A New Day for Navigation and Search

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A New Day for Navigation and Search

Today we finally rolled out the new navigation menu and search bar that we’ve been working on for a while. We had been getting feedback on the poor usability of the old horizontal menu system and knew that a “pain point” had been reached—it was time to revisit how we treated navigation and search in […]

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Blueprints – Graphing made easy

Introducing Blueprints Today I’d like to introduce a new Circonus feature we’re calling Blueprints.  Blueprints is a way to effortlessly create reusable graphs that can be used to visualize any host where the data you’re collecting is similar. In the modern age of Internet infrastructure our customers are often faced not with managing just one […]

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AWS Cloudwatch Support

This month we pushed native Cloudwatch support – any metric that you have in Cloudwatch can now be added to graphs and dashboards, and alerts can be created for them. Auto Scaling (AWS/AutoScaling) AWS Billing (AWS/Billing) Amazon DynamoDB (AWS/DynamoDB) Amazon ElastiCache (AWS/ElastiCache) Amazon Elastic Block Store (AWS/EBS) Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS/EC2) Elastic Load Balancing […]

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JSON Over HTTP – Data Collection Made Simple

At Circonus, one of our goals is to try to make it as easy as possible to monitor your data. One of the ways we do this is to allow data formatted in JSON to be pushed or pulled over HTTP into Circonus. Since HTTP is spoken everywhere, and JSON is understood everywhere, this allows […]

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Exploring Keynote XML Data Pulse

I’ll be the first to admit that the Circonus service can be somewhat intimidating. Sometimes it is hard to puzzle out what we do and what we don’t do. Case in point: perspective-based transactional web monitoring. Many people have asked us, given our global infrastructure, why don’t we support complex web flows from all of […]

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Monitoring Elasticsearch

With the much anticipated announcement of the Elasticsearch 1.0.0 release, we thought we’d mention that several of the features that you use within Circonus are powered by Elasticsearch behind the scenes. We could never, in good conscience, run a product or service that we couldn’t extensively monitor. So, when it comes to monitoring things we […]

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Ways to Collect Systems Data in Circonus

When you decide to monitor your systems with Circonus, there’s quite a few options on how to collect your metrics.  We believe Circonus should be a tool that does what you need, when you need it.  Circonus does not force you into a specific approach or method.  Since there are so many different ways to […]

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Tags: A Long Time Coming

Ok, we know a lot of you have been asking for tags in Circonus for a long time. Well, they’re finally here! The tags feature is currently in beta, and will be released to all customers very soon. (Tags have actually been available to API users for a while, just without UI support in the […]

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Customizable Alerts and Ruleset Groups

Today we are releasing two new features to make your on-call life easier. Customizable Alerts Our default format was created and modified over the years based on user feedback, but of course it was never going to make everyone happy. How do we solve this? By letting you create your own alerts! If you head […]

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Understanding service latencies via TCP analysis

Latency is the root of all that is evil on the Internet… or so the saying goes. CPUs get faster, storage gets cheaper, IOPS are more plentiful, yet we feeble engineers have done close to nothing on improving the speed of light. While there is certainly a lower-bound to latencies rooted in the physical world, […]

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Manage Metrics with circonus-cmi

As an environment grows, so does the headache of managing checks and metrics. Every new machine and cluster node requires a new set checks and metrics. There are the Circonus API and circonusvi tool, but those still require manual intervention. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same tools used for provisioning could handle Circonus setup […]

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On the Move: Circonus Mobile

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here: a Circonus that’s optimized for low-resolution devices like your smartphone or tablet! For the past few weeks, eagle-eyed Circonus customers may have noticed links to the mobile site creeping into various places, such as the login page (login.circonus.com) and the application footer. Although we officially […]

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What’s New Q1 2013 Edition

Navigation and URL Changes I’ll start this update talking about the most obvious changes to the UI, which is our new completely horizontal navigation and new URL structure. We had received a lot of feedback about the mix of horizontal and vertical navigation. The tabs we were told were hard to read, especially with the […]

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Web Application Stat Collection with Node.js and Circonus

Collecting and carefully monitoring statistics is an essential practice for catching and debugging issues early, as well as minimizing degraded performance and downtime. When running a web service, two of the most fundamental and useful stats are request/response rates (throughput) and response times (latency). This includes both interactions between a user and the service as […]

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Interacting with Circonus through your text editor – circonusvi

I’m a big fan of command line tools for many tasks. There are just some tasks that can be done quicker and easier with a little typing rather than pointing and clicking. A little while ago, I discovered a gem of of a command line tool called ldapvi. Without going into too much detail, this […]

