Monitoring Library base on metrics
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What is this ?

Drone is a monitoring library designed to collect data from your application and export them to virtually any monitoring tool. Its core is heavily based on the impressive works of Coda Hale on the metrics java library.

A fully working example is included in examples/simple, to run it (I suppose you already cloned the repository and have a prompt at the root of it):

gem install bundler
ruby examples/simple.rb

The example will output the collected statistics directly on the console every second.

Supported Runtimes

  • MRI 1.9.2+


  • Most of the features I wanted in are (see below for usage examples):

    • timing method calls
    • method calls rate
    • counters
    • gauges
  • Good test coverage

    The gem was created for a specific need and is currently used in production environment.

How is it done

The library is split in different parts

  • the core:
    it contains all the API used to declare which data to collect and how as well as the storage for them

  • the metrics:
    that is all the metrics type the library know.

  • the interfaces:
    those are the parts which will decides how the stored data are made available.

  • the schedulers:
    this is where the timers are scheduled, currently there is only one scheduler: eventmachine

  • the storage:
    this part decides where the actual data for the metrics are stored, the default is to store them in memory but other possible options are: redis, memcached, etc... The goal for external storage is to allow concurrent applications to share the same metrics, an immediate example of such application is a rails application ran under passenger or any other spawner


  • the name of each metric can be formatted how it pleases you (note that output interfaces may expect some format) but the name is expected to be unique or you could end up reusing the same metric without wanting it. (this only applies to monitor_time and monitor_rate helpers but could apply anywhere else as needed)


I try to keep things as simple as possible, there is currently two ways to use this library:

  • the first one is to just instantiate metrics by hand and use them directly

      require 'drone'
      @counter ='my_counter')
      def some_method
  • the other way is to instrument a class:

      require 'drone'
      class User
        include Drone::Monitoring
        def initialize(login, pass); end
        def rename(new_login); end

    This code will create three metrics:

    • "users/new" : how many users are created each second
    • "users/rename" : how much time renaming a user takes and how many users are renamed each second

Once you have your data you need to add a way to serve them, each lives in a separate gem to limit the core's dependencies so the only one in core is:

  • console output (puts), mainly for debug:

      require 'drone'
      Drone::add_output(:console, 1)

    The values will be printed on the console at the inter

    The others output are available in their own gems:

  • drone_json:
    The stats are served by a thin server in json

  • drone_collectd:
    The stats are send to a collectd daemon.


My goal is to be able to serve stats efficiently from any ruby 1.9 application built on top of eventmachine and fibers but I built the library to allow non eventmachine uses too, for now the only part where eventmachine is required is the scheduler.

Implementing a scheduler based on a background Thread is possible but before that work needs to be done to ensure thread safety, Actually the library is not thread safe.

if someone wants to implements it I am not against it but I prefer it to be added as an optional part instead of in the core. There should not be any problem to implements it in an includable module not included as default (it may requires some modifications in the core):

  require 'drone'
  require 'drone/threadsafe'

  # [...]


Installing the development environment is pretty simple thanks to bundler:

gem install bundler

Running specs

The specs are written with bacon, mocha and em-spec, they can be ran with:

bundle exec rake

Build the doc

You will need the gems: yard and bluecloth and then run:

bundle exec rake doc