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Best Practice Guide: Infrastructure



Infrastructure Best Practice Guide

New Relic Infrastructure gives you greater visibility into your servers and hosts. Whether they’re local or in the cloud, Infrastructure allows you to look into not only the host resource usage, but also events on that host, inventory metrics, and network or storage availability. You can easily track all these resources and correlate any changes to potential impacts on your host and application performance.

In this post, we want to help you set up New Relic Infrastructure so that you can make the most of this added visibility into your environment. As with any project, a little pre-planning and preparation will make you more successful, so we’re sharing the features to which we think you should pay the most attention.

When you have reviewed these best practices, show off your new found skills. Take the Infrastructure Best Practices Quiz to earn your badge.

Organisational tips

Create a naming convention:

First and foremost in all organisational advice is to name things appropriately. A simple naming scheme for all the elements in your account can greatly reduce the amount of time taken to find the information pertinent to you. With an account wide naming scheme, like <env (Prod/Staging)>-<Service Name>-<AWS Region>, simply looking at a host name can give you the information you need about where the problem is and who can help resolve it.

Implement a tagging structure:

Tags are an integral part of organising hosts, allowing you to sort and filter groups of hosts to easily spot problems. You can add the same attribute to a number of hosts to identify them later on through the Infrastructure UI, or NRQL queries. If your hosts are in Amazon cloud, then the EC2 integration makes this remarkably simple. Any EC2 tags you add to your hosts within AWS will carry over to New Relic, allowing you to group your hosts without extra configuration. If you’re not using AWS EC2, then custom attributes will be the option for you.

Note that EC2 is just one of over 50 supported Infrastructure integrations, both cloud and on-host.

Create a filter set:

Filter sets allow you to target a number of hosts based on a number of attributes, including tags, hostNames, etc. Filter sets can then be targeted by alert conditions, saving you the time of applying a condition to multiple hosts manually. As well as that, you can alter the charts in the infrastructure UI to focus in on a specific filter set, giving you the visibility you need into the hosts you need to know about.

Understanding your UI

Apply a Filter Set:

By default the Infrastructure UI will show you data for all reporting hosts. Making your UI a little easier to interpret is as easy as applying a filter set that you just created to the UI. Whether you have configured your filter sets based on hostname, or EC2 tags, or another attribute, the UI will be fully focussed on only the hosts that matter to you. The filter sets you scope to are carried through all parts of the Infrastructure UI as well, keeping you informed only on the hosts you need to know about.

Making data actionable

Insights queries, and getting NRQL from the Infra UI:

Insights is a powerful tool to ask questions of your data, nowhere more so than in Infrastructure. Our teams worked hard to ensure that most, if not all Infrastructure data is tracked as queryable Event based data. Indeed most charts in Infrastructure can be viewed in Insights at the click of a button. Additionally, when you set up Infrastructure Integrations, a number of Insights Dashboards are automatically created to help you get the most value from those integrations.

Set up Alerts:

Alerts are the most important factor in monitoring. Monitoring your entire stack serves no purpose if you are not going to be notified when your apps are misbehaving. New Relic Alerts allows you to configure notifications to a number of common destinations (Slack, OpsGenie, Hipchat, etc…), as well as a generic Webhook to send notifications to.

When getting started with Infrastructure Alerts, one of the first conditions we recommend is a Host Not Reporting condition.

Monitor your apps and their hosts in one place:

Health Map provides a high-level view of your host and application health in relation to one another, prioritized by health status. As long as you have both an APM and Infrastructure subscription, Health Map makes it easy to see on a dashboard-style view, where you may be running into problems so you can drill down and find them faster.

Ready to Learn More?

Looking for more Infrastructure best practices and tips? Check out the Infrastructure Level Up category.

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