Papertrail Blog

The revolution will be verbosely {,b}logged

Troubleshooting Common Ruby on Rails Errors in Production

Posted by Sebastian Scholl on

Once a new Rails app or a new feature for an existing app is “ready”—meaning that everything works as expected locally and all tests pass—it is moved to production, which brings a new set of problems. In this article, we’re going to explore a number of common issues that new Rails developers might face when deploying and running their apps in production, that result in server errors, missing resources, and even timeouts.

One of the greatest advantages of Ruby on Rails (RoR) is its focus on convention over configuration. RoR convention allows programmers—willing to play by the rule book—to develop a Rails application in significantly less time than other frameworks, as well as with significantly less code. How? Well, by lowering the number of decisions a programmer must make when building out their application.

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Monitoring Java Application Logs with SolarWinds Papertrail

Posted by Jason Skowronski on

Logging is the process of recording messages during the execution of a program, typically for troubleshooting operational problems or software bugs. Logs save valuable hours for both the support team and the developers by giving them contextual information to determine the cause of problems and how to fix them.

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Monitoring Site Availability Using Synthetic Transactions

Posted by Andre Newman on

One of the biggest challenges organizations face when operating web applications is monitoring the availability of complex transactions that involve multiple steps. Developers and testers are often left manually stepping through their applications in the hopes of reproducing problems and replicating the complex nature of user experience. What they really need is a way to simulate real user activity independent of any actual users.

In this article, we’ll explain how to create and monitor web applications using synthetic transactions. We’ll show you how to simulate traffic to a web application, how to record each action using transaction monitoring software, and how logs provide important context to user activity.

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Monitoring Dokku Container Logs with SolarWinds Papertrail

Posted by Papertrail Team on

If you are looking for a Docker-enabled PaaS, but want to run it on your own infrastructure, Dokku might be a great option to consider. It is basically lightweight open source software that runs on your server. Dokku simplifies deployment by handling the movement of source code, containerization of sites, assignments of domains, builds, SSL certs, and more—just like a cloud-based PaaS. 

Dokku apps are restricted to a single host. When you don’t have enormous scaling needs, Dokku might be a great option. Prototyping, for example, is perfect for Dokku.  You can quickly pull a prototype together and get it out to users for feedback, frequently in the same day. It lets DevOps teams spend more time designing and building projects and less time fiddling with server configurations and deployment issues.

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How to “Live Tail” Kubernetes Logs

Posted by Andre Newman on

DevOps engineers wishing to troubleshoot Kubernetes applications can turn to log messages to pinpoint the cause of errors and their impact on the rest of the cluster. When troubleshooting a running application, engineers need real-time access to logs generated across multiple components.

Collecting live streaming log data lets engineers:

  • Review container and pod activity
  • Monitor the result of actions, such as creating or modifying a deployment
  • Understand the interactions between containers, pods, and Kubernetes
  • Monitor ingress resources and requests
  • Troubleshoot errors and watch for new or recurring problems
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Monitor System Security with Auditd and Papertrail

Posted by Bryan Bird on

When it comes to managing risk and ensuring the safety of the data within your network, auditing and managing log data is one of the most important components of any monitoring solution. Keeping detailed records of user activities or changes on your critical systems helps you understand what is occurring within your environment and detect real-time risks.

This tutorial will demonstrate deploying Auditd on a standard web server to monitor user logins, modifications to the /etc/passwd file, and changes to any file in the webserver directory. We’ll setup Auditd monitoring and then use a vulnerability testing tool called Metasploit to trigger a warning. We’ll also show you how to use SolarWinds® Papertrail to notify you of critical system file or directory changes.

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Common API Vulnerabilities and How to Secure Them

Posted by Jason Skowronski on

Application programming interfaces (APIs) have become a critical part of almost every business. APIs are responsible for transferring information between systems within a company or to external companies. For example, when you log in to a website like Google or Facebook, an API processes your login credentials to verify they are correct.

However, given the sensitive data being transferred through APIs, it’s critical to secure them. Increasingly sophisticated attacks occur every year, requiring better security controls and monitoring. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the vulnerabilities of APIs, which hackers can take advantage of, and we’ll show you how to secure them. We’ll also show you how to monitor APIs and receive security alerts through SolarWinds® Papertrail.

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Send Apache access logs to remote syslog in 1 line

Posted by Troy Davis on

Papertrail supports the remote syslog protocol, so it accepts Web server access logs from rsyslog, syslog-ng, the tiny remote_syslog log file to remote syslog daemon, and other senders.

In that “other senders” category, here’s an elegant hack to have Apache transmit access logs directly to a remote syslog server, using a one-line httpd.conf change.

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How to Log Amazon Alexa Apps and Improve User Experience

Posted by Rj Pikus on

Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice service and brain behind millions of devices including the Echo family of devices. It is capable of voice interaction, controlling smart devices, and performing common and basic mobile tasks such as music playback, making lists, and purchasing items. It is the interface for consumer automated home systems and an operating system for the Internet of Things. The majority of millennial consumers (71%) report using voice assistants daily, while 46% report interacting five times or more.

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Improve Live Ops for Games Using Papertrail

Posted by Jacob Schieck on

Live Ops is an ever-increasing practice in the gaming world. Games today often include multiplayer competition, events, the ability to trade items, and more. These require backend services and a platform team to set up and manage those services. They also require customer support to interact with players who experience issues and to make adjustments as needed. All these pieces need to be working flawlessly to deliver a good experience and retain players whom you worked hard to get.

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