New Relic Secrets Every Application Owner Must Know

Executive Summary

Application performance management (APM) offers both challenges and rewards for companies looking to ensure that their
end-users are always receiving the best possible service from their applications and infrastructure. Challenges of APM include getting the required visibility from a variety of IT silos, monitoring and management of cloud-based components as well as on-premises components, finding the root cause for application performance issues, and making providing predictive analysis of a huge amount of APM data. No APM software company has risen to this challenge quite as effectively and thoroughly as New Relic and its suite of APM tools and analytics.

New Relic’s rise to prominence–if not dominance–in the APM and cloud monitoring space has created a vibrant and diverse
ecosystem of customers and third-party add-ins. Even with the popularity of New Relic APM, there remain gaps in the scope
and depth of the monitoring capabilities. If any part of your IT environment is sitting on traditional infrastructure, you probably have another tool (or three) outside of New Relic to manage those resources. And if a bad query or a bandwidth hog starts slowing your applications, your team is probably spending hours (or days) trying to hunt down the root cause.
Blue Medora’s Total Visibility Suite (TVS) for New Relic expands the existing native capabilities of New Relic APM to the entire IT stack, including, most importantly, the hardware and the database tiers.

New Relic and Blue Medora partnered on the development of Blue Medora’s TVS add-in for New Relic that greatly expands
the types of metrics gathered. This paper will also reveal the most important secrets of using New Relic APM and Blue Medora together to create the most comprehensive monitoring suite on the planet.

Secret #1
Monitor virtualized and cloud infrastructure alongside your applications

There are many application monitoring tools on the market, just as there are also many infrastructure monitoring tools and cloud-based monitoring tools. Yet Blue Medora TVS for New Relic is the rst solution to monitor physical, virtual, and cloud-based infrastructure components as well as application performance monitoring. With that design goal in mind, Blue Medora TVS for New Relic can monitor application components regardless of whether they reside in on- premises, in a hybrid cloud or in pure cloud environments. Blue Medora TVS includes dozens of plugins to New Relic for popular storage, network and compute platforms from such vendors as Dell/EMC, NetApp, F5 Networks and many others. That means that you can consolidate your monitoring tools from many down to one by deploying Blue Medora TVS for New Relic and simultaneously gain the benefit of a single pane of glass without having to manually integrate your monitoring tools or use multiple disparate monitoring dashboards.

Part of the issue is that different tools might interpret performance issues differently, leading to finger-pointing in multiple directions. Another issue occurs when multiple IT teams use disparate tools that are not available to every team, such that different teams might assume different root causes because they aren’t all using the same monitoring tool. Blue Medora’s integration with New Relic APM mitigates those risks by giving all IT teams the same unified view of application performance, infrastructure and active issues, regardless of whether or not those issues on in the company’s data center, in the cloud, or both.

Secret #2
Expand application insights to increase uptime

As with any analytical decision, the more information and data points you have, the better your corrective and planning decisions can be. Leveraging big data analytics of your APM environment allows you to plan and react much better and faster than you could without data-driven insights. Complex, distributed applications are now the norm rather than the exception. Though New Relic users are likely ahead of the cloud-adoption curve, even the most cloud-centric organizations often still leverage on-prem resources for a variety of needs. Blue Medora TVS extends the visibility of New Relic users to the complete heterogeneous stack of database, virtualization, compute and networking components. Blue Medora and New Relic APM combine to expose critical details of your end-to-end application environment that can reduce the mean time to identify (MTTI) root cause among previously disparate admin, support and development teams.

Blue Medora adds thousands of additional data points and other benefits to Insights, New Relic’s real-time software analytics engine, including intelligent recommendations based on root cause analysis, the ability to increase cross-team collaboration through use of a common set of dashboards, hasten the feedback loop for Dev/Ops efforts, and using predictive analysis to accurately predict future performance and usage trends. All of these features combine to support a smooth deployment process as well as providing a continuous feedback loop of data that Dev/Ops teams can leverage to increase application performance and improve mean time to resolve (MTTR) statistics.

Secret #3
You can add a centralized monitoring tool without adding yet another tool

No company is looking for more point solutions for their monitoring efforts; quite the opposite, most companies are looking to streamline both the number of monitor- ing tools in use, as well as making sure that those tools that are in use are fully integrated with each other and that the status of all monitored components can be re ect- ed via a single uni ed dashboard. Blue Medora’s TVS for New Relic consists of a series of plugins to New Relic APM. Thus deploying TVS does not add yet another siloed monitoring tool to your already-over- stuffed monitoring toolbox.