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PagerDuty Integration Improvements and Alert Formats

Recently we got burned by ignoring a page because the actual message we received lacked detail, it looked like an alert that was known to clear itself. At 3am it is hard to bring yourself to get out of bed when you have seen this alert page and clear time and time again, so it […]

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Sometimes you just need a different hammer

Circonus has a lot of powerful tools inside, but as anyone who has worked with real data knows: if you can’t get your data out into the tool you need, you’re going to suffer. We do all sorts of advanced analysis on telemetry data that is sent our way, but the systems we use to […]

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Fault Detection: New Features and Fixes

One of the trickier problems when detecting faults is detecting the absence of data. Did the check run and not produce data? Did we lose connection and miss the data? The latter problems are where we lost a bit of insight, which we sought to correct. The system is down A loss of connection to […]

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Updates From The Tech Team

Now that it is fall and the conference season is just about over, I thought it would be a good time to give you an update on some items that didn’t make our change log (and some that did), what is coming shortly down the road and just generally what we have been up to. […]

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Understanding Data with Histograms

For the last several years, I’ve been speaking about the lies that graphs tell us. We all spend time looking at data, commonly through line graphs, that actually show us averages. A great example of this is showing average response times for API requests. The above graph shows the average response time for calls made […]

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Web Portal Outage

Last night circonus.com became unavailable for 34 minutes, this was due to the primary database server becoming unavailable. Here is a breakdown of events, times are US/Eastern. 8:23 pm kernel panic on primary DB machine, system rebooted but did not start up properly 8:25 -> 8:27 first set of pages went out about DB being […]

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Dashboards: Redux (or What to Look for in a Performance Monitoring Dashboard)

Last autumn we launched our customizable dashboards for Circonus, and we happen to think they’re pretty sweet. In this post, I’m not going to get into specifics about our dashboards (for more on that, you can check out my previous post, “One Dashboard to Rule Them All”), but instead I’ll talk more generally about what […]

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Failing Forward While Stumbling, Eventually You Regain Your Balance

First I want to start by saying I sincerely apologize for anyone adversely affected by yesterday’s false alerts. That is something that we are very conscious of when rolling out new changes and clearly something I hope never to repeat. How did it happen? First, a quick run down of the systems involved. As data […]

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Graph Annotations and Events

This feature has been a long time in coming: the ability to annotate your graphs! With the new annotations timeline sitting over the graph, not only can you create custom events to mark points in time, but you can also view alerts and see how they fit (or don’t fit) your metric data. Annotations Timeline […]

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Insights from a Data Center Conference

At the beginning of this month, I?d attended the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, and wanted to share with you some of my gained impressions and insights from the event. First, I have to say that I have seldom seen a group of more conscientious conference attendees (aside from Surge, of course, and […]

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Monitoring your Vitals During the Critical Holiday Retail Season

As with Brick & Mortar stores, the Holiday season is a critical time for many E-Commerce sites. Like their off-line brethren, these sites also see large increases in both traffic and revenue, sometimes substantially so. Of course these changes in user behavior don’t just affect E-Commerce sites; consider a social-networking site like Foursquare, where a […]

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Template Web UI

Back in October we released the first version of our new Templating API, allowing you to easily replicate sets of bundles across multiple hosts. Now we bring you the time-saving sweetness of Templates in the web interface as well; if you have multiple servers that you want to monitor in exactly the same way, Templates […]

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Template API

Setting up a monitoring system can be a lot of work, especially if you are a large corporation with hundreds or thousands of hosts. Regardless of the size of your business, it still takes time to figure out what you want to monitor, how you are going to get at the data, and then to […]

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One Dashboard to Rule Them All

Ever dream of having a systems monitoring dashboard that was actually useful? One where you could move things around, resize them, and even choose what information you wanted to display? Large enterprise software packages may have decent dashboards, but what if you?re not a large enterprise or you don?t want to pay an arm and […]

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What’s in a number?

Numbers, numbers, numbers; we’re all about numbers here at Circonus. We have trillions of data points which we feed into a slew of algorithms and processes to help our users identify problems with their data. But what are these numbers? It turns out that isn’t an easy question to answer. Like most monitoring systems, Circonus […]

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A Lotta Love for Keyboard Users

All web users who bemoan the general lack of support for keyboard accessibility in web apps, take heart! Circonus has some great features for keyboard lovers. We know there are many web users out there for whom keyboard shortcuts are a quicker and easier way to use applications, particularly web apps. This is especially true […]

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Lost In Translation

For more than ten years, OmniTI has been making large-scale critical Internet infrastructure work. It is, obviously, not black magic or voodoo. Perhaps not so obviously, it is not technical competence that leads to success here. I like to think our team has technical competence in spades as we have an impeccable track record, authored […]

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Past Performance: does this look right to you?

