Server Navigation: filtering, groups, and the keyboard

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

Previously, if you had a large number of monitored servers on Scout it was a minor pain to navigate between them. Now it’s easier: you can filter your servers by name and servers are listed under their assigned group.

You don’t even need a mouse – let your fingers do the walking. Hit the s key to reveal the servers menu. Use up/down arrow keys to navigate between servers. enter takes you to the selected server. esc hides the menu.

It should feel intuitive and a lot like OSX’s Spotlight tool.


Don't want your server named after hostname?

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

If you’re using Scout’s cloud server functionality, you know that new server instances in Scout are named after the machine’s hostname.

In some cases, the hostname isn’t that useful (especially if your servers are on EC2). Now, you can specify a name for the server from the Scout command:

scout --name="Memcached server" KEY ...

... for example, would name the new instance ”Memcached server”. Documentation on naming your server from the scout command is here.

As always, drop us an email if you have any questions!


Behind the scenes of a self-funded business: a week on RescueTime

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development, Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

One of the things I was most curious about before starting Scout was what my day-to-day life would look like as a business owner versus life as a developer. How much time would I spend writing code? Answering emails? Handling the business bits? Would I work more?

Three years after launching Scout, I’d like to help answer that question. I used RescueTime to track activity on my computer. Since almost all of my work is from my laptop, it’s an easy way to get a breakdown.

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API Blank Slate

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

A couple of years ago I went to Argentina. I don’t speak Spanish. This meant a lot of the basic conversations I’d have with locals were frequently interrupted by me paging through a translation guide. I felt very disconnected: basic exchanges were cumbersome.

When I work with an API for the first time, it often feels the same. A lot of my time is spent referencing documentation just to get basic things working. That’s asking for a lot of effort at this stage of the relationship. I just want to know: is there chemistry between your API and me?

  • Does it even work?
  • How fast is the response time?
  • Is the data in sync with the web interface?
  • What can I access?

Spending a lot of time trying to get my first method call working is frustrating. When we built the Scout API, I wanted to make that initial experience easier.

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The Short and Sweet SSL How-to

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

Got a site you need to serve up via SSL? Here are your Cliffs notes. This assumes 1) your site already runs without SSL; 2) you’re using Apache and Ubuntu; 3) you don’t want any browser warnings, so no self-signed certificates.

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scout_api gem released: query your time series data

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

When it comes to understanding the health of our infastructure, nothing is more valuable than time series data:

  • How much has our web traffic increased over the past year?
  • How has our average request time changed since adding caching?
  • What’s our peak database query volume this week?

...and I want to view it in different ways:

  • Summarized – A single value
  • Raw – An array of data points
  • Visually – A sparkline chart

I’m happy to announce version 1.0 of the scout_api Ruby gem. scout_api lets you query your time series data stored on Scout in a fun, intuitive way. While it took a while to release this, we think you’ll be happy with the end result.

If you’ve used Rails and ActiveRecord, the code will look very familiar. If you haven’t, I don’t think that will be problem. You’ll see how readable it is below.

Lets cut to the examples.

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