Category Archives: Technical

Using Sensu for DBA Tasks

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Here at SendGrid we spent the last couple of years porting a lot of our service and host monitoring to Sensu. Its solid API support meant we could write all sorts of tooling around it. We also liked the idea of standalone, client side checks that push their status to the Sensu alerting queue asynchronously. If you are new to Sensu or haven’t ever read on it, this is a good place to start. Typical usage example The typical use I have for such standalone checks is health checks, a simple example looks like this in Sensu’s client config: But

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The State of DevOps

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If the portmanteau DevOps doesn’t mean anything to you, you might want to skip ahead to the next blog post. However, if it does (and it should), you’ll want to read on. After recently attending the DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES), I am struck by several key observations about the state of what has become the seminal movement in technology. So seminal in fact, that Gartner has projected that 25% of Global 2000 organizations will be leveraging DevOps patterns in their organizations in 2016. Defining DevOps Let’s start with the name. DevOps is really shorthand, and nothing more, for a lean

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Email Message Flow 101: How SendGrid Helps Your Email’s Journey to the Inbox

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SendGrid has helped thousands of customers send their email messages since 2009. We help our customers build their email content, send their messages, and view the success of each campaign sent. We also realize that the actual journey of an email message from sender to the inbox  is complicated. And, sometimes it may not be fully understood by all senders. This post shows the basics of the email path, along with where SendGrid is helping to make that journey less complicated. In the email flowchart below, you can see the main components that all email messages pass through. Granted, there

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SMTP and the Evolution of Email

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We worked with our friends at Windows IT Pro to take an in-depth look at the history of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). The following is a guest post from their team that covers the origins of SMTP, the evolution of email, and what SMTP does, and doesn’t do. SMTP Defined The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) has a name that perfectly describes its origin and intended purpose. SMTP was built to be a lightweight, easy-to-implement means to transfer plain-text messages between devices. The original SMTP standard distinguished between a mail transport agent (MTA)—what modern administrators would call a server—and

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In-App Email Simplified with Appery.io & the New SendGrid Mail API Plugin

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The following is a guest post from Max Katz at Appery.io. Learn more about Max at the bottom of this post. SendGrid is one of those services that makes adding in-app email capability way too simple. SendGrid is a provider of a cloud-based email solution and provides an elegant and easy-to-use REST API to send emails from a mobile app. It is very likely that your app needs to send emails, such as registration confirmations, password reset emails, two-step verification emails, general notification emails, or any other type of email communication. SendGrid is the perfect solution. Appery.io, the most complete mobile and web

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Learning Configuration Management as a DBA

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Before SendGrid, I used to deploy all my databases by hand. I’d have a documentation page, (a Google doc, internal wiki page…whatever) and it would be a long bulleted list of “Install this, then install this.” If you have ever maintained “How to” documents like that, this picture to the right will eventually ring true. This was obviously not a good approach. Especially when small details start changing, but the “documentation” lags behind. Then you have a situation that enables tribal knowledge, which means a 3AM Ops person, who is not the DBA, and has even less of an ability

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How to Open Source Your Code in 11 Steps

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Before you open source a library, there are a few things that you need to do to ensure you’re following all the rules and that the code is ready for the community. Here’s the 11 step pre-flight checklist that we put together internally at SendGrid: Check the code to make sure that no proprietary information like usernames and passwords are present, and that configuration uses environment variables where necessary. Your code isn’t portable if there are hardcoded database names and credentials. Environment variables are convenient and are a secure default. Make sure that dependencies are encapsulated and explicitly declared. People

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