Visualizing UK accident data with Logscape

In my ever onward quest to show to the world how easy it is to get up and started with Logscape, today I’m going to use a Logscape docker container in order to build visualisations based off some publicly available CSV files in no time at all. If you’ve never used the Logscape docker image, then check out my previous blog.

Today we’re going to be analysing data made available via the gov.uk website, which offers statistics for crashes in the UK for the year of 2015. The specific dataset is available for download here.

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30 Seconds of reading, hours of watching – 10 monitoring talks everyone should see

Here at Logscape it should go without saying that monitoring is sort of a big deal. Some would even go as far as to say it’s even our “thing”. To go with that we’ve collated a collection, of what we think might be the best 10 monitoring talks people should watch. Regardless of whether you’re looking to implement a logging tool, build your own or are just a developer, these talks are worth the time.

Monitoring at Spotify – When things go ping in the night. – by Martin Parm

This non-tech talk covers how logging at Spotify has adapted over the years. From the days where monitoring what just a gleam in the developer’s eyes, to the months where operations slept restlessly fearing the inevitable phone call, to the current day monitoring system which act as caretakers to the infrastructure responsible for streaming hundreds of thousands of tracks a day.

Metrics, Metrics everywhere – by Coda Hale

Digging back into the archives, we have Coda Hale’s talk from 2011. While you may think it’s dated, and irrelevant by todays standards. Coda covers some topics which will simply never get old.

Monitoring is Dead. Long Live Monitoring. – by Greg Poirier

Greg Poirer thinks it’s time we stop viewing its metrics in isolation and declare things alive or dead. In this laid back high-energy talk, he covers his opinion on the definition of monitoring, with only a few jabs at DevOps. A must watch.

Better living through statistics. Monitoring doesn’t have to suck. – by Jamie Wilkinson

Jamie Wilkinson goes over what he believes to be the problems in how we currently monitor, and how we can get rid of these problems so that everyone can benefit from logging. A great talk that discusses why our current logs simply aren’t precise enough.

 

The art of performance monitoring. – by Brian Smith

Brian Smith covers the mistakes that he’s made, and the mistakes he keeps seeing developers making. For a 25 minute talk the sheer quantity of technical ideas conveyed in this talk is impressive, but not for the faint of heart.

What should I monitor, and how should I do it? – by Baron Schwartz

In this talk, Baron criticises our approach to monitoring, which is to just stare at a graph and attempt to determine what’s gone wrong. Baron highlights the importance of not just collecting data, but collecting actional data.

Creating a Culture of Observability. – by Cory Watson

Taking a leaf out of the Spotify playbook, this talk covers the culture around logging, rather than logging itself. It’s Cory’s own story of how after joining Strike he managed to instil a culture of observability and monitoring. You’ll hear about his journey towards that goal, with the good, the bad and the downright sneaky.

How monitoring works at scale. – by Ran Leibman

Facebook manage to claim another spot on this top list, this time discussing the challenge which is monitoring the huge amount of infrastructure that make up Facebook around the world. Most companies dont have to monitor on this scale, which leaves an obvious questions, “How exactly do you?”.

The evolution of monitoring systems at google. – by Tom Rippy

Following in the steps of Facebook, Google returns for its second spot in the list. Much like the Spotify talk above, Tony Rippy aims to walk us through the progression of monitoring at Google, and includes some facts that you just wouldn’t believe about the now Tech-Giant.Tony wasn’t present for the whole of this history, but it’s portrayed in a fun and interesting way, which demonstrate whilst your current monitoring solution may not be the best, it doesn’t mean you can’t progress.

Allison McKnights talk demonstrates how monitoring doesn’t have to be expensive. Hailing from Etsy which is known for doing a lot with not a lot. Allison walks us through her experiences of using open source projects to build a monitoring system capable of monitoring the entirety of Etsy’s back end.

 

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the videos, if you have any that you feel should be added to the list, feel free to drop them below, or tweet @logscape with why.

