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Skylight vs Thundra: What are the differences?

What is Skylight? The smart profiler for your Rails apps. Skylight is a smart profiler for your Rails apps that visualizes request performance across all of your servers.

What is Thundra? AWS Lambda Observability for Java, Go and Node.js. Thundra helps answer your toughest questions about the health of your Serverless infrastructure by giving you invaluable insights into your AWS Lambda functions.

Skylight and Thundra can be categorized as "Performance Monitoring" tools.

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What is Skylight?

Skylight is a smart profiler for your Rails apps that visualizes request performance across all of your servers.

What is Thundra?

Thundra offers full observability for AWS Lambda environments with aggregated logs, metrics, and traces. It helps you discover bottlenecks in your serverless environment and take rapid actions when unexpected situations occur.
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        What are some alternatives to Skylight and Thundra?
        New Relic
        New Relic is the all-in-one web application performance tool that lets you see performance from the end user experience, through servers, and down to the line of application code.
        Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
        Ruxit is a all-in-one performance monitoring solution for cloud natives. In under five minutes customizable dashboard views show you your application's performance data.
        Librato provides a complete solution for monitoring and understanding the metrics that impact your business at all levels of the stack. We provide everything you need to visualize, analyze, and actively alert on the metrics that matter to you.
        AppDynamics develops application performance management (APM) solutions that deliver problem resolution for highly distributed applications through transaction flow monitoring and deep diagnostics.
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        Decisions about Skylight and Thundra
        Jerome Dalbert
        Jerome Dalbert
        Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare | 3 upvotes 39.9K views
        New Relic
        New Relic

        We currently monitor performance with the following tools:

        1. 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.
        2. Good old New Relic for detailed general metrics, including transaction times.
        3. Skylight for more specific Rails Controller#action transaction 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.

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        Reviews of Skylight and Thundra
        Review ofSkylightSkylight

        If you follow the registration flow you end up with running analytics virtually in a minute. Awesome first experience.

        I don't have my application in production so I needed to enable skylight in development, but Skylight navigated me nicely to the exact paragraph of a documentation, which helped.

        How developers use Skylight and Thundra
        Avatar of StackShare
        StackShare uses SkylightSkylight

        When we were facing performance issues with the new StackShare app. We originally thought it was a server issue. So we did quite a bit of research to see how many dynos we should be using for the sort of application we have and traffic profile. We couldn鈥檛 find anything useful online so I ended up asking my buddy Alain over at BlockScore. After a quick convo with him, I knew we should be totally fine with just 2 dynos.

        We also tested the theory by increasing the number of dynos and running the load tests. They had little to no effect on error rate, so this also confirmed that it wasn鈥檛 a server issue.

        So that meant it was an application issue. New Relic wasn鈥檛 any help. I spoke with another friend who suggested we use a profiler. We totally should have been using one all along. We added mini-profiler, which was great for identifying slow queries and overall page load times. We also had the Rails Chrome extension so we could see how long view rendering was taking. So we cleaned up the slowest queries.

        We tried to use mini-profiler in production on the new StackShare app and for some reason, we couldn鈥檛 get it to work. We were in a time crunch so I asked Alain what they used and he said that they use Skylight in production. Funny enough, I remembered the name Skylight because we listed it on the site a while back. So we did that, and at first we couldn鈥檛 really see how it was useful. Then we realized what we were seeing were a ton of repeat queries on some of the pages we load tested.

        Skylight is cool because it sort of gives you the full MVC profile. We were able to pinpoint specific db queries that being repeated. So we cleaned those up pretty quickly. But then we noticed the views were taking up all the load time, so we start implementing caching more aggressively. After we cleaned up the db queries and added more caching, our pages went from this: skylight1 to this: skylight2

        Skylight ended up being super useful. We use it in production now.

        Avatar of Hund
        Hund uses SkylightSkylight

        An essential for determining production performance. It provides us with clear insights into what might be slowing down responses so we know exactly what to fix.

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