Written by Luther Rochester on 15:16 reading time

A while back I wrote about integrating our Windows systems and SQL Server into our Nagios implementation. These days we’re looking to replace Nagios (and Ganglia) with Prometheus for metrics collection, monitoring, and alerting.

While exporters already exist for most of our Linux systems, it seems like not too many people are integrating their Windows metrics yet. There look to be two primary exporters as of this writing: a WMI exporter, and a package called Sonar that can export both WMI and Windows Performance Monitor counters. I chose to implement Sonar because we were already using several Windows perfmon counters that can’t be duplicated with WMI, including custom SQL Server counters, and I appreciate the flexibility of being able to use either metric type. I found the maintainers of Sonar to be helpful and responsive when I had questions. It also seems to have nice Docker integration capabilities that we aren’t using (yet) but have potential.

We’re using Grafana to visualize...

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Written by Luther Rochester on 05:51 reading time

As we’ve moved increasing portions of our infrastructure to AWS, we’ve found more use cases for stashing things in s3 that we used to use traditional backup software to store. We keep our SSIS code in version control (currently TFS, grumble grumble), but we aren’t storing a copy of each database object definiton there. Recently we undertook setting up a job that would script out each object’s DDL and store it in an s3 bucket. We’re already doing this for our Postgres servers using pg_dump; we found a great little Python app called mssql-scripter that works similarly to script out the objects for us. This runs in a batch script, along with an aws-cli command to upload the resulting files. The batch script is then called from a SQL Agent job and run on a schedule. The AWS bucket has a lifecycle policy to handle retention for us.

You’ll need a few tools

The server that will run the code will need a few things installed on it. It’s easiest if you use the same server that SQL Agent...

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Written by Dan Fuchs on 15:32 reading time

Ansible inventory management is generally very simple and intuitive, but there are some infrastructure configurations that are difficult to express and configure with the built-in inventory and configuration variable functionality. Specifically, it is difficult to configure lists of a certain resource type (like users) across machines that are in different but overlapping groups (like QA environments overlapping with datacenters).

These situations are certainly possible to manage in Ansible, but we at Leapfrog wrote an Ansible plugin that offers a different way of declaring variables that we think can sometimes be more clear. That plugin is available here:


What follows is a detailed description of these hairy situations and how this plugin addresses them.


Before we start, this article assumes that you have a working knowledge of using Ansible to provision infrastructure, specifically, the inventory and how variables...

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Written by Hillary Truty on 04:56 reading time

When you are new to Scrum, it’s easy to focus on the concept of finishing everything you have committed to within an iteration. Because when the process instructs that you write user stories of manageable size and deliver small increments of functionality, it’s unsatisfying when the work is not done by the Sprint Review or the next Planning session, right? That is how we define carryover – work that was not done in the sprint but is still valuable, so the story needs to be carried into the next sprint for completion.

Let’s be honest. It’s not just people who are new to Scrum who feel this way. It’s veterans, too. Carryover tends to create uncertainty because it doesn’t seem to fit cleanly into the Scrum framework. But what we are learning is that carryover is as much a part of Scrum as the Daily Stand (if it weren’t, would it have ever received a name?). There are a number of reasons that carryover can happen, these are just a few we witness at Leapfrog:

  1. We under-estimated the story...
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Written by Lou Dagostino on 17:19 reading time

All software has bugs. From Microsoft Office to joeschmoe.com. Bugs are a reality. And a major part of representing a product is being a first line of defense against “bugs.” If users are allowed to, they will go and tell a developer every time they think they’ve found a bug. That’s the fastest way to a resolution. If what has been found is indeed a bug, the fastest way to fix it is to have someone who writes code be aware of it and write code to fix it. And in a perfect world, where users were wildly competent at diagnosing a system, this behavior might be okay. But this is not a perfect world. And it isn’t fair to assume that someone who casually uses software is going to know the ins and outs of each piece of functionality. And if every user had access to developers, nothing would ever get done. So if it’s your responsibility to own a product, it’s your responsibility to be the first responder to “bugs.”

The first and most important thing to establish here, is you need users and...

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