New Relic APM Review

It gives us insight into the performance of the entire stack as well as a view into which components have the biggest impact on customer experience.

Valuable Features

The alerting is by far the most valuable feature, closely followed by the way the platform correlates incidents across applications and components.

We are able to derive very valuable insights into the performance of the entire stack, and most importantly, we get a view as to which components have the biggest impact on the customer experience.

Improvements to My Organization

We have both Ops and Tech Leads subscribed to the alerts now. In general the Ops team only responds to "server down" or other infrastructure issues, whereas the Tech Leads will become interested if errors are being thrown or the Apdex scores are affected. They then have the chance to observe the system during an issue, as well as grab stack dumps and thread traces that allow us to quickly identify issues that are hard or impossible to replicate in a test environment.

Room for Improvement

I would like some additional fine tuning control around the alerting. I would also like the ability to "store" particular errors or traces for longer than the normal week.

We are yet to investigate creating dashboards and building extensions so there's a lot about the platform we still haven't found.

The biggest issue is the lack of mobile support from the website. They do have an Android and iPhone app but I have a Windows Phone and it's virtually unusable.

Use of Solution

We've used it for about a year, and there are still a number of features we've yet to fully explore.

Stability Issues

We see some exceptions in the machine Event Logs from time to time, and we occasionally see high CPU usage from the monitoring components but we've not seen any activity that compromised the stability of our systems as a result.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Support people are very helpful and turn-around times are short. I have raised a number of tickets and I've always been happy with the outcome.

Previous Solutions

We used to use Microsoft System Center Operations Manager but this is really not ideal for our cloud-based deployments

Initial Setup

Deployment to our Windows, Ubuntu and .Net environments was very straightforward.

Implementation Team

We provide managed services on Microsoft Azure and Verizon Terremark for a number of enterprise organizations including Government, Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and FMCG.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The hardest part was understanding the licensing and billing. The licensing and pricing was a challenge for us to understand, so speak to an Account Manager rather than simply buying online. I think they need a blog post about this.

Other Solutions Considered

We evaluated a number of solutions but this is the only platform we've fully deployed to production. We looked at MS System Center, DataDog, Paraleap and SolarWinds.

Other Advice

Start with a trial to get a sense of which components perform what kind of task, then divide your environment into applications and servers that require data retention, and those that don't. Put them into two separate accounts. The ones that require retention will eventually become a Pro account.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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