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Amon - server monitoring, simplified logging and error tracking for web apps (amon.cx)
168 points by ajaxaddicted on Feb 20, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

Why is the trend today towards installations like this?

curl install.amon.cx | bash

I'm looking at you, rvm, npm et al. Yeah, I'd just love you to poop files randomly into my filesystem, with no tracking, and a completely non-standard uninstall process (if I'm lucky enough to have one at all).

We evolved package management for a reason - I know it's a pain to have to make a .deb, a .rpm and a .tar.gz - but is it really that much more work than making an entirely custom install script?

This, along with the dependencies (I don't like having to install MongoDB just for this), is the reason I don't want to try this.

I could probably deal with the installation, although I hate installing all those daemons and init scripts myself, but installing Mongo just for one thing, gah. Too bad there isn't an embedded version of Mongo, and my own goatfish[1] is still far from mature.

[1] https://github.com/stochastic-technologies/goatfish

I commend you for making something that isn't SaaS -- it seems to be rare to have one-off payments now, so this makes it more attractive.

Also, it seems that your demo (http://live.amon.cx:2464/) is down, which is a pity as I'd obviously like to try it before installing.

EDIT: And local monitoring is a big plus, too.

Amon was discussed two months [0] and two weeks [1] ago.

[0] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3313991 [1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3555916

Amon Plus didn't exist at that time.

It looks like a great project. Some features I would like to see:

* Alerts via SMS (possibly by integrating Twilio / Tropo).

* API via zeromq instead of HTTP. Async logging via workers. This could become handy if you log lots of things. It would also prevent logging to become the bottleneck of my applications.

Anyone done a comparison as to why I'd want a simplified tool like this vs. a more extendable tool like Zabbix or Nagios?

Yes, I realize that those and this probably don't perfectly overlap.

This seems really interesting and I really like that the data would stay inside my firewall. Any comparisons to New Relic? Looks like ease of installation would be similar (except for setting up Mongo), but that it doesn't collect quite the same amount of data (yet).

Why would I prefer this over a well-configured monit? http://mmonit.com/monit/

Amon appears to have a slightly different goal set than Monit. Monit is more of a "Is this process running and ok?" tool for keeping processes running as expected. Amon seems a bit more like Munin.

Monit is a bit more than that. You can also use Monit to check remote hosts. Not only can it check http, but ftp, ssh smtp and more. You can use Monit to test your web-application via the HTTP protocol (404 or 50x) and use regex to check if certain content exist (or not) on a web-page. Monit is free, open source and does alerts for free.

Thanks for the clarification, but my intent wasn't to describe the full feature set of Monit. All those things you described are still limited to the scope of "is X running?" type questions. Can Monit graph time series data?

EDIT: My point isn't that Amon is "better" than Monit, only that it's different. There is some overlap in feature set, but ultimately, the tools have different goals.

Please change the spelling of "straightfrorward" to "straightforward" on your home page.

Fixed. Thank you

It looks like it isn't possible to add multiple user accounts (in the free version). I tried browsing to /create_user myself to add a second account, but I get redirected to the /login page

Is that something that comes with the Plus version ?

That's something I've been working on for some time, but it's not ready for public release. As I see it - Amon Plus will have a fully featured ACL in a week.

Besides the fuzzy feeling of helping a open source project with comercial endeavors, how does it compare to services like Server Density, Nagios, Monit, etc?

I'm looking at replacing Munin with Amon. We used to use a pay-per-month monitoring service, but I find the setup and maintenance of many services to be equal to the headache of maintaining something like Munin.

The most obvious difference is that Amon runs on your hardware, so the data stays with you. The pricing model is fundamentally different than services like Server Density, New Relic, Scout, etc in that you pay per major version, rather than per-month.

Amon is currently pre-1.0, so it's hard to compare with a mature service like Server Density. They're (Amon) no where near feature parity with SD. Then again, SD will quickly cost you many times the licensing cost of Amon when you're monitoring multiple servers.

For me, the value judgement will have to wait. With services like Server Density you are (theoretically) offloading a lot of maintenance overhead to the SaaS provider. If Amon delivers on their "one line installer" promise, then it will at least have "effort parity" with many SaaS providers.

I have to wait because they're pre-1.0, so while their software is inexpensive and easy to use, there is a distinct lack of critical features. If I'm making the evaluation (whether to roll this in to production) today, I can't live without alerts, so Amon is out. Based on the way things are looking, I'd say that Amon has a bright future though. I might buy an early release, just to get up to speed on it.

Tangent: Where did you see that Amon is open source? I see that I can get access to the source by licensing it, but I don't see any mention of open source on the pages I viewed.

> I'm looking at replacing Munin with Amon

Amon Plus can monitor more than one machine.

Also, on the open source thing, it's closer to open-core. The single-server version is open, but, if you want to monitor more than one box, you'll need the Plus version, which, despite being distributed with source, is not, AFAIK, open.

Re. amon being open source: https://github.com/martinrusev/amon

As this is self hosted, it leaves you to deal with all the management of things like alert delivery (e.g. ensuring delivery of e-mails, working with SMS gateways) and data retention.

The MongoDB installation that Amon sets up is not in a replica set nor sharded, so it leaves you to deal with redundancy, failover and scaling. We use MongoDB for Server Density and I can tell you that managing huge quantities of data is not easy.

There's a typo on the Requirements page: http://amon.cx/plus/requirements/

Users are instructed to check their python version with `python -v`, but the correct command is `python -V` (uppercase).

Just bought this, it might not be to everyones taste and it seems to be an early version but its exactly what I want..

Found a few issues so far and the response time on support has been pretty quick, I hope development keeps up :)

Just wanted to let you know that in Internet Explorer 9 much of your page text is cut off. It seems to be positioned to the left of the browser so much of the text (mostly the code) is cut out.

It looks rather straight forward to add a custom appender for log4j ?

I couldn't find some comparison chart or anything that would tell me what extra features the pro version has.

The normal version can monitor only the server it's installed on. The Plus version has alerts and you can use it to monitor as many servers and apps as you like - there are no internal restrictions besides the memory of the VPS it's installed on. So if you want to monitor 10-15 servers - you will manage with a 128-256MB VPS, if you have more than that, all you have to do is to upgrade it to 512MB RAM or more.

So, is that something where the "central"/plus server polls the other servers that are running the normal Amon logger/monitor for their info then just displays it in one place?

It's the other way around. On the servers you install a 10KB agent that collects the data and sends it to the central instance

I think the main extra feature is the ability to monitor multiple servers in a single place.

Looks great. It's a shame your live demo is down though.

Any plans to get Solaris/SunOS support in the future?

No, only Linux at the moment. I am considering a FreeBSD support and probably Windows :)

Is application logging done via UDP?

It's only HTTP for now, but my plans are to extend it to support different transport protocols ( 0mq, UDP, TCP)

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