New Relic Provides Visibility Across our Entire Fleet of Applications and Cloud Resources
March 30, 2020

New Relic Provides Visibility Across our Entire Fleet of Applications and Cloud Resources

Michael Jenkins | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with New Relic

New Relic is being used by many teams within my organization and other departments in the company. We use it as a centralized monitoring and reporting application across our web application fleet. In particular, we use New Relic for Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Synthetics monitoring, Infrastructure monitoring, and alerting across all of these.
  • Monitoring and alerting.
  • Application Performance Monitoring (APM).
  • Synthetics monitoring for web applications.
  • Charts and displays.
  • Data aggregation.
  • I appreciate New Relic's push to get all products into their new interface, New Relic One. As I'm writing this though, many of the products span the legacy interface and the next generation interface. This can be frustrating at times.
  • When alerts are triggered, it sometimes takes several clicks to drill down from the notification to the root of the issue.
  • This may not be a New Relic problem but, we use the Slack integration for notifications. In the past, we've been able to acknowledge alerts from Slack. This functionality seems to have been removed. Now it takes a couple more clicks to get from the alert to the acknowledgement. This is not critical but sometimes every second counts in terms of meeting SLAs.
  • NR has allowed us to use monitoring to prevent downtime and get in front of problems that would affect our customers. There have been times where, although our applications were up and running, the user experience was degraded. With the right monitoring in place, we've been able to set thresholds that warn of impending outages and let us get ahead of the problems (along with making changes to the application to prevent the problems in the first place).
  • We have a better view of our resources in the cloud. Because our cloud dumps everything into one account, it's sometimes difficult to break out resources in that console. In New Relic, though, we can quickly find all of the resources associated with an application. This helps with troubleshooting during emergencies, but it also helps with visibility when we're discussing architectures.
The full stack view is great for determining exactly where bottlenecks are when it comes to improving performance in our applications. This is particularly true of our applications that connect to multiple sources to retrieve and store data; this includes outside APIs as well as our own APIs and databases. If there are application slow-downs, we can quickly see where the problems are. If it's us, we're empowered to fix the problem.
My team recently migrated parts of a complex Rails application from an on-premises datacenter to the cloud. Because we used New Relic APM and Infrastructure monitoring across the board, we could easily see how the different parts of the application were performing as we migrated in several phases across multiple environments. Interestingly enough, there was a portion of the migration where the application kind of straddled the on-prem and cloud servers. We didn't have to make any changes to our application or server instrumentation though and all the data fell into place in the console. It was neat to see the cloud servers standing by for traffic and then picking up the load as we cut over. This was a nice touch and easy win for the SRE _and_ dev teams because that was one less part of the migration we had to worry about. It also gave us confidence that we had the correct insight into the application's performance from end to end.
It's probably one of the most underrated features of New Relic but I really appreciate the deployment tracking feature in APM. When our applications are deployed, we get a notice in Slack but having that indicator and record of deployments in the console helps to easily answer the question "When was the last deployment?", particularly if application performance has changed for the worse.

We've also appreciated that we can create infrastructure monitoring and alerting with Terraform for our infrastructure. Before we used this method, we would have to log into the console and configure alert policies and monitors manually, often well after the servers were online. By creating these resources along with the servers, we get monitoring and alerting out of the gate along with all the benefits of tracking changes, code reviews, and easy decommission of the NR resources when the servers are taken offline.
I have used CloudWatch and Data Dog. I appreciate CloudWatch because it's native to the cloud. Spin up resources and your data is collected without having to do anything. However, the UI is lacking in areas and getting alerting in place can be a challenge. It's likely that the AWS provider for Terraform could simplify the creation of monitors, but then there's also the next step of configuring alerting via email and Slack, both of which are simple to do in New Relic.

My use of Data Dog is limited as the team I worked with was in the process of transitioning away from Data Dog to New Relic when I joined them. In my limited exposure, I find that Data Dog seemed to have many of the same features that New Relic provides but I didn't use them long enough to make a determination on how they stack up against each other.
I appreciate that New Relic is easily integrated into applications for APM and infrastructure for monitoring.

Our applications are Ruby on Rails apps and getting them reporting into New Relic is easy to implement. In most cases, it just requires adding the "newrelic" gem and updating the "newrelic.yml" configuration file. Just this simple addition to a project gives us an entrypoint to analyzing performance.

We use the New Relic Infrastructure agent by default on all of our cloud based servers. We have this set up with Chef so we don't even think about it; we just spin servers up and go. Minutes later they're reporting into New Relic. We use Terraform to automatically create monitors so we can keep track of the essentials like core processes, disk, CPU, and memory.

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