Small Teams Need Redundant Skills

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

If you’re running a small company, it’s absolutely key that you have redundant skills on your team.

Does that seem counter-intuitive? Isn’t the typical pairing a business guy and a technical guy? In our experience, you’re far better off with two technical guys.

The redundancy is key if you want to stay lean and also stay sane. You need at least two highly technical guys (or girls). There are two reasons for this:

1. Support

All support issues are technical. We pride ourselves in giving great and prompt support when issues come up, and the best way to do this is to get you connected with the person who wrote the code. That’s us—if you email us with a problem, you’ll get a response directly from one of the people who coded Scout. We believe you shouldn’t have to wade through “Tier 3” support to get to someone who can solve your problem.

2. Vacations

We’re running Scout as a sustainable business for the long haul. In the real world, you take days off, go camping for a long weekend, or take a week off to relax on the beach.

When I’m away, I have 100% confidence that Derek can handle anything that comes up while I’m offline. That wouldn’t be the case if Derek were a business or design guy—I would be on the beach worrying about support issues or checking on our server performance metrics.

Our Takeaway

Our takeaway here at Scout: if you want to run a small business (and enjoy it!), get a partner with redundant skills.

Photo credits:,


Win a free Scout account at the Red Dirt Ruby Conference website

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

UPDATED 4/29 – We’ve got 5 winners! Answers inline…

The Red Dirt Ruby Conference is hitting all of the things we like about regional Ruby conferences – a capped attendance, emerging technologies important to Ruby developers, great speakers, and plenty of opportunities to hack with other Ruby developers.

We’re sponsoring the conference and giving away five free subscriptions to Scout. But this isn’t a boring random drawing.

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Is your Rails app under-provisioned?

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments Comments

You maintain a growing Rails application and you’re seeing something peculiar. Sometimes when you use the application, it feels like the performance deteriorates significantly. However, all of your performance data shows no issues – requests in the Rails log file look speedy, CPU utilization is fine, database performance is solid, etc.

At first, you wave it off as a fluke. But then a customer reports the same issue. Now you’re concerned.

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Monitoring Apache Request Processing Time

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

With a little help from the excellent Request Log Analyzer gem, created by those smart folks at RailsDoctors, the Apache Log Analyzer plugin now tracks the duration of Apache requests.

Upgrading & Install

If you already have the Apache Log Analyzer plugin installed, you’ll need to upgrade to the latest version. Just click the “Update Code” button when viewing the plugin code at to grab the latest.

If you’re new to Scout, signup for our free 30-day trial and simply point-and-click to install the plugin.

Wait! One more thing…

By default, the Apache access log does not contain the request duration. It’s straight-forward process to add duration tracking – follow our help entry.


Monitoring a Log File

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

A log file is a lot like a neglected board game covered in dust. I don’t play board games that often, but when I do, I always say “we should do this more often”. The log files we have for Scout collect lots of great information, but we only reference them when investigating an incident. They often aren’t a part of our daily lives (but they should be).

Yaroslav Lazor of Railsware, an agile Ruby on Rails development firm, has created a Scout plugin that makes it easy to extract basic information from a log file on a regular basis. His Log Watcher plugin, brilliant in its simplicity, counts the number of occurrences of a given pattern in a file, reporting the data to Scout.

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Memcached Monitoring

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

Jesse Newland of Rails Machine has created a Memcached monitor plugin to track all the key stats from your Memcached instance, including gets/ sets/ hits/ misses/ evictions/ per second, uptime, memory used, KB read per second, KB written per second, and more.

Install the Memcached plugin from our directory, and enjoy! Let us know if you have any feedback.


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