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Monitoring: The Math Behind Bad Behavior

Theo Schlossnagle (OmniTI/Circonus)
Location: 211 Level: Advanced
Average rating: ****.
(4.34, 29 ratings)

As we monitor more and more system we can quickly become overwhelmed with data. Large systems today can generate millions of measurements per second across millions of separate points of instrumentation. We’ve long surpassed human capacity of understanding the whole picture. Even with clever visualizations, the breadth of data is simply too much to reason about.

As our data feeds overflow our mental capabilities, we’re forced down one of two paths: explicitly collect less or implicitly surface interesting data. The latter is hard and requires a fair bit of math. In this presentation, I’ll talk about how we approach these numerical analysis problems and what you should and should not be able to expect.

Photo of Theo Schlossnagle

Theo Schlossnagle


Theo founded Circonus in 2010, and continues to be its principal architect. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University in computer science with a focus on graphics and randomized algorithms in distributed systems, he went on to research resource allocation techniques in distributed systems during four years of post-graduate work. In 1997, Theo founded OmniTI, which has established itself as the go-to source for organizations facing today’s most challenging scalability, performance and security problems. He was also the principal architect of the Momentum MTA, which is now the flagship product of Message Systems.

A widely respected industry thought leader, Theo is the author of Scalable Internet Architectures (Sams) and a frequent speaker at worldwide IT conferences. Theo is a computer scientist in every respect. Theo is a member of the IEEE and a senior member of the ACM. He serves on the editoral board of the ACM’s Queue Magazine.