New Relic APM Review

We have been able to proactively identify failures before they happen


What is our primary use case?

It monitors all of our services that are running. It also monitors our infrastructure. Therefore, we use it for monitoring, identifying when services go down, or when they are outside of what we would consider normal operations.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to proactively identify failures before they happen. As an example of something in the last week, we had an instance where a volume was filling up on one of our VMs, so we set up a basic alert that if it got to a certain point, it would send me an email. This way, my support team or I could take some action on it and execute a run look. This has prevented failures from occurring in our production environment.

What is most valuable?

The alerts that it provides is one of the most common things that we use. As an example, when a service isn't performing how we anticipated it, either I receive an email or my support team receives an email, then we can take action on it.

What needs improvement?

It is complicated, especially in how you interpret the data that it provides. For someone who works in it every day, I can figure out what I want. For the general, every day developer who uses it once a month, there is large learning curve to figure out exactly the information that they want from it. If it had a bit more canned, out-of-the-box features, especially some of the reporting features, that would be more useful.

Sometimes, it is difficult to work through and figure out. Some things are difficult to work through which is why I haven't done them yet, because it will take me six hours to figure out how to set them up, e.g., the dashboard. How I want it to look and how the developers might want to interpret that data, but I don't have six hours to go figure this out, and it takes a long time to do this stuff.

They have this alerting capability where I can set up an alert policy, then within that alert policy, I can set up as many alerts as I want. I can set up one or I can set up a 1000. I would like a feature where I can turn off alerting at a policy level. Thus, when a policy is inactive, I can shut down all of my alerts within the policy. Right now, I have to go through them manually and deactivate each one that I don't want to use.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never seen it be down or unavailable. So, the stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've never had an issue with scalability. They have been able to scale and handle everything that we've sent them.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used their online support. I don't think I've ever had a phone call from anyone, but I've definitely exchanged some emails with their online support forums, which has worked out well.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used to use AppDynamics, which is one of their big competitors. I don't exactly know why the switch. We were told to go to New Relic. I think a lot of it had to do with the cost. Possibly, they found New Relic to be a cheaper alternative to AppDynamics.

How was the initial setup?

The configuration and installation were good. New Relic has some very good documentation. Everything in their API is some of the best that I have seen. It wasn't without issues because it's a piece of technology, and we had to figure out how to use it, but everything has worked well.

The issues were working through the documentation and figuring out exactly how to implement on some of the technology.

What about the implementation team?

I did all the configuration, so there is a portion where we install an agent on our infrastructure and on our web services that run. I did all of that configuration. They gave me the account ID and the license to go with it, and I configured that in some of their config files, then I knew exactly where to send the logs to, etc.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Corporate handled the licensing and the purchasing of it, then they gave me a license key. However they configured it is how we use it.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking to evaluate New Relic, compared it to other products, it is very powerful in terms of what it can do. However, it is a complicated to interpret some of the data which is provided with it. There is a trade off if you want to implement this product versus implementing something that is simpler and out-of-the-box, but not obtaining as much depth in what you can learn.

It has some advanced plugins for EngineX, which is a web balancer that we use. So, we do integrate with these, which is a little bit outside of their normal realm. There is also an Apache one that we use. The integration is good. Once you figure out how to install it and read through the documentation, it works as anticipated.

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