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Which #APM / #Infrastructure #Monitoring solution to use?
The 2 major players in that space are New Relic and Datadog Both are very comparable in terms of pricing, capabilities (Datadog recently introduced APM as well).
In our use case, keeping the number of tools minimal was a major selection criteria.
As we were already using #NewRelic, my recommendation was to move to the pro tier so we would benefit from advanced APM features, synthetics, mobile & infrastructure monitoring. And gain 360 degree view of our infrastructure.
Few things I liked about New Relic: - Mobile App and push notificatin - Ease of setting up new alerts - Being notified via email and push notifications without requiring another alerting 3rd party solution
I've certainly seen use cases where NewRelic can also be used as an input data source for Datadog. Therefore depending on your use case, it might also be worth evaluating a joint usage of both solutions.
We currently monitor performance with the following tools:
- Heroku Metrics: our main app is Hosted on Heroku, so it is the best place to get quick server metrics like memory usage, load averages, or response times.
- Good old New Relic for detailed general metrics, including transaction times.
- Skylight for more specific Rails
Controller#actiontransaction times. Navigating those timings is much better than with New Relic, as you get a clear full breakdown of everything that happens for a given request.
Skylight offers better Rails performance insights, so why use New Relic? Because it does frontend monitoring, while Skylight doesn't. Now that we have a separate frontend app though, our frontend engineers are looking into more specialized frontend monitoring solutions.
Finally, if one of our apps go down, Pingdom alerts us on Slack and texts some of us.
Regarding Continuous Integration - we've started with something very easy to set up - CircleCI , but with time we're adding more & more complex pipelines - we use Jenkins to configure & run those. It's much more effort, but at some point we had to pay for the flexibility we expected. Our source code version control is Git (which probably doesn't require a rationale these days) and we keep repos in GitHub - since the very beginning & we never considered moving out. Our primary monitoring these days is in New Relic (Ruby & SPA apps) and AppSignal (Elixir apps) - we're considering unifying it in New Relic , but this will require some improvements in Elixir app observability. For error reporting we use Sentry (a very popular choice in this class) & we collect our distributed logs using Logentries (to avoid semi-manual handling here).
We love Scout at Rollbar. Here's how we use it.
Zero configuration monitoring for new hosts
We have added Scout to our Ansible configuration for new host setup. So, when we provision a new machine, we get basic monitoring without any extra configuration. Once the host is up and running, we add it to the appropriate role in Scout and all of our monitoring plugins are magically deployed and enabled on the new host.
Monitoring HTTP response codes
One of the best things about Scout is how beautiful and therefore usable their graphs are. We have a Scout dashboard which shows all of our response codes which allows us to quickly see connections between different hosts when problems occur.
Scout's plugin model makes it really easy to extend. We have implemented our own log monitoring plugin which reports metrics like the 90th percentile of slow queries on our site. These types of plugins allow us to see issues at a glance during deploys, maintenance and load spikes.
Slowly taking over Nagios
Nagios is amazing, but let's be real... Anyone who has used it knows how painful it is to set up, administer and extend. We are in the process of cutting over from Nagios to Scout to handle more of our infrastructure monitoring and soon, alerting.
I'm a freelance developer with a handful of servers that needed insightful monitoring and alerts. I searched high and low across both hosted and self hosted solutions... paid and open source. While many are quite capable the self-hosted solutions were clunky and overkill. The few self-hosted for pay solutions costs structure were completely outside of a freelances budget. ScoutApp is the first that had the easy to use setup, amazing plugins for specific app monitoring and the price was actually affordable. Setup couldn't be easier. Plugins are handled amazingly with a single click that initiates the agent to install remotely. The interface is minimal and easy to read. Triggers are so well done and easy to setup with clear human language detailing the alert criteria. Real-time graphing is just icing on the cake.
ScoutApp is great for not just small but enterprise level infrastructures as well. Added features such as roles, multi-user accounts, environments and even an API make growing with it a no brainer.
Very well done and highly recommended.
I used to have NewRelic on https://doorbell.io for my monitoring. It worked pretty well for the basic things, and the basic plan is free.
However, as https://doorbell.io's stack got increasingly complicated, the plugins of NewRelic didn't work as well as I needed, in order to reliably monitor all aspects of the platform.
I decided to try out Scout as an alternative, since even though it doesn't have a free plan, the basic plan is only $8/month (compared to $149 for NewRelic).
I found the interface to be really good, and they have great documentation. I found plugins for every single part of my stack, and they all worked very easily "out of the box". And best of all, added practically no overhead to the server!
So overall, I'd say it's a service that's well worth paying for. It's a steal at $8/month!
We migrated our infrastructure monitoring to Scout about six months ago when our previous monitoring solution became unreliable and cumbersome to maintain. We were pleasantly surprised at the ease of implementation and the library of plugins already available.
The fine grain polling frequency and long term metric logging helped us maintain the high level of uptime our application requires. Moreover, due to the nature of the Scout protocol, changes to our specific application monitoring can be configured at a high level in their interface with a few clicks.
For the few times we have been in communication with their support team to help sort our questions or clarify details, we have been thoroughly impressed at their response time and personalized attention to our needs.
We highly recommend using Scout.
We are a very small non profit with a very simple server setup. Our two developers do not have any special training as sys admins. But it was very easy to get setup with Scout and start some simple monitoring of our servers. Most of what we do is check that some key processes are running and that our URLs are up. It was easy to do all of that with Scout. That said: we're interested in learning more about Scout's capabilities and doing more sophisticated server monitoring down the line.
We are a very small non profit with a very simple server setup. Our two developers do not have any special training as sys admins. That said, it was very simple to get setup with Scout and start some simple monitoring of our servers. Most of what we do is check that some key processes are running and that our URLs are up. But we're interested in learning more aboutS Scout's capabilities/ doing more sophisticated server monitoring down the line.
Free Heroku add-on. Not particularly useful for us. Rails profilers tend to do a better job at the app level. And I can never really figure out what’s going on with Heroku by looking at New Relic. I don’t know if we’re just not using New Relic correctly or if it really does just suck for our use case. But I guess some insight is better than none.
How do you know what parts of the workflow need improvement? Measure it. With New Relic in place, we have graphs of our API performance and can directly see if a server or zone is causing trouble, and the impact of our changes. There’s no comparison between a real-time performance graph and “Strange, the site seems slow, I should tail the logs”.
We monitor and troubleshoot our app's performance using New Relic, which gives us a great view into each type of request that hits our servers. It also gives us a nice weekly summary of error rates and response times so that we know how well we've done in the past week.
I'm trying to wring more instrumentation out of New Relic as it pertains to Rack, but for the time being, New Relic is monitoring/alerting uptime and some basic performance metrics.