout

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

docker monitoring

When it comes to agent-based monitoring and Docker, you're typically choosing between two bad options: (1) install the agent and its dependencies directly on the host or (2) running an agent in every container.

  • Installing the agent on the host is bad: Docker is best when everything is containerized. It means your services will run as expected, anywhere, without dependencies. Why does monitoring get to break that rule?
  • Running an agent in every container is bad: lets say you have 30 containers on a host that need to be monitored. Do you really want 30 agents running (one in each container)? That's a considerable amount of overhead.

Enter docker-scout. docker-scout is the Scout monitoring agent distributed via a Docker image. It's zero-dependency Docker monitoring: just run our image and your host is monitored.

Read More →

 

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