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Smarter Web Application Performance Monitoring

TR Jordan

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Headnet is a web consultancy firm based in Copenhagen, Demark. Headnet develops and hosts web applications, mainly for government clients, as well as private organizations and NGOs. The company utilizes a broad range of technologies to create custom sites, from CMS-based sites with Drupal and Plone to custom applications in Java and Python. As a one-stop shop for web apps, Headnet is entirely responsible for the creation, modification and upkeep of sites for its customers. The Challenge Until November 2012, Headnet relied on “old-school” monitoring tools, such as open-source infrastructure monitoring, to ensure the machines its applications ran on were up to the task. When a problem arose, sometimes they could add more RAM or replace a disk to fix the issue, but more often than not, it was an application issue. In many cases, Headnet engineers were left digging thr... (more)

Tracing Python — An API

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 O... (more)

Moore-Wilson: Efficient Digital Agency DevOps with AppNeta

Moore-Wilson is a British design and development agency, purveyors of "bespoke technology solutions". In other words, they're in charge of the full web app experience, from design and development to lifecycle maintenance. Their projects are mostly PHP-based, often using Drupal as a CMS base. High-profile clients include British National Air Traffic Services, which runs UK air space, and Chatham House, an international think tank. The Challenge With many distinct projects, MW needed a way to ensure new projects got built smoothly while keeping an eye on old ones, resolving operatio... (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)

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)