Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring – Oreilly

Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring by author Sam Newman and published by Oreilly is a short book that provides a snapshot of the various Open Source light weight real time system monitoring tools available out there. This free ebook from Oreilly makes for quick reading and is in a way meant to be an introduction to the world of Open Source light weight real time system monitoring. Author Sam Newman has done an excellent job putting together a view of the various open source tools and frameworks in an easy to understand manner. Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring starts by talking about the challenges with traditional monitoring tools and how capturing of application and infrastructure performance metrics has become a siloed operation separated from capture and analysis of business related performance metrics i.e. transactions processed, orders processed, etc.

Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring is written to for the average systems administrator, developer, performance engineer and does not require understanding of detailed open source monitoring technical concepts to get through. The book focuses on the various light weight real time options available out there and how these options could be bolted together to design a unified architecture that could be used for real time monitoring of your business systems. Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring  does not go into technical implementations or detailed technical considerations for different applications or systems but rather is an introduction to the various options helping the reader understand what’s available out there and how one might proceed with building a light weight real time monitoring systems using open source building blocks.

The various sections of the book are –lightweight_systems_for_realtime_monitoring

  • Operations and Business – One World Divided
  • Graphite
  • Logstash
  • StatsD
  • Riemann
  • Resiliency
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Getting Data In
  • Small and perfectly formed
  • A Confusing landscape
  • Reaching your audience
  • Conclusion

Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring is an excellent introduction to the world of light weight real time systems monitoring using open source building blocks. By the time you have finished reading this book you would have had a great understanding of the various open source building blocks available out there and the challenges you are potentially going to have to deal with. As we mentioned earlier Lightweight Systems for Realtime Monitoring  does not go into technical design, architecture or implementation of any of these frameworks and for all intents and purposes provides the reader a view into the options out there with regards to light weight real time systems monitoring using open source building blocks.

The short book takes 30mins to read and is worth the investment if you are a performance engineer and constantly keep finding the need to help customers with setting up monitoring tools to capture relevant performance metrics. Sam has written the book with a focus on a few tools which has both it’s advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you  as a reader, are ready to start exploring based on what the author has put together while the unfortunate downside to that is that your perception of what works and is available out there is skewed by the few frameworks you think are the only ones best for the  job.

The book is available for free and can be downloaded from here.

Sam Newman is a technologist at ThoughtWorks, where he currently splits his time between encouraging and sharing innovation globally and helping design and build their internal systems. He has worked with a variety of companies in multiple domains around the world, often with one foot in the developer world and another in the IT operations space. If you asked him what he does, he’d say, “I work with people to build better software systems.” He has written articles, presented at conferences, and sporadically commits to open source projects. He is currently writing a book on building Microservices, which should be available from O’Reilly in the fall of 2014.


Trevor Warren (Linked In) sees himself as a entrepreneur who focuses on building innovative solutions that have the potential to impact people’s lives in a positive manner. Trevor is inquisitive by nature, loves asking questions and sotrevor_warrenmetimes does get into trouble for doing so. He’s passionate about somethings in life and building solutions that have the ability to impact people’s lives in a positive manner is one of them. He believes that he can change the world and is doing the little he can to change it in his own little ways. When not hacking, building new products, writing content for Practical Performance Analyst, dreaming up new concepts or building castles in the air, you can catch-him bird spotting (watching planes fly above his house). You can reach trevor at –  trevor at practical performance analyst dot com. The views expressed on this web site are his own.

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