App Monitoring for the Modern Dev Team

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in App Monitoring, Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

How we're building apps as developers is changing. Fast. The breadth of our responsibility is decreasing (yeah), yet the complexity of our code is increasing (meh).

We've just launched our app monitoring service for the modern development era.

We think it will dramatically change how you make your web apps faster - but don't take our word for it:

Scout gives us unprecedented performance insights into our web apps: down to the slow line-of-code, associated database calls, the developer that wrote it, and when the code was changed. Putting the pieces together without Scout would take hours - we're able to do it in minutes with Scout.

- Aaron Scruggs, Director of Engineering at AcademicWorks, the leading provider of scholarship management solutions for universities, community colleges, and community foundations.

How did we get here and what problems are we solving?

The full stack/full responsibility era

Just a few years ago, if you were lauching an app, you were responsible for EVERYTHING. You and your dev team deployed and maintained the full stack:

full stack

Scaling a full stack isn't trivial. It takes valuable developer/devops time to do this. We started to look at ways to cut out pieces of our stack...

The birth of services

In 2009, Amazon introduced Elastic Load Balancing and Relational Database Service (BETA). This decreased the hardware your dev team was responsible for maintaining.

full stack

We started to like these services. What other parts of our stack could we offload?

App Services Era

It didn't stop with building services for the basic infrastructure building blocks. Today there's everything from file upload to user authentication services.

app services stack

The upshot? We're responsible for less plumbing code than ever before. I'll never complain about having to write an ImageMagick or user auth system again.

As the number of app services have grown, we've been able to off-load specialized infrastructure to vendors. This means we're focused more on just our custom app code...

The acceptance of PaaS

If our infrastructure is simpler, our deploys are simpler too. It's just git push.

If you are running on a PaaS like Heroku or Cloud Foundry, your stack has just become:

paas

With our time freed up for writing custom app code, we're now writing more specialized apps. We're adding more awesome sauce.

This custom code is frequently slow.

Scout is intentionally NOT full-stack app monitoring

If we're not responsible for the uptime of the services beyond our app code, it makes a lot less sense to monitor those services. That's why Scout is the first app monitoring service that's intentionally not full-stack monitoring: the most time-consuming perfomance problem today is fixing bottlenecks in our own custom code.

If our ELB/RDS/File Upload/Web Socket service isn't performing, we'll submit a support ticket with those vendors. We won't debug them ourselves.

In short, Scout is a New Relic Alternative for modern dev teams.

Fixing slow custom code before Scout

Before Scout, fixing slow app code looked something like this:

  • Look at an overview chart of my app's performance
  • Oh there's a spike - I hope my app monitoring captured the slow request then (since they just sample)
  • If my APM tool happened to sample the right slow request, inspect it.
  • Ok - I don't think I wrote this code. Who on my dev team might know about it?
  • How long has this slow code been around?

Tracking people down is hard. I'll wait on this for now.

Fixing slow code with Scout

We've gone beyond code metrics: Scout adds critical pieces to make it easier to track down problems and find the person on your team best equipped to fix slow code.

What you used to suck up hours of dev debugging time now takes just minutes:

apm overview

3 Key Features

  • Don't miss a slow request - most app monitoring services just sample slow requests. It's almost 2016: we capture every one. It's the slow requests that help us learn the most about our app's performance.
  • Git Integration - we git blame your slow code so you can quickly find out who wrote it and when.
  • Context - when you have a slow request, it's super helpful to know the email address of the user that triggered it, which database shard it hit, their monthly spend, etc. Easily add this with our API.

No-Haggle Pricing. No Contracts.

We're confident Scout stands on its own merits: that means no pricing tricks or contracts. Try app monitoring free for 14 days.

App Monitoring for the Modern Dev

As Scout customer Aaron Scruggs of AcademicWorks says:

"We liked New Relic, but we love Scout."

We're committed to building the first APM service that's built for you, the Heroku-deploying, AWS service-using, fast-moving developer.

Questions? Just email us at apm.support@scoutapp.com.

 

Order your Scout cycling kit

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

We're big fans of the outdoors - and cycling - at Scout.

I'm excited to announce Scout is the title sponsor for a development team in our home base of Fort Collins, Colorado. It's a super talented team you'll find all over North America in 2016. We'll have more details later, but lets talk about kits (that's what cycling uniforms are called).

I wanted to make sure the team looked great on the road - there's a lot of ugly cycling kits out there. I wanted one that stood and out and felt classy at the same time.

There's an initial concept on the right - we'll be dialing this in more. Besides looking good, the kit will be produced by Castelli, the same clothing manufacturer behind many of the top professional teams.

If you're interested in ordering a kit, email us. We'll add you to the list. The kits will be ordered later this month. It will be the best-fitting kit in your cycling wardrobe.

Get a free Scout Cycling Kit

We're hiring. Join our team (or refer someone we hire) and we'll get you a kit.

 

App Monitoring: Stability, Stability, Stability ... and pricing.

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in App Monitoring Bullet_white Comments Comments

We're officially in the Stability Phaseâ„¢ of app monitoring: slamming our site with traffic, trying to break things, and adding resiliency for the spots that need it.

Read on for an updated General Availability date, our planned stability improvements, and pricing information.

Read More →

 

Learn about Go @ Scout: Denver Go Meetup Tomorrow

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

go love

Go has become an increasing part of our stack at Scout. At tomorrow's Denver Gophers Meetup, we'll be delivering two short talks for the price of one:

  • Dave will be talk about Native Ruby Extensions in Go. Lots of folks are using Ruby and Go together. We'll take about making that marriage smoother.
  • Chris will talk about our usage of InfluxDB, an open-source distributed timeseries database written in Go. We store tons of metrics: you'll hear our lessons learned.

Hope to see you there!

 

Git-integrated app monitoring

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in App Monitoring Bullet_white Comments Comments

Tracking down slow code is about to get a lot faster. We're excited to debut our Github Integration for Scout Application Monitoring:

github integration

With the Github Integration enabled, instead of seeing backtraces for slow method calls (>= 500 ms), you'll see the relevant code in our UI. This goes beyond the code: you'll also see who wrote it and when it was committed. Fix performance problems faster by assigning them to the developer most familiar with the code.

Read More →

 

From a spike in response time to a Git blame: our improved path to slow code

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in App Monitoring Bullet_white Comments Comments

Before Scout, we used several app monitoring services.

One of my biggest frustrations: I never found a way to select a spike in response time from an overview chart and view what's slow during that period.

Those spikes are begging to be clicked. We wanted to make that happen.

Introducing click-and-drag

See a spike in response time for your app? Just click-and-drag over the chart. Scout will show how many slow requests occured. You can then jump to a list of all slow requests aggregated by the endpoint.

Using an iPad? Pinch the spike. It's fun.

Git Integration

git integration

We'll be releasing our Git integration before General Availability on Nov 16th. Watch the video above for a preview of this in action.

Pricing

You can pick between per-server pricing ($59/server) and pre-request pricing (starting at $20 for the first 1M requests with automatic volume discounts).

Early Access

Signup for early access via our homepage.

Questions? Email sales@scoutapp.com.

 

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