Monitoring Apache ZooKeeper

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

With over 50 million plays, OMGPOP – the free multiplayer game site – is logging a lot of data. Tracking stats like app downloads and launches paint a picture of how their games are performing.

This logging data is collected via Flume, a system for collecting streaming data, and delivered to a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). So, how do you keep your Flume nodes configured in a consistent manner?

Enter Apache ZooKeeper, “a centralized service for maintaining configuration information, naming, providing distributed synchronization, and providing group services” (from the ZooKeeper homepage). Michael Fielder (Blog | Twitter), an NYC-based freelance systems operations engineering consultant, recently created a Scout Plugin for monitoring ZooKeeper at OMGPOP. The plugin parses the output of the srvr command on the installed server, reporting key ZooKeeper metrics. Additionally, an error is generated if ZooKeeper is not running.

Read More →


Dashboards (for Ultimate Accounts)

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

On of the most common feature requests we get is the ability to place multiple charts on a dashboard page. We’re launching this feature today. It’s currently available for Ultimate accounts only.

What are Dashboards?

  • Multiple Charts: display any number of charts on one page. Arrange and resize the charts by dragging.
  • Plugins, too: want to display detailed information from plugins on one or more servers? Add any number of plugins to your dashboard alongside your charts.
  • External monitor ready: full-page mode gives you maximum real estate, in case you want to put a dashboard on a dedicated external monitor.
  • Auto-refresh: everything on dashboards auto-refreshes every five minutes.

Get started

Ultimate accounts can access Dashboards from the top menu:


As always, we welcome feedback on new features—feel free to drop us an email with your thoughts.


Where we're going, we don't need road(maps)

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

We don’t have a product roadmap. Why?

We become that with which we busy our minds.

I’m not preoccupied with hitting every deadline on a one-year pipeline of features. I’m focused on making it easier to monitor servers every week. Rather than thinking about deadlines, I wake up thinking: “How can we make monitoring server clusters easier? Is what we’re doing now the least-effort way to do that?”

Over an entire year, that’s a lot of days for small improvements to really add up.


Easier Plugin Development

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

Your voice has been loud and clear: custom Scout plugins were being treated as second class citizens, lacking many of the big wins you receive with plugins from our directory.

We’re all for equal rights at Scout – your custom plugins are now getting fair treatment.

First, update to the latest Scout agent (5.3.3 at this time):

gem install scout

The latest agent adds support for two key features: plugin options and self-service private plugins.

Read More →


The bike break

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

A bike commute leaves me more refreshed than a run in the park, a round of video games, or reading a book. David Byrne wrote about this in Bicycle Diaries:

It (biking) facilitates a state of mind that allows some but not much of the unconscious to bubble up. As someone who believes that much of the source of his work and creativity is to be gleaned from those bubbles, it’s a reliable place to find that connection.

There are lots of things I’m looking for when I’m riding a bike: cars turning right, traffic lights, pot holes, babies in strollers, tourists on Segways, etc. On the surface, these look like annoyances, but they are a secret gift: for my own safety, I’m forced to live in the moment. It’s a needed escape from a day spent coding and planning.


How Pixar and Toy Story almost didn't happen

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

When Pixar was working on their first film, Toy Story, the original draft closely followed a checklist of required elements provided by Disney. Disney has been producing animated films since 1923. Lion King, released a year before Toy Story, won two Academy Awards and grossed $783 million.

Then, why was the checklist-driven draft of Toy Story so terrible that Disney shut down production?

Pixar was writing a story they didn’t own. One of the checklist items: edgy characters. Applying that edge to Woody, the main character, resulted in an unwatchable jerk.

Pixar’s crew, led by John Lasseter, rewrote the film in their own voice:

We went back to what we wanted, and that was: the characters liked each other. Because we like each other.

Focusing on telling a great story instead of a checklist worked: in the eight years since the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was created, a Pixar film has won it six times.

Each of their 11 films are among the 50 highest grossing films of all time.


Older posts: 1 ... 17 18 19 20 21 ... 53