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2017 In Review: Find and Fix Problems Faster



Find and Fix Problems Faster

You know the drill. It’s not enough to have a great product. To win in today’s world, you have to keep moving and do it fast. Moving fast means that we encounter a lot of unanticipated problems, and we sometimes create problems for ourselves along the way.

That means that an important key to moving fast is the ability to find and fix problems as quickly as possible. In 2017, we released a number of new features to make your problems more observable, eliminating those blind spots.

Here are just a few of the ways that New Relic helped you find and fix problems faster in 2017.

But Wait, There’s More!

In addition to helping you find and fix problems faster, we also released features in 2017 to help you:

Check them out and let us know which new features have been most helpful to you!

2017 in Review: Increase Your Rate of Change

Health Map

Product: New Relic APM

New Relic is pleased to announce general availability of Health Map, our innovative visualization that integrates our industry-leading application and infrastructure monitoring data to help operations teams understand and troubleshoot their applications.

As organizations shift towards microservices on ephemeral systems, ops and DevOps teams often find it increasingly difficult to fully understand all the dependencies for their applications. Health Map is a high-density, color-coded view that shows the health of all your applications as well as the health of the infrastructure hosts where those applications are deployed.

Health Map helps you find and fix problems faster by visually bringing your application monitoring to you. Easily hone in on what is going right—and wrong—with your application and infrastructure with this visual representation of your app’s infrastructure.



Role Based Access Control (RBAC) API

Product: New Relic APM

As your development and operations teams grow in size and complexity, it becomes ever more critical to give each team member only the least required permissions they need to do their job. You want to make sure everyone can perform their functions with ease, but to avoid security and governance problems, they should not be able to access anything beyond their role. For instance, a mobile developer should be able to make any needed changes to their mobile app but should not have permission to make changes to other products.

This can be achieved in several ways, and New Relic has long provided this kind of role-based access control (RBAC) via built-in base roles (Admin, User, and Restricted User). We are very excited to announce that we are extending the RBAC capabilities in our platform in order to help you find and fix problems faster. Now available with the introduction of easy-to-use, fine-grained access-control permissions via two new types of add-on roles: custom and managed by New Relic.


2017 in Review: Build High Performance Teams

Error Profiles

Product: New Relic APM

When DevOps experts need to track down the cause of errors in an app, it’s not always easy to get to the root of the problem. Using applied intelligence, New Relic APM error profiles is designed to help by automatically comparing one set of events to another to make it easier to identify the issue.

The error profiles feature is now available to all paying New Relic APM customers, and customers using APM error analytics will be able to leverage error profiles. The error profiles feature is designed to help software engineers quickly identify what is unusual about an error or set of errors, and lets them quickly filter to focus on what they are interested in. With a quick scan, an engineer can find the most likely culprit and get to work right away resolving the errors.

Error profiles helps you find an fix problems faster by using statistical measures to surface the errors that deviate most dramatically from the non-error transactions in your app. Each error profile provides visual details about differences in the frequency of values for the events, showing you where to focus your attention without making you manually click through all the dimensions.



BrowSyn (Browser + Synthetics)

Product: New Relic Browser

Find and fix problems faster with Browser + Synthetics comparative charting—reactive and proactive monitoring go together like peas and carrots.

According to Gartner, only 5% of enterprises have some sort of performance monitoring in place.* But it’s not enough to stop at application monitoring. To truly get a full picture of your customer experience, you need to know what’s happening throughout the frontend of your application environment.

The talk linked below explores what customer experience monitoring is all about and why it’s so vital for modern web applications. At New Relic, we know that the combination of Synthetic monitoring and Browser monitoring is key to great application development — testing and estimating how your applications should perform and then monitoring how it actually does. This powerful partnership between New Relic Browser and Synthetics is called Comparative Charting.

Our very own community rockstar @jsprague shares his real world example here:

BrowSyn Webinar



Source Maps

Product: New Relic Browser

Our source map support is designed to make it easier to troubleshoot JavaScript errors by mapping the location of the issue in the original source code, helping you find and fix issues in your frontend faster.

Source Maps help you find and fix problems faster by providing an intuitive drag-and-drop option within your New Relic Browser dashboard, for quick and easy mapping on the fly, as well as a robust API to integrate into your build systems for automated and seamless JavaScript troubleshooting.



Handled Exceptions

Product: New Relic Mobile

With New Relic Mobile’s Handled exceptions user interface, you can find and fix problems faster by identifying significant factors contributing to poor mobile application experience, and by using filterable data to find a resolution more quickly. You can also use the handled exceptions API to customize the data you send to New Relic Mobile, and use New Relic Insights to query and share the data.

After you use New Relic Mobile’s Handled exceptions page to explore patterns and trends, you can drill down into deeper details about specific exception occurrences. These can be events that New Relic monitors by default, or custom events you created.



Crash Event Trail

Product: New Relic Mobile

The New Relic Mobile crash event trail shows you the events leading up to a crash of a mobile app, based on your subscription level’s data retention policy. These can be events New Relic monitors by default, or custom events you created in New Relic Insights.

Mobile crash event trail helps you find and fix problems faster because when a mobile app crashes and you don’t know why, you can study what happened right before the crash. New Relic Mobile’s crash event trail shows you these events so that you can follow the “breadcrumbs” leading up to the crash and diagnose the cause of the failure.



Node VM Metrics View

Product: APM

Without the right metrics, you’re likely to waste valuable time and energy before realizing you’re experiencing a fairly common issue—your Node.js application is running out of memory. All that CPU work is going toward frequent garbage collection.

