In my last post on Application Deployment I talked about deploying your application straight to production and using metrics to measure it. One of the tools we us is Scout for server monitoring. Scout is a great service that not only monitors you typical system metrics but has a great collection of community built plugins and the capability to write your own plugins (using Ruby).
It has all of your standard features, Graphing, Triggers, Email and SMS alerts, Server Groups, support for cloud instances, etc. But what we really like is the ability to build your own dashboard as well as custom graphs.
We have charts that we built and use on our main monitoring board. These charts combine our Redis Queues, Processing Throughputs and Database Commands. The great part is that all of the data points come from different servers and services that on their own don’t really give enough insight into whether or not there is an actual issue or where that issue maybe. But when they are all combined on to one chart the context for spikes can be seen and appropriate action (if necessary) can be taken.
Scout was the first monitoring service AuthorityLabs began using back when it was a one server web app with a handful of clients. It has served us well since then growing with us and they are continuing to add items and make the app more robust. We have since supplemented our monitoring with other services and internal tools but Scout is still a go to for us when it comes to building a custom plugin and getting those data points on a graph with our existing metrics.
Next time I will cover how we used New Relic to help us with performance monitoring and application bottlenecks.