A couple of months ago, my monitoring team, including my manager, attended the Monitorama PDX 2014 conference.
The conference started out slowly, but turned out to be quite useful in shaping the group's mindset about monitoring. Many important principles were discussed at length during the conference's 3 days.
Stepping away from the running system and thinking about the space with the broader perspective was hugely helpful. In researching the space after the conference, I ran across this brilliant USENIX LISA conference presentation by Caskey Dickson. This presentation helped us to take what we had learned at Monitorama and frame that into manageable portions of work.
My manager and I spent the next several weeks putting together a conceptual framework that covers various aspects of monitoring, many of which were addressed in the conference. The framework is based around Caskey's monitoring components diagram, but, of course, is customized for our environment.
Then, of course, the day job caught up with us, and we found ourselves spending June and part of July finishing a number of projects to consolidate and stabilize our current environment. After all, we have an ongoing monitoring job to do, so we have to replace the jet's engines while still in flight -- no ignoring running systems while we go and build a new one.
One of the more interesting take-aways from the conference was this: one of the most valuable thing we got from the conference was moving the members of our team closer together in our understanding of the problem space and various aspects of possible solutions to current problems. This is absolutely huge in almost ever way measurable for us.
Outside of the conference, we made a couple of evening trips to beautiful areas. I finally got around to dealing with those photos. Here are some of those.
Russel is a mid-career IT guy with an academic interest in log and data analysis, a professional interest in monitoring and management systems and programming languages, and personal interests in family, photography, reading, and the outdoors.