Smarter Web Application Performance Monitoring

TR Jordan

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We’re pleased to announce a new Python instrumentation version — Oboeware 1.1! We’ve added a few new libraries recently, but we’re really excited about the new customization API we’ve introduced in this version. More than just a Python bump, this is the first package we’re releasing with an implementation of our new Oboe API. The Oboe API is a common set of idioms and metaphors for extending Tracelytics instrumentation or quickly writing your own from the ground up. We’re excited to get it out there, and we’re even more excited to see what you build with it! Conceptually, the Oboe API is a multi-tiered system that allows instrumentation of everything from simple function calls to crazy distributed asynchronous event-driven applications. There are three parts: the low-level API, the high-level API, and language-specific functions. Language-specific functions The lan... (more)

Profiling Python Performance Using lineprof, statprof, and cProfile

If you’re a regular here, you know how much we care about the full-stack view of applications. Today, let’s zoom in a bit, and talk about the performance of a single layer. In particular, let’s look at profiling in Python. As an example, let’s take this bit of code for calculating confidence intervals of the mean of a set of data. If you’re not familiar with confidence intervals, they provide a set of bounds for a given statistic; a 95% interval implies that the true mean lies in the calculated range 95% of the time. One way of calculating this involves generating a number of ne... (more)

Let’s Talk About Your Performance

Do you know how long your customers are going to wait for a page load? More importantly, how long are you making them wait right now? Back in the misty eons of time, it used to be easy to measure the performance of your application. You’d grab a stopwatch, load up your web application, and see what happened. If it was slow, you’d look at the mess of PHP, HTML and CSS you crammed into index.php and make sure that you weren’t using bubble sort anywhere. In these modern times, you typically take a few more extra steps: Add Varnish to cache any generated content Split your MySQL Inno... (more)

Python and gevent

The easiest way to make your code run faster is to do less. At some point, though, you don’t want to do less. Maybe you want to do more, without it being any slower. Maybe you want to make what you have fast, without cutting out any of the work. What then? In this enlightened age, the answer is easy — parallelize it! Threads are always a good choice, but without careful consideration, it’s easy to create all manner of strange race conditions or out-of-order data access. So today, let’s talk about a different route: event loops. Event whats? If you’re not familiar with evented co... (more)

Caching: Up and Down the Stack

The other month I presented Caching Up and Down the Stack at the Boston Web Performance meetup. It was great to get the chance to present to the 60+ people who came out for the talk. Unsurprisingly, many of the people there knew a lot about caching in all of the different levels I touched on, and some great conversation developed. I covered six of the major areas of caching available to web devs today. On the HTML / JS / CSS side, you can use client asset caches, full-page HTTP caches (like Varnish) and partial template caches. On the back end, you can use generated code caches,... (more)