The Node VMs page provides interactive, time-series charts designed to help you quickly identify anomalies and discover their root causes. Having a single place to view all of your Node VM metrics makes it easier to see the relationships between them so you can focus your investigations on the right problem. For example, it can help you see beyond a spike in CPU utilization to the corresponding jump in memory usage and garbage collection time that points to a memory leak as the potential cause, helping you find and fix problems faster.



Infrastructure SDK

Product: Infrastructure

We have made the Infrastructure SDK easier to use, especially for those familiar with Golang. The new version of the SDK comes with a command-line tool designed to let you build a skeleton of a custom Infrastructure integration in just a few seconds. You can see a demonstration of how to use the Integrations SDK by viewing this webinar or checking out the documentation. There is even a step-by-step tutorial that walks you through building an integration for Redis.

In fact, we believe so strongly in this SDK that our developers are using it to create our official integrations, exactly the same way that our customers will use it to create custom integrations of their own.



dotNET Core & Azure Integrations

Product: Infrastructure

Many New Relic customers are working to modernize and integrate their existing monolithic .NET Framework applications with modern service architectures. As this work continues to push forward, Microsoft is embracing a more open ecosystem with .NET Core. Core helps enable developers to easily build new dynamic workloads designed to scale on leading public clouds like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft’s approach creates an opportunity for New Relic to help our customers accelerate innovation by providing new features and integrations for Microsoft .NET and Azure:

  • New Relic APM support for .NET Core 2.0 on Linux and Windows (now in public beta)

  • Five Azure Cloud Service integrations in New Relic Infrastructure: Cosmos DB, Service Bus, Virtual Machines metadata, Functions, and Virtual Network (all now in public beta)

  • Planned enhancements to our existing New Relic APM agent for .NET Framework

To better support our enterprise customers migrating to the Azure Cloud Platform and DevOps teams leveraging the latest Azure service offerings, we are also introducing five new Azure Service integrations in New Relic Infrastructure.

  1. Virtual Machine Metadata: Add Azure attributes to VMs, such as resource groups, VM Size, region name, and availability set.
  2. Cosmos DB: Monitor Azure’s NoSQL multi-model distributed database.
  3. Service Bus: Get data from Azure’s distributed messaging system
  4. Functions: Monitor Azure’s serverless application service.
  5. Virtual Networks: Understand how networks, subnets, and routing is configured as well as monitor DDoS attacks.



On-Host Integrations

Product: Infrastructure

We have had integrations with Amazon Web Services and third-party plugins for some time, but these new integrations are designed to allow customers with a subscription to New Relic Infrastructure Pro to pull information from on-host services directly into New Relic Infrastructure—without installing any third-party software. This lets customers get information about not just the hosts themselves, but also the services running on those hosts that their applications depend on. The information captured by the integrations includes performance metrics and configuration parameters to help you quickly identify important changes across your infrastructure nodes and correlate them with application performance.

Integrations for MySQL, NGINX, and Apache Cassandra became available earlier this year, and integrations for Apache HTTP Server, Redis, RabbitMQ, and StatsD closely followed. These integrations are designed to work wherever you have New Relic Infrastructure installed, whether on-premise or in the cloud. The code for the currently available integrations can be found on GitHub and we encourage you to check them out, especially if you are interested in using our new Infrastructure SDK (mentioned above!) to create your own integrations for custom services, databases, or other information you wish to monitor.



Multi-Attribute FACETs

Product: Insights

With multi-attribute FACETs, what used to require multiple Insights queries can now be consolidated into a single query, making it easier to mix and match attributes that may be correlated.

Multi-attribute FACETs can be used to do almost anything, from exploring the data by mixing and matching to see what surfaces, to drilling down on various combinations of data to see the results of a mission-critical query. Muliti-attribute FACETs help you find and fix problems faster, one streamlined NRQL query at a time.



Expected Errors

Product: APM

Find and fix problems faster by expected errors in APM! New Relic APM agents automatically collect error data for supported frameworks. However, you may want to collect error data from a framework without default instrumentation, or catch an error that New Relic is not noticing by default. Similarly, sometimes New Relic detects an error that you don’t want reported because it’s too common and is affecting your error rate.

In the Java and Ruby agents, you can mark an error as “expected.” An expected error is still reported to the collector and visible in New Relic APM UI and New Relic Insights, but it doesn’t affect the Apdex or error rate (including alert conditions based on error rate). This ensures common errors are not affecting your data, but are still visible in case something unusual going on (such as a large spike in login errors indicating a hacking attempt).

New Relic also marks expected errors with an error.expected attribute, so you can alert on a high number of expected errors using alert conditions for NRQL queries.

To tell the agent to mark an error as expected, see the agent documentation:

  • Java: Use expected_classes, expected_classes.class_name, expected_classes.message, or expected_status_codes as applicable. For additional information, see Java agent error configuration.

  • Ruby: Use notice_error() with :expected parameter.



2017 Roundup Of Internet Of Things Forecasts

2017 Industry News

This past year was a good one when it comes to the Internet of Things—the market grew and grew and grew! And you might be asking: what does this have to do with New Relic? What I learned from this in 2017 and the Internet of Things is:

Instrument Everything !!!

The only way you get data and projections like the ones in the article linked below, is to instrument everything and collect all the intel you fan to get a proper forecast of things to come.

Check out this striking example of data at its finest in this Forbes Article 2017 Roundup Of Internet Of Things Forecasts.