Tune triggers from your email inbox

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

When you get started with Scout, we try to setup sensible default triggers for events you may need to investigate on your servers.

For example, Scout generates an alert if your disk usage exceeds 85% or CPU Load over the last minute exceeds 3.

However, every server and application is different. For example, a CPU load of 3 is fine on some servers but a problem on others. We’ve made it easier to tune Scout for your setup if Scout is sending too many alerts.

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Process Memory Usage: Troubleshooting with Scout

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

Scout customer Eric Lindvall wrote up a nice piece on finding and fixing memory leaks in god -- specifically, when issuing "god load" on long-running god processes. Give it a read, it provides good insight into the troubleshooting process and the tools he used. Eric points to the Scout graphs showing both the symptoms:

And the solution:


Who wouldn't love to see memory usage go down and stabilize like that? Eric also provides patches to god in case you're having similar issues. Check out his full writeup for details.

If you're having trouble with memory consumption of a specific process, check out Scout's Process Memory Usage plugin.

 

Running a freemium web app? Here's a big reason we're growing.

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

Before Scout, my experience developing software was primarily consulting. Success was measured by delivering software on time and on budget.

With Scout, a subscription-based service, my focus isn’t on scheduling. We are self-funded and we didn’t have the luxury of a venture-backed startup. We’re focused on figuring out which pieces of development work can increase revenue the most. What follows is how we’re approaching it.

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Bulk Plugin Management — Your Input Wanted

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

1/27/09 Update – We’ve rolled this functionality out…see our announcement blog post

Some of our customers are monitoring a lot of servers with Scout. We’re psyched about this, and we’re looking at ways to make Scout even easier to use.

Bulk plugin management is a topic that comes up pretty often.

So we’re looking at the ability to make changes en masse to your servers:

  • add / delete a plugin on all servers in one shot
  • add / delete a trigger to a plugin across all servers
  • clone all plugins and triggers from one server to another

We’d love your feedback. How do you want to be able to bulk update your plugins? Feel free to leave feedback in comments.

 

Rails Monitoring Improvement: Ignore Specific Actions

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

Sometimes you have actions in your Rails app that you know take a long time. Getting alerts on these actions is just noise.

With the updated Rails Monitoring Plugin, you can filter out any requests on which you don't want to be notified. You supply a regular expression, so you make as simple or complicated as you need to.

Update your Rails plugin

If you already have the Rails plugin installed, you need to update it. Go to plugin->code and click Update:

Then go to plugin->edit and click Update Options:

The new goodness is under "advanced options":

Ignoring Actions

You provide a regular expression for actions you want don't want to be alerted on when they're slow. In the simplest case, don't even worry about it being a regular expression -- just provide a string you want to match. For example, if you don't want to be alerted to any slow actions with admin in the URI, just put admin in the Ignored Actions field.

More Complicated Matches

To ignore all actions under admin and also accounts/new, the regex is(admin|accounts\/new). If you wanted to make sure admin only matches paths starting with admin, just match the beginning slash: (\/admin|accounts\/new)

If you're building a complicated regex, try it out separately to ensure it matches/doesn't match what you expect. I dig on Rubular for quick regex sanity checks. Of course, the plugin will tell you if your regex has a problem, but you'll get faster feedback by running it through Rubular.

Notes

Note that the match is case insensitive -- no need to worry about case.

Finally, note that excluded actions will still be analyzed in the daily Rails Analysis reports, so you'll still get metrics on them -- you just won't get email notifications for actions you already know are slow!

 

Rails + Google Analytics = easy goal tracking

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

Google Analytics is an indispensable tool as you optimize the business side of your operation. If you haven't already set up goals in Analytics for viewing your pricing information, accessing the sign-up form, and signing up for an account -- go do it! It's vital information.

However, Google Analytics' goals have to be attached to a specific URL. What if there is no URL for an important goal? For example, the New Account goal for Scout is just the account/show page -- there's no specific URL to represent a newly created account.

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