The journey to the perfect monitoring tool and my take on New Relic.
March 16, 2021

The journey to the perfect monitoring tool and my take on New Relic.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with New Relic

It is currently used as one of the main Monitoring/Alerting tools of choice within the organisation.
It serves different purposes:
  • Single point of truth regarding IT/Infra/Networking Status.
  • Monitoring and alerting of Critical Systems.
  • Collaborative work with the use of dashboards.
  • Identification of anomalies all across our systems.
  • Confirmation of hypothesis during design and/or troubleshooting.

Pros

  • It has been transforming the company a very high pace. They are constantly adding new features and services that are well received.
  • Customer service. Had the opportunity to talk with different representatives and you can feel the sense of urgency and understanding of the issues. While providing options to solve them or thinking to introduce that as a future feature.
  • Handles amazing volumes of data in a very efficient way. It tends to process very complex queries quite rapidly.
  • In case you find that any of the available options don't cater to your own needs. New Relic provides Development Tools to bring your personal idea into reality.

Cons

  • Moving away from the old look and feel of Insight can be difficult. Perhaps there are still clients adopting those old visualisations. However I see a constant flood of features that are meant to substitute that.
  • The visual feedback when creating a new Alerting can be a little difficult. At times you have to be aware of the NRQL language and even after understanding it. Is not always easy to translate that into the creation of the new alert. For example is not possible to test your alert 2 or 3 weeks before as sliding into the past to confirm the new alert.
  • Due to the amount of innovation being brought to the platform it can be daunting to some users. Nowadays it seems the same and/or similar functionality can be found on different places. Perhaps is a delicate balance there.
  • Certain graphs have limitation on the number of metrics they can show. For example still today on Infrastructure dashboards there is a limit of 20 hosts to visualise.
  • The cost of the storage can be expensive specially if you want to keep data for more than 3 months.
  • I believe it has reduced the mean time to identify and repair issues. So is a great advantage there.
  • The dynamics between developers and infrastructure teams are improved therefore the efficiency of the communication.
  • Perhaps the concept of costly historical data can make things difficult for some engineers to make proper analysis. On those situations is recommended to export those data points but it pretty much leads to manual work.
They have definitely impacted the way we filter data points to solve, design, innovate, repair, troubleshoot, in a way is our eyes to the infrastructure and applications. It's the equivalent of flying blind and no instruments these days. They reliability is superb and to be honest haven't experience any particular significant outage.
On the modern era of micro-services and complex systems of today. It would be very much impossible to run a business without a tool of this sort.
New Relic has provided SREs to the necessary eyes on the services and applications without actually having to see them. A well-maintained monitoring/alerting culture using New Relic tools can help identify and reduce inherent risks that involve the management of very complex infrastructure. It has been truly helpful to see services being migrated and or data loads changing. The real-time factor is essential when dealing with constrained outage budgets.
One aspect of it and very particular is the identification of deployments within the services graphs of our applications. Those deployments can be a saviour when trying to identify and/or recognise an issue in production. More often than not the issues are coming from these new features being introduced. It looks simple but the timing to identify those is essential.
I find each of them has particular strengths and perhaps they deserve their own space in their particular speciality sector. I find New Relic to be exceptionally good and powerful to aggregate all sorts of meaningful data into Dashboards or Monitoring. So basically the same aspect that can put off a few clients that is the use of NRQL is paradoxically a strength of the service. Therefore the granularity and creativity is the limit here.
Datadog, Logz.io, Kibana, Google Cloud Operations Suite (formerly Stackdriver)
New Relic is a full-fledged solution that can serve practically anyone. There are however certain caveats for example in certain situations the only way to monitor and/or alert on issues is through the use of NRQL. Which can put certain users back because they have to learn the technology first. Worth mentioning that is not particularly hard to learn it just take a little more time. However once that learning curve is completed the power of the tool can be fully leveraged.

So it's a powerful tool, very much customisable and can serve to everyone's needs. But to use it to the full potential you may need to learn at least the basics of NRQL. Perhaps there are tools less powerful but easier to use. So it very much depends on the complexity of your business.

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