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A 5-point Rails app performance audit

BY Doug Breaker

Before we talk performance, lets talk entropy. Entropy usually refers to the idea that everything in the universe eventually moves from order to disorder, and entropy is the measurement of that change. Like entropy, the performance of a Rails app will trend toward disorder . An N+1 database query here, ...

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Rails Performance and the root of all evil

BY Doug Breaker

Donald Knuth wrote an often quoted paper in the 70s which is still referenced when talking about performance in web apps today. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. In my line of work, it is sometimes invoked as a sort of apology; an excuse for why more time ...

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A Six-Pronged Rails Performance Philosophy

BY Doug Breaker

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."• Benjamin Franklin Application performance problems can be annoying. With luck, you'll spend an hour or two resolving the problem and get back to your real job: building things. But what happens when the issues start piling up? What happens ...

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Monitor a Django app with Scout

BY Doug Breaker

In this post, I'll show how to setup Scout to monitor the performance of SQL queries, external HTTP calls, template rendering, and more in Wagtail , a Django CMS app. Wagtail is a fast, modern opensource content management system built on Django. Used at NASA, Google, MIT, and more, it's ...

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Scout's top-secret 4-point observability plan

BY Doug Breaker

Observability: the degree to which you can ask new questions of your system without having to ship new code or gather new data. Above is my slightly modified definition of observability, mostly stolen from Charity Majors in Observability: A Manifesto . Observability is increasingly important . Modern apps and services ...

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Understanding Disk I/O - when should you be worried?

BY Derek Haynes

Our co-author today is Christian Paredes , Senior System Administrator at Blue Box Group , a Ruby on Rails-focused web host that specializes in providing the operations expertise required to keep powerful apps running at peak performance. Christian keeps Blue Box Group’s internal infrastructure in top-shape and provides tier 3 ...

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Coming Soon: your Rails app performance trends & outliers, via email

BY Doug Breaker

I follow a simple rule before configuring a monitoring alert: if I receive this alert at 3am, will I act on it? If not, it shouldn't be an alert. Few performance-related alerts meet this criteria. For example, if our app is running 25% slower, it's not worth a hasty 3am ...

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Is your Django app slow? Think like a data scientist, not an engineer

BY Derek Haynes

I'm an engineer by trade. I rely on intuition when investigating a slow Django app. I've solved a lot of performance issues over the years and the short cuts my brain takes often work. However, intuition can fail. It can fail hard in complex Django apps with many layers (ex: ...

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Part I: How not to structure your database-backed web apps

BY Doug Breaker

Most scientific papers are unlikely to change your day-to-day approach as a Rails web developer. How not to structure your database-backed web applications: a study of performance bugs in the wild Yang et al., ICSE'18 is the exception to that rule. This study examined 12 popular, mature, opensource Rails apps ...

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New Relic vs. Scout: which is right for you?

BY Doug Breaker

There's no type of monitoring tool that can get to the heart of a performance problem faster than Application Performance Management (APM). If you're making this decision, you may be choosing between New Relic and Scout . There are cases where New Relic is a better fit, clear cases where ...

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