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New Relic's x-ray-sessions will be discontinued on April 17, 2019

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#1

New Relic’s x-ray sessions will be discontinued on April 17, 2019

Why is it going away?

While we recognize that x-ray may be helpful to diagnose timeouts and other performance issues, we are not quite satisfied with the lack of correlation and fine grained control our users need to identify production issues from the data generated by an x-ray session. As our platform evolved, x-ray hasn’t gotten better. We would like the opportunity to address this problem more holistically going forward.

What can I do without x-ray sessions?

There are New Relic tools that can help troubleshoot problematic performance issues in New Relic in lieu of x-ray. In all agents, users can configure transaction traces and set custom Apdex thresholds for key transactions that will help you understand the performance of your system. Furthermore, by using the thread profile tool, you can capture stack traces that may further aid identification of bottlenecks.

We’d love to hear from you!

If you have any suggestions, concerns, or comments, please do let us know! We’d love to understand how we can create the best tool you need to maintain the health of your system.


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#3

While I don’t use the x-ray tool frequently. It is half the value of your product. It makes no sense to remove this.

The thread profiler generally just gets drowned in noise since a key transaction can be giving slow responses but not necessarily taking up much of the total cpu of the servers. This makes it appear as a low down in the thread profile with 0% for all data points and no way to distinguish between the branches.

The profile in the x-ray shows only percentages of the total for the key transaction itself meaning the performance hogs can be easily identified.


#4

I agree with Sindri, I’m very bummed to lose this feature. Nothing else I’ve seen is as fine-grained as XRay. It has been very useful to me in finding hot spots in deep/dependency code as opposed to just at an API level.


#5

Hi there @Zack.Kendall & @sindri -

I’ve had a chat with @kchu here to discuss your feedback, and we want to firstly thank you for adding your point of view.

Secondly there are a number of issues with X-Ray sessions as they currently exist. As described in the original post here. For these reasons we are moving to deprecate X-Ray Sessions.

With that said, we definitely understand the value our customers gain from features like X-Ray Sessions. We will continue to work on new features you’ll see coming down the line that will get you the level of granularity you look for in X-Ray sessions. While we have no current ETA for that, it’s definitely on our radar.


#6

Deprecate is very different than discontinue or remove. Can we get some clarity about what will happen April 17? Will it be removed from the UI completely without the ability to access?

Seems like short notice.


#7

Hi @6MM Sorry about the confusion.

This is a EOL and not a deprecation. The ability to access x-ray will be removed.


#8

Hey @6MM - Sorry my usage of deprecate caused confusion :slightly_frowning_face: - Hopefully @kchu was able to clarify that for you while I was offline.


#9

Like others had mentioned, x-ray is one of the features we frequently used for diagnosing performance issues. It’s very unfortunate to see it removed.

Interested in knowing how soon a similar feature is going to be introduced.


#10

We will keep you updated when we have more information for a similar feature as x-ray.


#11

I’d say it’s pretty unusual to remove a feature with this short of a notice. It’s a reduction in service which is ultimately a licence and contract issue.


#12

This feature is being used very frequently by various team in my organization and I see a huge impact due to this. Can we have this re-instantiated if not replaced by any new feature soon.


#13

Hi @6MM -
Before deprecating the feature, we evaluated usage patterns and determined that the overall impact would be nominal. While we are sensitive to specific customer impact, for internal reasons we determined that the best path forward was to deprecate this functionality. As mentioned in the previous post, we have functionality that will provide similar analytic capabilities. In order to fully address your concerns, I will open a private case on your behalf.


#14

Hi @avijit0907 -
Thank you for letting us know about the impact this is having in your environment. In order to better address your specific concerns, I will open a private case on your behalf so we can gather additional details.


#15

Respectfully, checking usage metrics isn’t really a valid way to determine value. Value is also based on potential use. Removing features reduces contracted value.


#16

This just made your product substantially less useful for us. While X-ray might not get used often, when it is being used it’s providing a ton of value, often in high pressure situations. This was a feature that could justify the cost of NR simply by being useful a couple of times a year.


#17

Thank you for the feedback. The description of your use case, in high pressure situations, to help diagnose the problematic areas, is understood. We’ll be working hard to create better solutions for this.


#18

This is fantastically bogus! As long-time customers and daily NR users we didn’t know that X-Ray was going away until it disappeared.

With roughly one month of notice you decide to take away one of the key value props with no replacement in sight. Moreover you do it not via in-product notifications, not in an email, but in a forum post that most won’t see until they go looking for the missing feature.

As others have noted, Thread profiling and other tools are not equivalent to X-Ray. And sampling for usage levels is an illegitimate mechanism to determine value to customer - especially because it’s often a triage tool, so not something that is used until it’s critically needed. Then when it is, in the middle of an issue, we find that it’s disappeared??

Meanwhile you do things like introduce new features for which adoption means giving up other long-running features. (Turning on Distributed Tracing, your one big “innovative” feature in the last two years, means giving up other facilities.)

What in the hell is going on in the mind of your product leads? How can you even pretend that this has been well considered?

IF you must deprecate functionality, then you need to replace it with an equivalent tool at the time you remove it, otherwise you are stealing value that you are under contract to deliver.

If you wonder why people are actively looking for alternatives to your product, let me put a big flashing arrow on this one - along with slow/low innovation, laughable metric granularity policies, and over-the-top prices. Amidst all the rest of that, you simply can’t afford to be making mindless decisions like this.

Get. It. Together.


#19

Very disappointing. this feature was essential to debug very specific performance issues and without NR is loosing a lot of value for me.
This strikes me as the same thing that happened to developer mode. The single most useful feature for analyzing and fixing some performance issues and poof it is gone because you can’t be bothered to maintain it. Yes it was in a pretty sorrow state, but it was still very useful.

What happened? Did all you engineers leave and you replaced them with a bunch of JS developers so now you just focus on making pointless iterations of dashboard tools?