Hey folks, welcome to another installment of Monitoring Weekly! Did you write something about monitoring recently? Maybe got an idea rolling around in your head? Send it on over and let the community learn from you. :D
Monitoring News, Articles, and Blog posts
Elastic Stack 5.5.0 Released
Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash all hit 5.5.0. There’s some great new features, so go check it out.
It seems like half the people who do monitoring in the web-scale world forget about synthetic monitoring entirely, and the other half just pay for Pingdom. For some reason, I always forget about worldPing, which is built by the lovely folks at Grafana Labs. This article is one team’s experience in moving from one unnamed-and-inadequate synthetic tool to worldPing.
Being in the midst of a stats bender myself, this article on the math behind percentiles is timely and relevant. If you’re interested in understanding percentiles and using them effectively, this is a really helpful article.
During the Pokemon Go craziness last year, an engineer at Datadog set up a dashboard to monitor the (awful) performance of the Niantic servers. It was pretty slick. Now they’ve done it again, this time for the (awful) performance of the NYC subway, which also reminds of the Librato dashboard that monitors the (awful) performance of the San Francisco DMV. I’m sensing a theme here…
I remember learning about Sensu way back at 0.9.x (2012!). It was super neat then and revolutionary in its approach–many things we just consider standard, normal stuff now. Finally hitting 1.0 is seriously cool. Major props to all the Sensu contributors and staff!
In celebration of Sensu turning six years old, hitting the 1.0 milestone, and their appreciation of the fantastic #monitoringlove community (you people really are awesome <3), the kind folks at Sensu have provided a discount code to Monitoring Weekly readers for the upcoming Sensu Summit in Portland, OR. Buy soon, as promo tickets limited.
Full disclosure: my company, Aster Labs, is a partner of Sensu Inc. I/Aster Labs receive no consideration, monetary or otherwise, from this promotion.
With all this talk of structured logs lately, it felt like people were glossing over the constraints and limitations in the network gear world–then I ran across this new project. This tool listens on the syslog port, taking unstructured logs from network devices and turning them into structured (JSON) entries. Super awesome. Maybe my favorite new tool this year.
Looking back over the Monitoring Weekly issues, I notice there’s not a lot about Splunk in there, despite many of you being happy Splunk users. So, that’s unfortunate. To make up for that, here’s a really helpful article on using Splunk’s lookup() function for data/table lookups in searches, complete with examples.
I really love reading articles about people adopting new tools, and this article on Graphite is a good one. Of special note is their use of EC2 instance store for Whisper data, rather than opting for PIOPS/burning cash. The author also makes copious references to Jason Dixon’s recently-released book, Monitoring With Graphite, and how it guided his implementation.
About your friendly editor
I’m Mike Julian, a monitoring/observability consultant and trainer. I help companies improve their application and infrastructure monitoring. You can find me at AsterLabs.io.
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– Mike (@mike_julian) Monitoring Weekly editor