Another strong benefit is an agentless plugin, which allows for multiple connections from one central location. Not only are you getting increased detail in the metrics of your storage and database tier, you are doing so without having to install additional software and without having to install agents on the components being monitored.

This ability to seamlessly monitor application performance, health and availability, alongside your traditional and cloud-based infrastructure is a boon to reducing the MTTI and MTTR issues that affect application performance. Ask anyone who has used point monitoring products that only monitor a subset of IT infrastructure and application metrics; a monitoring strategy cobbled together from a collection of unintegrated tools creates nothing but obstacles to rapidly and fix anomalies that affect application performance.

Secret #4
Great APM requires an even better view of the database tier

That New Relic partnered with Blue Medora to develop the infrastructure plugins indi- cates that New Relic recognizes the need for more in-depth monitoring of storage and the data tier than what is offered natively in New Relic APM. Blue Medora TVS is also tightly integrated with New Relic’s dashboards and views that quick- ly give admins all of the information they need to detect and address issues that are impacting operations, availability and performance from a single user interface (UI).

Blue Medora TVS for New Relic lets ad- ministrators drill down via native New Relic menus and graphical dashboards to find noisy neighbors, bandwidth vampires and bad queries that might impact database performance. The abundance of infra- structure and database metrics gathered and disseminated by TVS for New Relic eliminates the need for standalone hard- ware and data tier monitoring tools. Having storage admins, DBAs, Dev/Ops, and infrastructure admins all seeing and sharing the same metrics via a common user interface increases efficiency and reduces downtime by resolving issues faster.

Secret #5
A centralized monitoring tool can empower Dev/Ops

One of the major challenges to a Dev/Ops support environment is making sure that your development and operations teams are all on the same page and looking at the same data. Another challenge for Dev/ Ops teams is deciding on corrective action to take based on the alerts and other information gathered and disseminated by your APM solution. And finally, Dev/Ops teams need to see the same alerts and performance metrics that application and infrastructure admins are seeing.

Blue Medora TVS provides a common interface that can be used by Dev/Ops and other admins so that all IT stakeholders can see and act on the exact same APM information and alerts. Blue Medora also includes recommendations on possible resolutions to APM issues that are detected in your application and infrastructure environment. The built-in data analytics allow Dev/Ops teams to quickly identify bottlenecks at the hardware and software layers, helping to resolve performance issues in a timely fashion based on recommendations presented by Blue Medora TVS. This common UI, common data and alerts, and common issue resolution recommendations keep all support and admin teams on the same page, ensuring that issues are recognized and resolved as quickly as possible.

Secret #6
Use analytics to boost application performance

Reactive monitoring is the traditional approach to managing application performance but this approach has proven typically to be too little, too late compared to the proactive approach offered by Blue Medora TVS. The advent of big data changes the game from simply trying to gather pertinent metrics to struggling to nd the proverbial needle in a haystack. Data analytics can provide crucial context to application performance tuning while predictive analysis provides data for future capacity and performance planning.

Being able to quickly analyze and present analysis of APM metrics allows application and infrastructure admins to predict future infrastructure resource requirements while taking into account usage patterns and any location-speci c trends. Blue Medora TVS includes dependency-aware dashboards that increase application availability and end-user satisfaction by allowing admins to quickly pinpoint root cause(s), leading to faster resolution of infrastructure and application issues.

Blue Medora TVS also includes a policy- based noti cation engine that reduces false alarms and alert storms while allowing for exclusion of non-critical alerts from dev and test environments. Another clear advantage to Blue Medora TVS is the ability to quickly drill-down to sub-views to nd infrastructure and software-related issues that can signi cantly impact application performance while still presenting plenty of detail when and where needed.

In Summary – Seeing everything from wherever you are

With the never-ending emphasis on doing more with less, modern IT shops can no longer afford the luxury of deploying, managing and integrating multiple monitoring solutions that never give anyone the big picture view of application and infrastructure status. Another consideration is that the increasing emphasis on Dev/Ops creates yet another impetus for a single monitoring tool that allows all of IT to be on the same page, both literally and guratively. Blue Medora TVS for New Relic makes a great monitoring solution even better by increasing the depth and scope of monitoring storage and the data tier for New Relic APM deployments, while maintaining an agentless architecture that places no increased load or resource demands on components being monitored. The combination of New Relic and Blue Medora offers a cost-effective, uni ed monitoring solution that covers the entire IT stack while combining relevant application and infrastructure data into a single set of dashboards and views.

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