RabbitMQ Monitoring Plugins

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

Doug Barth of Interactive Mediums has created two plugins for monitoring RabbitMQ, an enterprise messaging system based on the emerging AMQP standard.

Doug’s RabbitMQ Overall Monitoring Plugin monitors the overall health of RabbitMQ – reporting the number of queues, connections, etc. His RabbitMQ Queue Monitoring Plugin drills down to a specific queue.

Doug tells me that Interactive Mediums, which offers a mobile customer engagement platform used by many top brands, has been very happy with RabbitMQ’s small memory footprint and stability.

We use RabbitMQ for processing all of the SMS messages that flow through our system. The setup is pretty typical, wherein we queue messages coming into our system and going out of our system. We have also been expanding our usage to include some supporting systems. Our second usage involved switching our background daemons to queued approach. Where previously we had a single daemon processing a type of background work (sending a single message to thousands of phones, for example), we now enqueue a message to a pool of background daemons which pull a unit of work and process it.

If you’ve developed a plugin for Scout that might be useful to other users, tell us about it!


MongoDB Slow Queries Monitoring

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

Thanks to Jacob Harris, we have a MongoDB Slow Queries plugin for Scout.

The MongoDB plugin captures the number of slow queries per minute according to the threshold you specify. It also reports details of any slow queries that take place.

Of course, like any other Scout plugin, you can set trend triggers, graph results, etc.

Please install from our directory, kick the tires, and let us know if you have any feedback!

Also, for general MongoDB Monitoring, checkout the MongoDB Monitoring Plugin.


Scout makes the big screen at Runa

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

There are lots of things that look great on big, wall-mounted flat screen displays: Halo, Dark Knight, the Super Bowl.

How about Scout-generated graphs?

Robert Berger, CTO of Runa sent us a picture of their Scout setup. Runa has an LCD screen of Scout graphs positioned above the most-visited location of any tech office: the coffee machine.

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Plugin Authors: Use Inline Options

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

This info is for Scout plugin authors. The Scout Agent version 5+ supports options inline in the code. If you're not using inline options, you should. Here's an example from the awesome new Redis monitor plugin:

    class RedisMonitor < Scout::Plugin
      OPTIONS = <<-EOS
        name: Port
        notes: Redis port to pass to the client library.
        default: 6379
        name: Database
        notes: Redis database ID to pass to the client library.
        default: 0
        name: Password
        notes: If you're using Redis' password authentication.

Using inline options makes the plugin easier to test and troubleshoot, since the Scout agent knows about the options and can utilize the defaults in test mode:

$ scout test redis-info.rb 
== Plugin options: 
1. 'client_port' Default: 6379. Redis port to pass to the client library.
2. 'client_password' If you're using Redis' password authentication.
3. 'client_db' Default: 0. Redis database ID to pass to the client library.
== Running plugin with: client_port=6379; client_db=0

By the way, if you want to test the plugin with something other than the default values, just include them like so:

$ scout test redis-info.rb client_password=seekret

Finally, if you're thinking about a new plugin for Scout, we'd love to hear about it. We're always happy to get you started or point you in the right direction. Read more on plugin development here.


When tech startups == closed restaurants

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

Bootstrapped tech startups are a lot like restaurants started by quality chefs. It’s easy to find restaurants serving award-winning food that fail. There are lots of self-funded startups started by smart developers that either never launch or die a painful death. Writing quality software – just like serving good food – is the foundation, but it’s not going to make you profitable.

Like chefs who take pride in their food and constantly strive to improve it, developers like us are never done making our software better. There is an unlimited list of things we’d like to improve. Better scheduling and planning won’t shrink the todo list – it’s a leaking todo list that spawns another todo when one is completed.

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InfoQ Scout Interview

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

Robert Bazinet, Community Editor for InfoQ and owner of expens’d recently interviewed my co-founder Andre Lewis. You can find the Q&A below:

Scout – Extensible Server and Application Monitoring

Andre talks about data security with hosted monitoring, remodeling his bathroom, how Scout fits in with existing tools like Nagios and Munin, our secret open-source sauce for data storage, and smoke detectors.

On his blog article regarding the interview, Robert says of Scout:

I have had the opportunity to use Scout and witness the power of the application. One of the most impressive aspects I see is the plugin system. Scout offers a bunch of plugins, all open source. Developers can also freely develop their own plugins for their own purposes and are welcome to contribute them as open source. An all around win.

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