New Relic to the rescue!

Update

I made a speculation about New Relic which was refuted (politely) on Twitter. I just wanted to set the record straight :)

Great success story by @iamsteadman on our free plan. To clarify we will NEVER sell ANY customer data to ANYONE. http://t.co/l3O8zat61r

— Lew Cirne (@sweetlew) November 18, 2013

As Nymbol slowly gains more traction and my personal server groans under the weight of my flights-of-fancy, I gathered it was about time I got my monitoring shit together.

I'd heard of a thing called New Relic but couldn't remember what it was, and was convinced that whatever it did it was overpriced. But when searching for server monitoring solutions it was the first one that caught my eye, and to my wide-eyed surprise I discovered I could use it for free.

It was ridiculously easy to install for the Django sites I host on my two servers. Each application can be monitored separately, but I can also see how the servers are doing overall. IT's already helped me fix memory leaks, overcome speedbumps and more importantly gin a much better understanding of how my machinery works, so that the next time there's an outage, I'll be more likely to know whether it was down to my host or - more likely - a loose bit of code rattling around somewhere.

So you can consider this a recommendation. I reckon we'll be using it at Substrakt soon, as although our hosting partners have given us near-100% uptime, it's always good to gauge the health of your servers, when those boxes are your livelihood.

So, check them out. Their paid plans are very expensive but you probably won't need them. If a server goes down you probably won't need more than 24 hours of data retention - which is what you get for free - and there's so much great documentation available that you shouldn't need their support.

My guess is that server data is being sold on to third parties, but I haven't checked this. That's the only reason I can imagine for why so much is available for free and why there's such a jump between that and the paid account. This doesn't bother me particularly, but it might be worth looking into T&Cs if you're worried. Like I say, that's pure speculation on my part; I'm just trying to figure out the catch.