Scout Puppet Module and PuppetConf

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

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!


Understanding CPU Steal Time - when should you be worried?

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

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)?

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Introducing Chart Queries

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

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!

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HipChat Notifications

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

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)

About HipChat

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!


Announcing Zapier Integration

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

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?

scout to google doc

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Omnibus Tutorial: Package a standalone Ruby gem

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

stack o pancakes

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.

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