Author: Instrumental Team

Making a Simple Status Bar for Your App

It’s easy to underestimate the benefits of building lightweight tools. A simple status bar provides substantial insight to devs and admins, is unobtrusive, and can be implemented in an afternoon.


Why should I do this?

By keeping indicators of app health visible during general site usage, errors get caught earlier. Time usually wasted flipping back and forth between the app and sources of key metrics while troubleshooting is reduced. Read More

When One Second Isn’t: Tracking EventMachine Latency

Ruby developers love EventMachine. Used to drive gems like Thin, network protocols (em-http-request, em-mongo, em-zeromq, et al) and a host of in-house network servers and clients, it’s the Ruby community’s go to library for the Reactor pattern.

For Those New To EventMachine

EventMachine is a gem that provides an easy interface to an event reactor capable of handling thousands of concurrent clients all in a single thread. Read More

Proving What You Know

It happened again. You were loading the front page of your app again and the load time took 27 seconds. You’ve seen it before, you think, on every second Tuesday, Arbor Day, and right after every new deploy. You’ve looked at the web server log files, application server log files and your database slow query logs. Read More

Instrumental Feature Update: Query Language and API

When we started Instrumental, we knew that one of the big features we wanted to include was a way to interactively query the data you sent us; whether you wanted to view how many times you sent us the data, the top 25 metrics in a given group, or only graph the logarithm of a value, we knew that there was a lot more to your data than just showing you the average. Read More

Instrumental Feature Update: Enhancing the Agent

This is our third update on all the updates we’ve rolled out to Instrumental over 2012. We’ve processed a LOT of data so far this year (over 1 trillion metrics) – at any given moment we’re processing up to 700,000 data points a second from our users.

We send that data using the instrumental_agent gem, which collects your data and buffers it in a separate thread, which we later send to Instrumental.   Read More

Instrumental Feature Update: Seeing All The Data

First some fun stats:

  • Since launching in November of 2011, we’ve processed over 1 trillion metrics
  • At peak, we’ve hit 700,000 data points per second
  • We processed over 28 billion metrics on our busiest day of the year

Early users likely remember when we displayed 90 days of data. As the service and database grew we were forced to reduce this number to 30 days, and eventually 14 days to handle the quickly growing service. Read More

Instrumental Feature Update: Making the Service Even Better

We at Instrumental HQ have been hard at work, adding tons of new features and tweaking our existing features to make them even more awesome.

Lots of simple things you’ve asked for, like renaming a project, being able to backfill your data, or “being able to delete the crap out of my metrics” have all been added to Instrumental this year. Read More

Important Update for Customers Using Ruby Enterprise Edition

We’ve just released version 0.9.5 of the Instrumental Agent Ruby gem.  The primary change in this version addresses a critical flaw we’ve located when using Ruby Enterprise Edition in concert with a preforking application server like Phusion Passenger. 

The bug in question likely originates in Ruby Enterprise Edition’s garbage collector, and causes an interpreter segfault when Phusion Passenger initializes a new application instance for the instance pool. Read More