FutureStack 2018: New Relic Cloud-Native Monitoring Tools for Kubernetes, Docker, & Microservices

Written by: , Sep. 23, 2018

Monitoring, Visibility, & Metrics for DevOps - Improved Production Efficiency for Web/Mobile Apps

New Relic is a cloud software analytics company founded in 2008 by Lew Cirne. New Relic raised $214 million in venture capital funding before going public with an IPO in 2014. Now listed on the New York Stock Exchange ($NEWR), the company has a valuation of $5.4 billion USD. The New Relic network monitoring tools for data centers and web/mobile software applications in production have been widely adopted as enterprise solutions. Each year the company holds a FutureStack conference for programmers, developers, & ecosystem companies to present seminars on various technical issues or announce new product releases. At the FutureStack 2018 convention in SF, Cirne noted that 50% of global GDP will be digitized by 2021, representing a total of $52 trillion USD which "drives world's brightest minds to focus on the problem." The question for enterprise corporations is how to move faster and accelerate the future. The solution New Relic is promoting is based in the use of Microservices, Kubernetes, & Docker containers. New Relic has 50 Agile teams with over 400+ programmers working on building new software for monitoring, visibility, & metrics, as well as enabling devops teams to automate repetitive tasks. The key to this is New Relic's "Four Pillars of an Observability Platform," where cloud metrics, network routing, & data analytics software must all be "Application Centric, Cloud Native, Intelligent, & Programmable." Cirne announced new tools for programmers and systems administrators at FutureStack 2018, including distributed tracing, the Elixir agent for APM, Kubernetes monitoring, & GraphQL API support. The FutureStack 2018 keynote address also included featured showcase presentations from major New Relic partners IBM & USA Today using the software at scale with thousands of active elastic cluster node servers.

FutureStack 2018 Keynote Address: The Four Pillars of a Modern Observability Platform

New Relic CEO Cirne introduced Victor Soares to discuss the new distributed tracing functionality available on the APM platform for programmers to use in debugging problems with code in production. New Relic distributed tracing tools help developers to find where an error or latency originates in running code on web servers through tables of SQL queries with response times for processing listed for review. Programmers can improve code performance & system administrators can fine tune customer experience times on websites/mobile apps with dynamic content pulled in via GraphQL. Cirne also announced the new Elixir agent for APM which is available on GitHub. Altogether, there are over 50 integrations of New Relic metrics & analytics tools with public cloud hosting platforms, with Kubernetes monitoring being the main focus of many enterprise teams. Aaron Johnson stated that in the last 3 years there has been massive convergence on Kubernetes as enterprise solutions through AWS, GCP, RHEL, Azure, etc., where New Relic provides devops teams with needed utilities for automated deployment, scaling, & rollbacks. This enables the transition from monolith servers running proprietary databases & code to elastic cloud cluster servers with hundreds of microservers and distributed data center environments.

Cirne stated that New Relic is currently monitoring 2 billion metrics and events per minute on their platform for clients, which creates a need to use applied intelligence to filter data. Nate Heinreich showed how New Relic APM uses outlier detection to identify problems in containers in production & set alerts to get details within minutes. According to Cirne, incident context can also be used to identify anomalous behavior in external services & receive automatic alerts in production for software app problems. Cirne stated that for enterprises, 80% of code need to be ready with "out of the box" features with an additional 20% customized specifically for the business. April Leonard presented on New Relic's Developer Program and GraphQL API support. GraphQL permits all of the data an app needs to be pulled into a web/mobile page display from a single request. There are over 50 cloud integrations that can be managed programmatically with New Relic's software utilities. These tools combine cloud data with information from other sources via API for new solutions. Learn More About New Relic.

GraphQL: Create Custom Administration Panels & Automation Scripts

Another new feature announced by New Relic at the FutureStack 2018 conference in San Francisco is support for their entire platform to developers via GraphQL for the creation of custom administration panels or the automation of web servers for software apps via scripting utilities. This allows programmers to build "single pane of glass" administration screens for their networks that are customized to a business or department.