If you are like me, you look at a lot of data. I look at data in spreadsheets, I look at data on P&L statements, I look at term sheets, I look at systems data — a lot of systems data. I find the best way to look at data is to visualize it because […]

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Capacity Planning Made Easy

Okay, so capacity planning will never be fool proof. You simply cannot predict the future. However, some of the time you have a darn good idea of what the future will hold. Since someone knows what is likely to happen, why is it so hard to plan marketing initiatives, funnels and IT provisioning? The reason […]

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Enterprise Agents

If you’re like me, your first response to SaaS monitoring was: “You can’t see my machines/services/metrics from your cloud. That won’t be too useful.” With a little bit of thought, it’s pretty easy to arrive at the conclusion that you must run something on your infrastructure to bridge the divide. It was a fun and […]

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Finding Needles in a Worksheet

Traditional graphing tools can help you plan for growth or even narrow down root causes after a failure. But they’ have a reputation for being difficult to setup, navigate or customize. It’s nice to be able to just point Cacti at some switches or routers and have it gracefully poll each device for SNMP data. […]

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Access Tokens with the Circonus API

When we rolled out our initial API months ago, we took a first stab at getting the most useful features exposed to help customers get up to speed with the service. A handful of our users expressed displeasure with having to use their login credentials for basic access to the management API. Starting today, we’re […]

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Annotating Alerts and Recoveries

In the last couple of posts, Brian introduced our new WebHook notifications feature and I demonstrated how Circonus can graph text metrics for Visualizing Regressions. Both of these features are interesting enough on their own, but let’s not stop there. Today I have an easy demonstration showing how you can re-import your alert information to […]

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Visualizing Regressions

We’ve heard a lot of talk about Continuous Deployment strategies over the last 12-18 months. Timothy Fitz was one of the earliest proponents, publishing stories of their success over at IMVU last year. One of the greatest benefits to continually pushing your changes to production is that it takes less time and effort to find […]

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WebHook Notifications

This week we added support for webhook notifications in Circonus. For those that are unsure what a webhook is, its simply an HTTP POST with all the information about an alert you would normally get via email, XMPP or AIM. Webhooks can be added to any contact group. Unlike other methods, you can’t add one […]

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Monitoring for Agile Operations

One of the big announcements for us at Velocity 2010 last week was the formal release of our Management API. Designed as a RESTful service, the Circonus API was designed to allow users to programmatically adjust monitors and alerts as their architecture evolves. Currently it supports all basic functionality for managing Checks, Metrics, Contacts and Contact […]

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Good Times in Charm City

It’s been a while since I had time to enjoy the technical conference scene. Thanks to my involvement with Circonus, I have plenty of action scheduled between RailsConf, Velocity and the Surge Scalability Conference. We attended RailsConf in Baltimore a couple weeks ago and had a great time. Circonus had an exhibition booth and we […]

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Circonus at Velocity 2010

Hot on the heels of our RailsConf ticket giveaway, we have another contest for a free pass to Velocity 2010! I’m really excited to attend this year’s Velocity. It’s the Web Performance event to attend, and a great place to see the sharpest whips in the industry. Like before, the rules of this giveaway are […]

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Circonus at RailsConf 2010

We’re anxious to meet and greet everyone at RailsConf next month in Baltimore. This will be our first conference appearance since the production launch. Some of our customers, including 37signals, will be visiting Charm City for this big event. I’m excited to see so many talented Web developers and operations folk in one conference. Having […]

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Your Visitors Don’t Matter

Consider me old-fashioned, but I remember a time when an alert notification meant something. Drives failed, servers ran short on memory, or a cage monkey pulled the wrong cable at 3 A.M. Regardless of the circumstance, it demanded attention. Those were the days. Today, operations is all about doing more with less. No more dedicated […]

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Disrupting the Status Quo

As a hobbyist programmer and full-time operations geek, I’ve been involved in my share of odd software projects. More often than not I’ve had to explain the purpose of the thing, answering numerous questions about the why, what or whowuzzit. I can say without any reservation that Circonus is that rare venture that breaks through […]

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Introducing Circonus

Great ideas always begin with a catalyst. They can ignite in a flash of brilliance, or grow slowly like an ember hidden in the ashes of failure. Inspiration comes from different places, and is only ever cultivated into success with the right combination of talent, timing and fortitude.

And sometimes it just happens because you get fed up with inferior products.

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