Andre Lewis

DevTrace and the Art of Staying the F*** Out of the Way

BY Andre Lewis

DevTrace is a performance widget for your Rails applications in development. It sits unobtrusively in the corner of your page, just waiting to drop insight on your application: See stack traces, SQL timings, and more with just a click! This kind of insight is powerful. You can see how your ...

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Monitor Sidekiq Jobs!

BY Andre Lewis

Teaser for a soon-to-be released capability: Overview metrics for all your background jobs Chart throughput, latency, error rate, and more. Detailed drill-down on slow jobs See what's making the job slow, identify N+1 queries, and more. Tech preview - want in? Background job monitoring currently supports sidekiq, and is tech ...

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AWS re:Invent Day Two

BY Andre Lewis

The Scout conference team in full force! From left to right: Derek Haynes, Dave Anderson, me, and Megan Strahm. Our three big takeaways from conversations on the expo floor today: Developers are psyched about an alternative to New Relic for SaaS application performance monitoring. There are lots of polyglot applications ...

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AWS re:Invent Opening Day

BY Andre Lewis

It was a great opening day at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas! Many, many developers and tech leaders coming by to see our vision of Next Generation Application Monitoring. If you're at the conference, come see us at booth 1130!

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Twilio for SMS

BY Andre Lewis

Scout has long offered email-to-SMS alert delivery for free. Free is good, but there are a couple downsides: email-to-SMS doesn't work some places outside the US . Some foreign carriers don't enable it by default, and in some countries email-to-SMS just doesn't work well. with email-to-SMS, texts don't always come ...

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Slow Server? This is the Flow Chart You're Looking For

BY Andre Lewis

Your high-powered server is suddenly running dog slow, and you need to remember the troubleshooting steps again. Bookmark this page for a ready reminder the next time you need to diagnose a slow server. Get on "top" of it Linux's top command provides a wealth of troubleshooting information, but you ...

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Scout is NOT vulnerable to CVE-2014-0160 AKA Heartbleed

BY Andre Lewis

All of Scout's infrastructure has been checked, and we have confirmed that Scout is not vulnerable to CVE-2014-0160.

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Scout is Hiring! Come Build the Future of Monitoring as Developer #2

BY Andre Lewis

We take pride in building a server monitoring product our customers love with a lean, flat team. We're looking to add the fourth human to our close-knit group. So, what's special about being a Ruby dev @ Scout? First, great people! Second, great tech: come build beautiful realtime monitoring visualizations ...

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Notification Schedules and PagerDuty

BY Andre Lewis

Whenever we’re asked how to make on-call notification schedules for Scout alerts, we recommend PagerDuty . PagerDuty has invested a ton of time in building a dedicated notification scheduling service, and it’s a great complement to Scout. With our recent release of notification groups , Scout’s integration with PagerDuty got ...

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Notifcation groups coming Jan 15th

BY Andre Lewis

On Jan 15th, all Scout accounts will be switched over to notification groups. Notification groups are designed to make notifiation management easier and more flexible: instead of managing notifications per-plugin/per-user, you will assign users to notification groups, and apply notification groups to triggers. you can have multiple PagerDuty integrations and ...

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Scout ♥ Pagerduty

BY Andre Lewis

The only thing worse than being woken up by a critical alert: not being woken up when you should be. That’s where Pagerduty comes in—Pagerduty uses a combination of email, SMS , and phone calls to you and your team to ensure you never miss an important notification. And now, ...

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Scout Alerts in Campfire via Hubot

BY Andre Lewis

Want to get Scout alerts piped into your Campfire room? You can, thanks to Scout user Gavin Stark’s Hubot script for Scout. Gavin describes the advantages for his team at Real Digital Media: Our support staff can now see the alerts from Scout as a team. We combine this with ...

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Dashboards (for Ultimate Accounts)

BY Andre Lewis

On of the most common feature requests we get is the ability to place multiple charts on a dashboard page. We’re launching this feature today. It’s currently available for Ultimate accounts only. What are Dashboards? Multiple Charts : display any number of charts on one page. Arrange and resize the ...

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Don't want your server named after hostname?

BY Andre Lewis

If you’re using Scout’s cloud server functionality , you know that new server instances in Scout are named after the machine’s hostname. In some cases, the hostname isn’t that useful (especially if your servers are on EC2 ). Now, you can specify a name for the server from the Scout ...

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The Short and Sweet SSL How-to

BY Andre Lewis

Got a site you need to serve up via SSL ? Here are your Cliffs notes. This assumes 1) your site already runs without SSL ; 2) you’re using Apache and Ubuntu; 3) you don’t want any browser warnings, so no self-signed certificates. 1. Generate a Private Key $ openssl ...

