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.  We’ve enhanced the agent’s compatibility with different Ruby versions (JRuby, Ruby 1.8.6, etc.), and included new functions like the `time` method to make it easier to benchmark different pieces of your code.

We also spent a lot of time talking to you about your experiences with the agent; thanks to your input, we’ve increased the agent’s compatibility with a number of different preforking worker situations like Resque or Unicorn’s worker processes.

Many of our users are pretty awesome developers in their own right, and we saw the always awesome Chris Gaffney of Collective Idea contribute the Instrumental Statsd backend as a way for you to use Statsd clients to send data to Instrumental.

Of course, to process all the data you are sending us, we had to increase our capacity slightly. :) We’ve been building out our infrastructure to handle even greater load, so you never have to worry about sending too much data.

Now that we have all this data, we wanted to really let you do some interesting things with it. Our next update will tell you all about the Instrumental Query Language, and how it helps analyze your data at an even deeper level.

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