Hugging it Out @ Boulder DevOps w/StatsD

By Mark Bullet_white Comments Comments

Last night, at DevOps Boulder, I presented the StatsD basics: key concepts, metric types & implementation strategies - and dug a little deeper. My mission was to talk about StatsD and how it made me a better developer by giving me a simple, repeatable tool that I could use to instrument my code.

Here are my slides.

During the Q&A session after the presentation, the group started a lively discussion around StatsD. We discovered:

  • Using StatsD to generate custom metrics is great - but there is a deeper value in developer engagement.

  • StatsD can help make us better team members by encouraging cooperation, collaboration and advancing DevOps CAMS (Culture, Automation, Measurement & Sharing) in an organization.

  • Logging still has a place, but StatsD provides a more immediate feedback mechanism.

It was great to hear specific examples of how StatsD had already helped organizations and their DevOps process.

If you haven't had the chance to check out StatsD, here's a post and some code samples to help get you started:

If you have any StatsD stories about how it has helped your organization, we'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment below.

Questions about StatsD and/or Scout? Send us an email here. For more information on StatsD - follow us here.


Kafka: "git branch" for production streams

By Mark Bullet_white Comments Comments

I switched from SVN to Git for version control years back largely because it made experimenting a blast. Creating branches, viewing diffs, stashing - it was fun to veer off the highway and explore dirt roads.

Making it easy to experiment on my dev box is great, but rolling those changes to production is scary. Is there a way to compare the performance of application 1.4 (the steady workhorse) vs. application 2.0 (the silky smooth refactor) against live data?

Yes, there is. Lets explore.

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DevOpsDays Minneapolis

By Mark Bullet_white Comments Comments

Some of the best things about summer are BBQ, baseball and roadtrips. As part of my summer celebration, I'm hitting the open road and heading up to Minneapolis, MN for DevOpsDays MSP.

DevOpsDays MSP is a 2 day event on July 8th & 9th in downtown Minneapolis. This is their second year organizing and they are expecting over 450+ DevOps Professionals in attendance. The organizers have done a great job in lining up speakers and Scout is proud to be one of many sponsors.

I'm really excited to be attending, and for the first time presenting! Scout added StatsD support a couple months ago, we're seeing a lot of interest in custom metrics. I'll present an Ignite style talk on what StatsD is and how to get started.

For the record, yes, there will be baseball - Twins Vs. Tigers on Friday Night.

Any recommendations on a great BBQ spot in the twin cities?


An intro to the Docker Stats API

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in Examples Bullet_white Comments Comments

If I was teaching Server Health 101, I'd start with four key metrics:

  • CPU Usage
  • Memory Usage
  • Network I/O
  • Disk Utilization

The approach for fetching these metrics on Linux hosts is tried-and-true (hint: look in the /proc folder). However, I was curious about Docker Containers: where do I access these critical metrics? What tools does Docker provide? Are there any gotchas?

Read on for what I found.

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Docker ETP Program

By Mark Bullet_white Comments Comments

Our friends at Docker today announced that we are part of their new ETP (Ecosystem Technology Partner) program. We couldn't be more excited!

Docker has done a great job of creating an API that allows anybody to track performance metrics, container events and metadata about their containers. What we've done - is simplified that interface, and added Docker integration to the Scout dashboards and alerting that you already know and love.

We <3 Docker and the on-going shift towards isolated microservices. If you haven't already - check out these blogs we've written about Docker:

Questions? Comments? Reach out to us here or follow us on Twitter for more monitoring news.


Implementing Docker event monitoring from scratch

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in Examples Bullet_white Comments Comments

docker events dashboard

Docker's API provides a ton of functionality around containers and images - but there is a hidden secret, one that is easy to miss in the documentation: Docker's API has the capability to report host wide events! Container events like: die, restart & out of memory. With a simple GET request, these events are available for processing.

I'll take a look at how we can tap into this functionality, and how we can convert raw data into meaningful dashboards and alerts.

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