The Startup Stack

The Startup Stack

The Startup Stack

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Stats in the startup stack is provided by Graphite and Statsd.

Here's a very basic drawing explaining how this works. Each of the hosts on your stack has a collector, this collector only sends basic host specific stats to graphite. Those include CPU, Mem etc...

In your application, you can also send custom stats to Graphite.

Here's an example for Ruby(rails) stats collection.

ActiveSupport::Notifications.subscribe(/process_action.action_controller/) do |*args|
   event      =*args)
   controller = event.payload[:controller]
   action     = event.payload[:action]
   format     = event.payload[:format] || "all"
   format     = "all" if format == "*/*"
   status     = event.payload[:status]
   key        = "#{controller}.#{action}.#{format}"

   ActiveSupport::Notifications.instrument :performance,
                                           :measurement => "action_controller.#{status}"

   ActiveSupport::Notifications.instrument :performance,
                                           :action => :timing,
                                           :measurement => "#{key}.total_duration",
                                           :value => event.duration
   ActiveSupport::Notifications.instrument :performance,
                                           :action => :timing,
                                           :measurement => "#{key}.db_time",
                                           :value => event.payload[:db_runtime]
   ActiveSupport::Notifications.instrument :performance,
                                           :action => :timing,
                                           :measurement => "#{key}.view_time",
                                           :value => event.payload[:view_runtime]
   ActiveSupport::Notifications.instrument :performance,
                                           :measurement => "#{key}.status.#{status}"

 ActiveSupport::Notifications.subscribe(/performance/) do |name, start, finish, id, payload|
   StatsdIntegration.send_event_to_statsd(name, payload)

 ActiveSupport::Notifications.subscribe("sql.active_record") do |name, start, finish, id, payload|
   if payload[:sql] =~ /^\s*(SELECT|DELETE|INSERT|UPDATE) /
     method = $1.downcase
     table  = nil

     # Determine the table name for instrumentation. The below regexes work on
     # mysql but not sqlite. Probably won't work on postgresql either.
     case method
     when "select", "delete"
       table = $1 if payload[:sql] =~ / FROM `(\w+)`/
     when "insert"
       table = $1 if payload[:sql] =~ /^\s*INSERT INTO `(\w+)`/
     when "update"
       table = $1 if payload[:sql] =~ /^\s*UPDATE `(\w+)`/

     if table
       $statsd.timing("#{Rails.env.to_s}.active_record.#{table}.#{method}.query_time", (finish - start) * 1000, 1)


You will need to create a databag for the graphite credentials

bin/knife data bag create graphite credentials

This should look something like this

  "name": "data_bag_item_graphite_credentials",
  "json_class": "Chef::DataBagItem",
  "chef_type": "data_bag_item",
  "data_bag": "graphite",
  "raw_data": {
    "id": "credentials",
    "user": "YOUR_GRAPHITE_USER",
    "password": "YOUR_GRAPHITE_PASSWORD"

The user and password attributes will be used for the web basic auth.

The stats recipe


Default recipe installs graphite on a dedicated machine along with a mounted Raid volume that will give you enough space to grow.



password is the web password for accessing graphite, you obviously want to change that to something that fits your password policy. url is the URL for graphite to send stats to and to listen on, you would want to change it to the stats hostname eg: storage_dir where would you want the files to exists (Graphite files). If you chage this make sure the mount is changed as well.


Location of the database, email and UDP listener settings. The default for the database is the storage, UDP listener is on by default and email you should give your Devops/IT guy/gal's email.


These settings are for the source location and the version. Only change them if you know what you are looking for exactly and where to find the version.


Web Basic Auth settings. By default these come from a databag you will need to create (Check the Requirements section of this doc)

Adding a server

Navigate to terraform/base and execute the following commands

$ export MY_IP=`curl -s | sed -e "s/.*Current IP Address://" -e "s/<.*$//"`">`
$ terraform plan -var key_name=production -var your_ip_address=$MY_IP -target=aws_instance.stats

Make sure the plan looks good and there are nothing obviously wrong with it

Once you apply the change, it will create the server and output the public IP, so lets do that now and create a stats server.

terraform apply -var key_name=production -var your_ip_address=$MY_IP -target=aws_instance.stats

This will output a public IP for the stats server, now we can bootstrap our logger with chef.

$ bin/knife bootstrap $SERVER_IP -r "role[base],role[stats]" -E production -x ubuntu --sudo

Congrats! You have a running server, you can already start shipping stats to this server, the firewall rules are preconfigured and everything runs smoothly.

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