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Three New Tools in my Mac Toolbox

BY Andre Lewis

It’s always satisfying to find tools that make your workflow smoother. Here are three that I started using recently: iTerm2 is a Terminal replacement with a ton of features. The three that make the most difference in my workflow are search , mouseless copy , and tabs which you can ...

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The Only Two Business Metrics That Matter

BY Andre Lewis

How do you spot a successful business? It’s easiest to think in terms of size: Google, Starbucks, and Berkshire Hathaway are successful. If you’re a small business and fixate on size alone, you’ll drive yourself crazy. I will never run a Starbucks-scale company, nor do I want to. But do ...

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You Are Making Scout Even Better

BY Andre Lewis

A huge thank you to Scout users who have sent us plugin fixes and enhancements! It’s really a pleasure to see the plugin library grow and improve. Here are the latest updates: Memory Profiler Solaris Compatibility added by Ankur Bulsara URL Monitoring Better exception handling for bad hostnames and request ...

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Sleep Better with a Proper Staging Environment

BY Andre Lewis

Nothing helps you sleep better at night like a staging environment that’s faithful to your production setup. That means your staging environment has the same Linux distro, same version of Ruby and gems, the same Apache and Passenger configuration, etc. VPS not cloud We’ve found that an inexpensive “always-on” VPS ...

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Relentlessly Shortcut: .bashrc & Thor

BY Andre Lewis

Check out the incredible shortcut Lance Armstrong takes in the above clip. As developers, we should try to shortcut as smoothly as Lance does. You might not get cheered on quite as much—but then again, you have a lot more shortcut opportunities! Shortcuts and Development Workflow The quicker I can ...

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Developer Happiness (2 of 5): Speed Up Your Tests

BY Andre Lewis

Seeing your tests pass is a great feeling. Waiting a long time for it—not so much. Faster tests mean a happier developer! Use Parallel Tests If you’re not using parallel tests by Michael Grosser, you’re wasting time. Setup is just a few simple steps . You’ll be glad you did. ...

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Developer Happiness: a Five-Part Series

BY Andre Lewis

The New York Times ran a popular Op-Ed on Happiness last year. The Cliff Notes version? The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. Many software developers are fortunate to have flexible ...

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The best $650 I spent last year

BY Andre Lewis

Last year I ponied up for a 256GB SSD for my Macbook Pro. Six months later, I can confidently give the verdict that it’s the best investment I made in my work setup. Just a few datapoints: Scout’s unit test suite runs in half the time : 1m34s vs. 2m58s ...

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Forget The Technology - Just Do The Business

BY Andre Lewis

A friend of mine is brainstorming a business in the dating space. It’s an interesting idea—a spin on the traditional dating service in potentially lucrative niche. My friend asked me about technology—which technology, who to partner with, etc. My advice for the dating idea was this: forget the technology. Just ...

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Announcing Redwood: Spotlight-like search for your web apps

BY Andre Lewis

Our knowledge at Scout is spread across web apps: Gmail, Basecamp, Delicious, Dropbox, and more. It’s become more cumbersome to find information as our pile of content has grown. We saw two options: devote more time to organizing our information or make it easier to search through it. Spending more ...

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Your Launch is Not an Event

BY Andre Lewis

photo credit: Steven Depolo Most entrepreneurial articles portray the product launch as an event. Sometimes the launch “event” goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. I think talking about the launch “event” misrepresents how most successful product launches actually work. Your launch isn’t an event. Launching is a series of small validations, ...

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RVM and cron in production

BY Andre Lewis

UPDATED 6/7/2013 – We no longer recommend using bash -l -c to run Cron jobs with RVM . See our updated approach . This info is for Scout users, but it’s also applicable to anyone who’s wondered how to use cron together with RVM . This assumes 1) you are ...

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So, what do you do?

BY Andre Lewis

I was back in Michigan a few weeks ago visiting family. These trips always involve a “what do you do?” question at some point. I’m never sure how to answer. “I have a startup.” Honestly, I don’t think of Scout as a startup. Scout is a business built the old-fashion ...

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Scout is Getting a New Load Balancer

BY Andre Lewis

We are in the process of replacing our hardware load balancer with an HAProxy setup. We plan on making the switch tomorrow evening (Tuesday, 8/24) at 4:30pm PST . We are not expecting any downtime, and you shouldn’t experience any service interruption. As a result of the switchover, the scoutapp.com ...

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MySQL Tuning Tips with Scout

BY Andre Lewis

If you’ve used Major Hayden’s MySQLTuner before, you know it’s a great source of MySQL optimization tips. Now you can get MySQLTuner reports automatically delivered through Scout. All you need to do is install the MySQL Stats w/MySQLTuner plugin , or update the plugin if you already have it installed. ...

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There's Scout in my Safari

BY Andre Lewis

The smart folks over at Rails Machine are always quick on the draw. Still, we were impressed when developers Will Farrington and Mike Skalnik had a working Safari 5 extension for Scout within 24 hours after Safari 5 extensions were announced. I pinged Will for the scoop: What does the ...

