17 July, 2017
Watchdog’s Out-of-the-Box Alerts Notify Lucid Software Engineer of Abnormality His Company’s Paid Enterprise Tools Didn’t Catch Automatically
David Torgerson, staff engineer and head of DevOps at Lucid Software (maker of cloud-based Lucidchart and Lucidpress), was running his usual Jenkins workflow like he has hundreds of times before. After all, he knows that testing can prevent problems from escalating in production servers and eventually affecting customers.
What he didn’t know was that Watchdog’s powerful, zero-config alerts would notify him of an abnormality that the company’s paid enterprise software had been missing all along. After he had installed Blue Matador’s Watchdog system vitals monitor, Torgerson was surprised about the prompt email alert he received.
“Watchdog warned me there was a disk space usage rate anomaly due to load tests,” Torgerson said. “My testing environment sat idle, then Jenkins started our script to test building in our environment, introducing more traffic which manifests as an increase in context switches.”
Watchdog Alerts are Automatically Configured Out of the Box
Although the Watchdog notification Torgerson received was not indicative of a problem in normal operations this time, the alert was demonstrative of Watchdog’s ability to catch untrained abnormalities. After receiving Watchdog’s alert, he immediately looked to his logging tool to discover the issue on his load-balancing cluster.
Lucid did not have alerts set up around rate changes or related spikes. In fact, Torgerson said he wasn’t even aware he should be monitoring that scenario. In retrospect, Torgerson now knows the anomalies Watchdog alerted on could cause problems down the line if experienced in production.
“I was completely blind to it,” he said. “But now I know it’s a great indicator of potential errors over time. My hope is I can put Watchdog on all systems and just get notified in my monitoring tools without even setting up any alerts.”
Torgerson said he knows that if it were to happen again, “Watchdog would cover us.”
“The alert increased my faith that Watchdog wasn’t going to be super spammy or lead to alert fatigue for my team,” Torgerson said. “Even though I had spent hours configuring the other data monitoring tool, I was completely confident Watchdog could alert me about issues I hadn’t even thought about setting up.”
Torgerson said that he has a lot of certainty that Watchdog will provide value to Lucid Software’s DevOps team. He was even more impressed that Watchdog could do that at no cost whatsoever to the company since Watchdog was completely free to install and use, making a proof of concept (POC) “incredibly easy” for the team, he said.
The Free System Vitals Monitor
Watchdog is the free system vitals monitor that guards your systems by proactively alerting you of hardware anomalies. Offered as “free forever” software that doesn’t require a credit card or prior approval to create an account, Watchdog offers comprehensive hardware notifications like CPU overload, ulimit errors, swap space issues, and more. As part of the Blue Matador DevOps monitoring platform, Watchdog shares the same smart agent as Lumberjack, the AI-powered centralized log management tool.
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