Scout: The Ruby-based Cloud Monitoring


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Conference session by Sergey Sundukovskiy at Gateway Computing Environments 2010 on November
14, 2010

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  • Conference session by Sergey Sundukovskiy at Gateway Computing Environments 2010 on November 14, 2010
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Scout: The Ruby-based Cloud Monitoring

  1. 1. Scout: The Ruby-based Cloud Monitoring Conference session by Sergey Sundukovskiy “ ” Cloud computing sets a new trend in the way IT infrastructure operates, enabling greater responsiveness and lower costs across companies of all sizes. There are many Cloud products available in the market today to help companies satisfy their growing needs for powerful performance and functionality. Cloud products and Cloud-targeted applications are designed for companies that are either building their applications in the Cloud from scratch or that are replacing substantial portions of their federated services. This session is aimed at helping Cloud runners and Cloud starters choose Cloud products and services that suit their business and technology requirements. SESSION DESCRIPTION After attending this session, you will be able to navigate between a wide range of Cloud products and learn about Ruby-based hosted monitoring. In particular, Sergey Sun- dukovskiy (Ph.D. in Information Technology Management) will focus on Scout—the service for managing server and application performance and analyzing Cloud needs. OUTLINE  What is Scout Monitoring? Scout is a hosted monitoring service for managing server and application perfor- mance. The Ruby-based solution enables tracking of server resources and the ability to alert its users via e-mail, SMS, or RSS. It combines a flexible plug-in system with a hosted service. From a user's perspective, there is just one technical component: the Scout Agent, which is a small Ruby program distributed as a Ruby gem. A cron job runs the Scout agent every few minutes, while it collects performance metrics from your system. Those metrics are then sent back to via secure HTTP. The agent neither opens up ports nor accepts any incoming connections; it communicates outwardly only, and only over regular HTTP port 80. On the server side, Scout is built on a pretty standard open-source stack: Ruby, MySQL, RRDTool, Apache, and Linux. Scout’s server side component is a traditional Web application. This is where users create their accounts, view alerts, configure trigger thresholds, browse graphs, etc. The speaker will start with an overview of the Scout Monitoring features.  Why Scout Monitoring? The session will describe the advantages of Scout Monitoring for businesses and ex- plain how it allows developers to build their own modules to customize monitoring ar-
  2. 2. Scout: The Ruby-based Cloud Monitoring Conference session by Sergey Sundukovskiy “ ” rangements and track specific metrics. Scout can monitor CPU load, disk usage, MySQL performance and slow queries, I/O stats on any number of devices, Apache status, NginX, EC2 Cloudwatch, and more. The speaker will describe Scout’s ability to be extended by additional Ruby plug-ins, such as those already available for monitor- ing Ruby on Rails, Phusion Passenger, and others. The speaker will also touch on Scout’s open source component stack— incredibly ro- bust and mature—which allows for very competitive prices, enough to cover licensing costs. Finally, he will elaborate on one of the benefits of separating the data collection mechanism (Sinatra) from the end-user site (Rails). This part of the session will specif- ically cover how can be updated with zero interference to data collec- tion. From an operational standpoint, this means that all updates can be pushed with- out affecting business-critical data collection mechanisms..  Scout Monitoring Recommended Use The speaker will focus on utilizing Scout as an application designed for companies that need to monitor and analyze multiple performance metrics of mostly Ruby applications and servers. He will also provide expert advice on other similar Cloud products and Cloud Vendors that can also meet your particular Business and Technology require- ments.  Scout Monitoring Challenges You will learn about the challenges one faces when monitoring the Cloud, including observing multiple hosts and the necessity to gain Ruby skills, in case one must moni- tor Ruby applications. The session will touch on mandatory requirements for hosted monitoring; in particular, the executional environment (Ruby), which is required to be installed on any system node a user wishes to monitor. However, specific to Scout, it has not been much of a problem, because Ruby is increasingly commonplace and many Linux distributions already have Ruby installed. If Ruby is not already installed, it is just an “apt-get” or a “yum install” away. The speaker will discuss some other issues that were encountered during the imple- mentation of real-world Cloud deployment projects and help you learn which Cloud products can better serve your business needs. Finally, you will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session, discussing the tasks related to your specific Cloud Computing needs.
  3. 3. Scout: The Ruby-based Cloud Monitoring Conference session by Sergey Sundukovskiy “ ” SPEAKER BIOGRAPHY Sergey Sundukovskiy has over 15 years of experience serving in capacities ranging from Senior Architect to CIO, including experience in building IT organizations from the ground up in both start-ups and Fortune 100 companies. Sergey specializes in intra-company and offshore system and product development, Cloud Computing, project and resource man- agement, cross-functional training and strategic planning. Sergey holds a B.A. in Comput- er Science from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. in Information Tech- nology from the University of Liverpool, as well a Ph.D. in Information Technology Man- agement from the School of Business and Technology, Capella University. COMPANY BACKGROUND Technofella is an Executive For Hire consulting company that offers a wide range of tech- nology and business services. Technofella targets its services to Start-Up and Mid-Market companies that either cannot afford or do not need a full-time technology or business ex- ecutive. Technofella helps Start-Up and Mid-Market companies avoid costly mistakes at the strate- gy and execution stages of business planning and implementation. We have seen literally hundreds of cases where companies incur too much “IT or Business Debt” that then hin- ders their continuous development for years to come. We firmly believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We help you find the right balance between tactical achievement and strategic continuity.