Feature flags are great and serve us in so many ways. However, we do not love long-lived feature flags. They lead to more complicated code, and when we inevitably default them to be true for all our users, they lead to unused sections of code. In other words, tech debt. How do we stay on top of this? Find out how Honeycomb’s trigger alerts proactively tell you to go ahead and clean up that feature flag tech debt!
(This is the first post by our new head of Customer Success, Irving.) Sampling is a must for applications at scale; it’s a technique for reducing the burden on your infrastructure and telemetry systems by only keeping data on a statistical sample of requests rather than 100% of requests. Large systems may produce large volumes of similar requests which can be de-duplicated.
We’re big fans of AWS Lambda at Honeycomb. As you may have read, we recently made some major improvements to our storage engine by leveraging Lambda to process more data in less time. Making a change to a complex system like our storage engine is daunting, but can be made less so with good instrumentation and tracing. For this project, that meant getting instrumentation out of Lambda and into Honeycomb.
Honeycomb now offers SLOs, aka Service Level Objectives. This is the second in a set of of essays on creating SLOs from first principles. Previously, in this series, we created a derived column to show how a back-end service was doing. That column categorized every incoming event as passing, failing, or irrelevant. We then counted up the column over time to see how many events passed and failed. But we had a problem: we were doing far too much math ourselves.
Once again we are at the end of another year, facing into the endless potential of the next one, and thinking back on the fun and hard work behind us. Join me now in a review of some of our achievements and amusements, features and funtimes, shout-outs and selfies–and we’ll be back to do it all again in another 12 months.
A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of hosting CJ Silverio, Principal Engineer, and Ben Gardella, Manger of Infrastructure from Eaze for a clue- and cackling-filled webcast interview.
When we introduced Secondary Storage two years ago, it was a deliberate compromise between economy and performance. Compared to Honeycomb’s primary NVMe storage attached to dedicated servers, secondary storage let customers keep more data for less money. They could query over longer time ranges, but with a substantial performance penalty; queries which used secondary storage took many times longer to run than those which didn’t.
It’s that season, when we take time to consider what we’re grateful for and extend thanks to those we value and the experiences we treasure. One special aspect of America’s Thanksgiving holiday is the inclusiveness of celebrating across all communities and simply sharing, taking time to enjoy the fruits of the land. Giving thanks in late November can bring some fulfillment, but it should also be a reminder that we need to practice gratitude more regularly.
As a human who entered this space via marketing, I often turn to my teammates for context. I recently asked the hive, why do we like Monitorama so much?