Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Making statsd talk directly to a browser

    StatsD is "A network daemon that runs on the Node.js platform and listens for statistics, like counters and timers, sent over UDP and sends aggregates to one or more pluggable backend services"

    I've previously mentioned StatsD in Your startup needs a dashboard over at Zemanta's fruitblog.

    The idea behind StatsD is this:

    1. Stuff happens
    2. Send metrics of "stuff" to a central service (StatsD)
    3. StatsD acts as a buffer, forwards aggregated metrics every X seconds

    Your architecture now has a central service that collects all of your metrics, then pushes them to appropriate software, that doesn't need to handle too much traffic and is guaranteed data will come from a single source in a sanitized format.

    A software architect's dream

    Straight from the browser?

    Collecting data into StatsD works wonderfully. It's fast, reliable, extremely robust and you can give it just about any data you can think of.

    Unless your client is a browser.

    See, StatsD only accepts UDP packets and browsers don't let you send UDP packets. There's a valid excuse for this - it doesn't matter if some packets are lost, as long as whatever you're measuring isn't slowed down by the measuring.

    To solve this I created a simple proxy in node.js. It accepts normal HTTP requests and pushes data onward to StatsD. The simplicity, I hope, ensures speed.

    The API is a simple tracking pixel:

    <img src="http://<address>?t=<type>&v=<value>&b=<bucket>" />

    Where type is one of c (counter), t (timer), g (gauge). As per StatsD naming convention. And bucket is simply the name of your metric.

    The source is on github. Feel free to use it.

    Straight to the browser

    Ok, so now we can collect data from the browser ... but I want to send it directly to a browser as well. None of that Graphite stuff - I want to use some other fancy graphs and visualisations. Just because.

    To solve this problem I implemented a socket.io backend for StatsD. It, also, can be found on github -> https://github.com/etsy/statsd/pull/102

    Hope the pull request gets merged soon, or at all for that matter. I really think this is a useful addition to StatsD because it means you can use whatever client-side javascript to do visualisations. In near real-time and all that.

    The data is sent over in a simple format:

    {perSecond: {bucket1: 0.2,
    bucket2: 0.1
    counts: {bucket1: 2,
    bucket2: 1
    timers: {timer1: {upper: 2.4,
    lower: 1.2,
    count: 10}
    gauges: {gauge1: 10
    statsd: {numStats: 6},
    timestamp: <unix timestamp="">}

    The goal?

    If all goes well, I will soon be able to use cubism.js to draw a pretty timeseries of the traffic on this blog. And hey, who knows what else I can think of to add to a personal dashboard of my life ... I now have the basic framework. Time to start using it.

    Cubism.js makes shiny timeseries

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on June 15th, 2012 in Uncategorized

    Learned something new?
    Want to become an expert?

    Here's how it works 👇

    Leave your email and I'll send you thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

    Join Swizec's Newsletter

    And get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.

    "Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

    ~ Ashish Kumar

    Join over 14,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

    Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

    Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created by Swizec with ❤️