Scout Agent Updated - and do your Net::HTTP calls ever hang?

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

UPDATED 6/30 – The fix for the old scout client (run via cron) is now available in version 2.0.7 (sudo gem install scout).

In rare (and difficult to reproduce) cases we’ve seen the Scout Agent not observe a Timeout during a checkin error with the Scout server. Scout uses Ruby’s RestClient gem to connect to the Scout Server and it uses the standard Net::HTTP library to manage the connection. Some versions of the Net::HTTP library can run into a bug in on some platforms. This causes the request to hang forever in some rare cases.

Our fix? We added a redundant Timeout for the request, in addition to Net::HTTP’s own Timeout. You have to be careful how you nest those calls though, since they will throw the same Exception by default. We followed Eric Hodel’s advice to get our implementation right.

If you’re using Net::HTTP and notice the same issue, try adding a redundant Timeout with a custom halting Exception (our committed fix for this is on github).

This fix is included in version 3.2.6 of the Scout Agent. We’re planning on backporting the fix to the old client late next week (available now). Follow our Twitter feed to stay updated with the latest releases.


On Sinatra

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

Sinatra, a Ruby DSL for quickly creating web applications with minimal effort, forms a key part of the Scout infrastructure.

James Gray talks about how we use Sinatra at Scout via – 20+ Rubyists are using Sinatra – Do you?

For more on how Scout works:


Rails Machine selects Scout for Performance Monitoring

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

Rails Machine, one of the first specialized Rails hosting providers, has selected Scout for performance monitoring.

Why Scout? “Scout’s versatility was a key benefit: “the open-source plugins are the killer app of Monitoring,” says Rails Machine CEO Bradly Taylor. “We have so much flexibilty—and we’ll be contributing some great plugins back to the community.”

“With Scout, we have the full picture – Rails, MySQL, CPU, Memory, IO, and Disk Usage – all in one dashboard. You can’t beat that,” said Jesse Newland, Senior Engineer at Rails Machine.

Rails Machine, which recently launched a Managed Hosting offering, finds Scout particularly useful for proactively managing customer accounts. “Scout’s trend detection have more than once caught an application’s jump in memory usage due to RMagick-based image uploads/resizes,” says Newland. “We’ve been able to jump in, restart Apache, and then proposing alternatives to customers. It’s much better than a server running out of a memory minutes later.”

Scout is included with Rails Machine’s new Managed Hosting service which does everything but write the code – from MySQL tuning to backups to performance monitoring. Self-managed customers can request a coupon for a free Basic Scout subscription or $14/off a larger plan. See the announcement on the Rails Machine blog for more details.

From the original five-minute Rails deployment gem, the Rails Machine gem, to Moonshine, an open source configuration management and deployment system, Rails Machine understands automating system administration. Combining Scout’s proactive approach to monitoring with Rails Machine’s encyclopedia-like knowledge-base for scaling Rails apps is a perfect combination for managed hosting.


Learn about the Scout Agent, API, and more at OK.rb

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

James will be speaking at Thursday’s (June 11th) Ok.rb meetup in Edmond, Oklahoma, giving a tour of the Scout Agent and the API.

See the Ok.rb website for more details.


Scout at RailConf

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

It’s been a big year for Scout at conferences. We sponsored GoGaRuCo here in San Francisco last month, and we had a booth on the floor at RailsConf last week.

A few highlights from the conference:

  • We came to the conference armed with all kinds of “selling points” for Scout 2.0. When all is said and done, the number one point people love about Scout is the open-source plugin model. Thanks for everyone’s feedback and support!
  • It was really cool talking to people in all stages of involvement with Ruby and Rails. Including those who were building a Rails app for the first time. It’s good to get that perspective after working with Rails for the last 3+ years.
  • Charles Quinn and I had the opportunity to treat Hongli Lai & Ninh Bui to Sushi and say thanks for one of our favorite pieces of software.
  • One cool interaction—Josh Goebel of Pastie came by and asked us about the new Scout API. Then, he tracked us down the next day to show us the Scout plugin he had created for vmstat! Great to see folks using Scout’s extensibility like that.
  • I didn’t hear one mention of “what happens in Vegas”—Rails community +1; tired cliches -1.

Interview on

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

Fabio Akita tracked down our own Matt Todd to talk about Scout.

Listen to the interview:

Download (13:43)


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