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Skylight
Skylight

84
43
+ 1
51
TraceView
TraceView

9
12
+ 1
4
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Skylight vs TraceView: 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 TraceView? Ridiculously Detailed Application Monitoring. Expose everything, from the webserver to database, cache and API calls. The core technology is based on X-Trace, a distributed tracing framework that鈥檚 served as the inspiration for companies like Google and Twitter.

Skylight and TraceView can be primarily classified as "Performance Monitoring" tools.

Some of the features offered by Skylight are:

  • Skylight looks at how your code is behaving in production, alerting you to improvements you can make before they become showstoppers.
  • Skylight tells you exactly how your app is spending its time where it matters most鈥攊n your production environment
  • Pricing starts at $20 for the first million requests, with automatic discounts for high-volume customers

On the other hand, TraceView provides the following key features:

  • Track every machine involved in a transaction and identify bottlenecks in a single click.
  • Isolate interesting calls and drill down to the line of code and machine it ran on.
  • Tie together code and infrastructure metrics with database, service, and cache calls, all in the context of a single transaction.

"Beautiful UI" is the top reason why over 10 developers like Skylight, while over 2 developers mention "The heatmap helped me isolate DB related issues" as the leading cause for choosing TraceView.

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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 TraceView?

Expose everything, from the webserver to database, cache and API calls. The core technology is based on X-Trace, a distributed tracing framework that鈥檚 served as the inspiration for companies like Google and Twitter.
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    What tools integrate with Skylight?
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      What are some alternatives to Skylight and TraceView?
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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 TraceView
      Jerome Dalbert
      Jerome Dalbert
      Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare | 3 upvotes 48.2K views
      atStackShareStackShare
      Heroku
      Heroku
      New Relic
      New Relic
      Skylight
      Skylight
      Rails
      Rails
      Pingdom
      Pingdom
      Slack
      Slack

      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.

      See more
      Interest over time
      Reviews of Skylight and TraceView
      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 TraceView
      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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