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Small Teams Need Redundant Skills

BY Andre Lewis

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 ...

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Memcached Monitoring

BY Andre Lewis

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 , ...

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MongoDB Slow Queries Monitoring

BY Andre Lewis

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 ...

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Scout makes the big screen at Runa

BY Andre Lewis

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 ...

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Instrument Your Business

BY Andre Lewis

Instrument your business. It's like instrumenting your code, but profitable. If you're a developer or a sysadmin, periodic optimization is a fact of life. As more people use your code, you'll see performance issues. Unoptimized use cases bubble up. Systems get strained by continued or heavy use. On the technical ...

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Production Server Sysadmin Essentials

BY Andre Lewis

~ or ~ Sysadmin Eye for the Dev Guy Developers! You can churn out a Rails or Sinatra app in no time. What about putting it out there in production? Occasionally forget the syntax for crontab or logrotate? Yeah, me too. That's why I wrote up a few essential notes ...

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Free memory on Linux: free -m vs /proc/meminfo

BY Andre Lewis

How much memory is really available on your Linux box? Don't use /proc/meminfo to find out, use free -m instead. You may have more memory available than you thought. Here's an example. /proc/meminfo says about 330MB is free: ~ $cat /proc/meminfo MemFree: 340996 kB .. free -m gives the following: ...

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Process Memory Usage: Troubleshooting with Scout

BY Andre Lewis

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 ...

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Rails + Google Analytics = easy goal tracking

BY Andre Lewis

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 ...

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Part II: We Just Undid Three Months of Dev work. Here's What We Learned.

BY Andre Lewis

Two weeks ago I covered some of the business lessons learned from a large (~3 months) investment in new features, and the hard decision to roll them back. I discussed how you will underestimate the ongoing cost of complexity in your product , and how cool new capabilities don’t sell ...

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First Impressions Count

BY Andre Lewis

Scout is making a better first impression than ever starting today. When you start monitoring a new server, you'll immediately get a high-level summary of the vital stats: Scout reports this for you automatically. From there, you choose the deeper metrics you need, like Ruby on Rails monitoring , MySQL ...

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We Just Undid Three Months of Dev work. Here's What We Learned.

BY Andre Lewis

We’ve been deleting a lot of code from Scout. We’re ripping out major infrastructure, and in doing so, pulling the plug on functionality which, just six months ago, we believed would be crucial to our business. Most importantly, we’re simplifying the most complex, error-prone, and poorly-performing parts of the application. ...

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Simplify. Get an order of magnitude speedup.

BY Andre Lewis

Have you noticed Scout feels snappier lately? We made some major simplifications that sped things up a lot. Here’s the CPU load on one of our DB servers: ( and yes, we use Scout to monitor itself! ) Even better, the response time for users improved dramatically. Scout’s longest actions ...

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In-depth Rails Monitoring using only a production log file

BY Andre Lewis

No Rails plugins to install. No performance hit during the request cycle. Nothing to break your application code. Nothing to restart. With just the path to your production Rails log file, Scout's new Rails monitoring plugin alerts you when your Ruby on Rails application is slowing down and provides detailed ...

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EC2 CloudWatch graphs, trends, and alerts

BY Andre Lewis

If you're using Amazon EC2, you may be familiar with CloudWatch, Amazon's analytic system that provides metrics on CPU usage, Network I/O, and Disk I/O of your instances. While CloudWatch collects metrics, it doesn't provide a web interface for viewing the metrics, graphs, trending, or alerting. Enter our Scout EC2 ...

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RubyKaigi 2009 wrap up

BY Andre Lewis

James Gray's July 19th talk at RubyKaigi 2009 focused on best practices for long-running Ruby daemon processes. What types of questions did the audience ask? What did they seem most interested in? In general, users always want to know about our RRD usage, extracting the daemon functionality from Scout's agent, ...

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Understanding Linux CPU Load - when should you be worried?

BY Andre Lewis

You might be familiar with Linux load averages already. Load averages are the three numbers shown with the uptime and top commands - they look like this: load average: 0.09, 0.05, 0.01 Most people have an inkling of what the load averages mean: the three numbers represent averages over progressively ...

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LinuxのCPUロードを理解する。どのような時に気を付けるべきか。

BY Andre Lewis

LinuxのCPUロードを理解する。どのような時に気を付けるべきか。

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Scout at RailConf

BY Andre Lewis

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 ...

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What's in store for 2009 - beyond the numbers

BY Andre Lewis

2008 was a year full of numbers – 34% ( fall of the the Dow Jones Industrial Average ), $1.84B ( Apple iPhone revenue ), and $100M ( cost of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony ). But raw numbers are just the start – in 2009, our goal is to ...

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