New Relic APM Review

It helps us troubleshoot issues quicker, and when we're using it for performance analysis, several items can boil to the top.


Valuable Features

The most valuable features to us are--

  • Measuring performance from the applications point view against the view of the customer's browser,
  • Being able to troubleshoot issues due to an app or network issue, and
  • The error rate is helpful in finding issues in the server pool.

Improvements to My Organization

It helps us troubleshoot issues quicker, and when we're using it for performance analysis, several items can boil to the top. We can look at what's going on and what's slow and causing problems, instead of looking in general at which queries or operations are causing slowness.

Room for Improvement

I can't think of much to improve. We're very used to the way it looks and the traces. It's much better than it used to be, but perhaps the retention on some of the old problem traces would be an improvement. I think they run out after a relatively short amount of time and being able to look back and spot check some of them. If we have a problem today, it would be nice to look at back at the traces by, say, a week or a month even if there wasn't a problem then, so we can compare whether it's relatively slow or it suddenly become slow.

But I think the data layout is great as everything you need is at the top and we can able to drill down further and further to individual server,s or into the error rate and individual transactions.

Stability Issues

The code is great. We don't have any issues, and I think that's the majority of New Relic customers. You have issues with your first customers, fix the issues, and then leave it alone until the next issue comes along.

Our track record is the same, we used it, troubleshot it, and then the developers fixed it.

Scalability Issues

I think we're finding more and more ways to use it. Because of plug-ins, we are pushing as much information in front of the app to the developers. I think too many companies end up with too many tools, but with New Relic, we want to keep in front of our developers all the time.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We've had to contact tech support several times, and each time they've been great. Their one-time survey call is good.

Previous Solutions

We've been using AppDynamics alongside New Relic. We had issues finding some problems, so we brought in AppDynamics and were able to dive further in, but after about six months, New Relic traces we're exactly as in-depth and usable. We were pretty confident with New Relic, and brought AppDynamics in to dive deeper, but their interface was Flash, which was slow and not nice.

Everything else about New Relic was nice. We could put different pieces of data in front of the developers, which is nice. They don't have as much information as we do in Ops from our other tools, but they get just the right amount of information to see where the bottlenecks are.

Initial Setup

It was quick and simple. Always, whenever we look at a product, including ours, we've got in the back of our heads, what's the mean time to pretty graph? How quick is it to get data in front of you and that's usable? Within minutes we were able to get the information, and the first hour was great with New Relic.

Other Advice

When we're looking at new products, we look at whether the product works, how it works. Doing tests that are long enough is hard as no one wants to spend the time doing it, so I try to make sure that it won't take more than 14 days to set up correctly. If it's important enough, then the trials will be done.

It is one of the things that helps DevOps work in our organization and has helped stop finger pointing. It gives both sides enough info to help point us in the right direction of finding where an issue is. It gives us the insight into production to developers that operations doesn't want developers to have, and it allows them to use it all the time.

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