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23Jun/081

The Velocity 2008 Conference Experience – Part III

In the afternoon, we move into full session mode.  There's two tracks, and I can only cover one, but that's what I have Peco and Robert around for!  Well, that and to have someone to outdrink.  (Ooo burn!)  They'll be posting their writeups at some point as well - you can go to the Velocity schedule page to see the other sessions and to the presentations page to get slides where they exist.

First afternoon session: My panel! I am on the "Measuring Performance" panel with Steve Souders, Ryan Breen of Gomez, Bill Scott of Netflix, and Scott Ruthfield from whitepages.com (a fellow Rice U/Lovetteer!) It went well. We talked about end user performance monitoring, all the other kinds of tools you can use and their drawbacks, and about "newfangled" monitoring of perf w/AJAX, SOA, RIAs, etc.  No questions; not sure if the audience liked it or not.  But I did get a number of people saying "good work" later so I'll declare victory. 🙂

"Actionable Logging for Smoother Operation and Faster Recovery," by Mandi Walls of AOL. It's a quick 30 minute session. Logging should be actionable - concise, express symptoms. Anything logged is something fixable. It should be giving you less downtime - shorter time to resolution. Logging takes resources, so make it worth it.

Filter down your logs to be concise and actionable. Production logging has different goals from dev/QA logging. You're looking for problem diagnosis and recovery, and then statistics and monitoring. Insight into what the app's doing.

You need a standard log file location. On our UNIX servers, the UNIX team gives us "/opt/apps" as the place where we can put stuff and gets cranky about any files outside of that. We make everyone log to one place - /opt/apps/logs/<appname> for this reason. Makes it easy to manage disk space, rotate logs, run "find"s, etc.