Logscape 3.2 Touches Down

ssksLVBLogscape version 3.2 is now available for public download, you can get it now from the Logscape Website.

A brief rundown of Logscape 3.2 brings with it, and what we’re going to cover today…

  • File Explorer
  • JSON Support (Including JSON Arrays)
  • Failover Overhaul
  • Performance and Stability Changes

 


 

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Advanced data analytics and use-cases in Logscape

Introduction
self_descriptionLogscape Analytics’ are incredibly powerful, however, are you using them to their full potential? In this blog post we’re going to go over some of the less used analytics, show you how to use them, and hopefully inspire you to use your Logscape instance in new and exciting ways. So, without further ado let’s get into some searches. Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve Your Output File

cloudcomputingjoke-300x259So you have written an app or log – it’s brilliant, it grabs all the data you need and runs like greased lightning. All you need to do now is ensure your output file has a nice clean format – preferably one that means Logscape does all the work for you! So here are some of my top tips.

1) Add a full time stamp to every line. You wouldn’t believe how much trouble can be caused by people using just times or dates. At the best, you have to struggle to get your data properly organised. At worst, you end up with a mess and data appears in the wrong place on the graph. Do it right, set the date and time!

2) Add a time zone to that stamp. My computer will never move time-zone, surely it’ll be fine? Don’t count on it. British Summer Time changing the system time on half your servers, servers being reset to US time, data centres moving locations… All these things can and will happen. Adding the time zone to the stamp gives you a cast iron assurance that the data will always be correct. That peace of mind is worth a few bytes.

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Collectd App Update !!!

In preparation for release Logscape as a SAAS solution, the Collectd App has been updated. The CollectdApp is one of the first apps to support Logcape Cloud.

  • write_graphite – This release now uses the graphite plugin to import collectd metrics.
  • Workspaces Update – the workspaces have all been updated

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  • Zip – The app is now available as a zip. Whereas before it was distributed as a config file.

Collectd – Exploring Available Sensors

In this blog post we are going to take a look at some of the sensors that come with Collectd and how  to chart the information. Here are some useful links on searching in Logscape.

Before we get straight into the searches lets take some time and understand how Collectd outputs data.

Collectd Metric Data

The collectd daemon stores data from other linux host on disk by the server name and the plugin. The load plugin is set by default on most Linux distributions and is stored like this.

/var/lib/collectd/central_server/svr001/load/ ….

In this set up many collectd daemons are forwarding their metric data to one central host.

/var/lib/collectd/central_server/svr0002/tcpconns-80-local/ ….

Using the Collectd DataType

To chart the data in Logscape you need a passing familiarity with the how to search using a  data type.

metrics_diagram

To execute a search I would need to know which Collectd plugin I am interested in and what metrics it outputs. The table of all collectd plugins can be found here. Here’s an example which charts the load of a host svr0001

 | _type.equals(collectd) plugin.equals(load)  value.max(id)  _host.equals(svr0001)

One thing to note from the search is the use of the id field. This field is a unique key which identifies each unique metric value by  host, plugin  and instance.

Lets take a look at a few other search examples
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Importing Collectd Metrics into Logscape using the Graphite Write plugin.

Logging and monitoring system health is a hot topic where operational engineers manage large server estates. There are many solutions out there that solve a piece of the puzzle of how the metrics are generated, where the metric data is stored and how it is then visualized.

Collectd Sensors

In this blog post we are going to take a look at Collectd and how to integrate this with Logscape. Collectd is an excellent monitoring backend for collecting operating system metrics. Collectd has around 90+ plugins including hardware sensors such as temperature and power usage. Metric data by itself is of little use unless you can visualize it in some way or fire alerts based on trends in the systems under supervision.

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This table shows some of the available sensors being collected. There are abount 32 different sensors from 8 different hosts being imported in this environemnt. Here is dashboard of system health KPIs.

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CPU Temperatures and Wattage metrics depend on the server hardware. Continue reading