"New Relic's GraphQL is an efficient and flexible query language for your API. It gives you the power to request exactly the data you need, without over-fetching or under-fetching. While typical REST APIs require loading from multiple URLs, GraphQL APIs get all the data your app needs in a single request. GraphQL also makes it easier to evolve APIs over time and enables powerful developer tools."

New Relic's infrastructure monitoring products overlap with their product marketing suite of software analytics on the basis on cloud server data packet requests, CPU processing requirements, user browser device tracking, web/desktop views, etc. In summary, New Relic's support for GraphQL API makes all of these variables available to developers for building new solutions on their cloud architecture in support of web/mobile software apps in production. GraphQL can also be used with proprietary database solutions, MySQL/MariaDB, or third-party APIs.

Kubernetes Monitoring: Identify Problematic Code Processes in Containers & Receive Email Alerts

New Relic's smart monitoring and analytics platform for web/mobile apps running in production can be used to identify problematic situations and notify systems administrators via automated alerts. For example, if CPU usage spikes for a certain number of minutes or anomalies in order processing are detected, the site administrator will receive an immediate email. This allows site owners to address bugs or crashes immediately to avoid cost over-runs for hardware usage under "pay-as-you-go" plans. By detecting and isolating problematic code running in Kubernetes containers, admins can make the decision to repair, restart, reroute, shut down, etc. different web server nodes rather than have them continue in operation. Developers can then access error logs to debug further what issues in the code base caused the problems on the web server. By using the custom dashboards & cloud hosting utilities provided by New Relic, companies can invest more resources in their own specific code development & data center optimization concerns. Expect New Relic to continue to evolve & advance their industry-leading Kubernetes container monitoring, metrics, & analytics suite with more public cloud options.

Monitor Hosted Web/Mobile Applications: "New Relic Alerts integrates easily with team software like PagerDuty, Campfire, HipChat, Slack—and more—so you can immediately let the right people know when critical issues arise. Or, use webhooks to integrate with virtually any software... Catch problems before they reach your end user. With New Relic Alerts, you receive notifications when leading performance indicators spike or drop. Alerts can keep you aware of issues that go beyond the server with complex application and real user data integration." Learn More About New Relic Alerts.

Summary: Cutting Edge DevOps Teams with New Relic Programming Tools & Cloud Hosting

Other FutureStack 2018 seminars included fireside chats with leading programmers and systems administrators in charge of major enterprise corporate data center operations at the GAP, AWS, IBM, & Adobe. DevOps tools, cloud hardware architecture, software development pipelines, and the challenges of hosting web/mobile apps at scale for international brands were major themes at the conference. New Relic's software analytics suite is designed to meet the needs of large, complex enterprise corporations & government agencies in public cloud hosting, as well as to facilitate the efficiency of microservice programmers in Agile teams working with CI/CD requirements & version control. How widely New Relic software becomes used in cloud data center and custom application programming solutions largely depends on the pricing, which is based on annual plans integrated with public cloud platforms or as a self-hosted /on-prem option, as well as continued Kubernetes platform evolution.

New Relic APM: "No matter where your applications run, our cloud-based platform lets you understand them all from a single screen. Auto-instrumentation for the an industry-leading seven programming languages means you can know what’s happening in any application environment. Quickly find root causes and fix issues fast, thanks to in-depth transaction details that show exact method calls with line numbers, including external dependencies for apps of any size and complexity. Get a complete picture by combining key metrics from mobile and browser apps with supporting services, datastores, and hosts, so you can optimize performance holistically and ensure the success of every initiative." Learn More About New Relic APM.

Author:
Eliran Ouzan is the Co. Founder and designer of HostAdvice and also owns Moonshot Marketing LTD, a leading web design & development firm and was a member at GreenPeace.

Widely known for his pixel-perfect and high conversion rate web designs. Over the course of his web experience he experimeneted with over 200 web hosting companies and have a superior knowledge on what defines a good hosting company.

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