At New Relic, we believe in the transformational power of software. Software is how your customers engage with you and experience your brand. I see it as our mission to help our customers create great software to do exactly that. This means understanding two important ideas:
First, that software is today’s ultimate creative medium. Software is incredibly malleable and limited only by your imagination.
Second, that great software isn’t just built in one release. Instead, great software is developed with the help of constant feedback from users. The creative process doesn’t end when you release the first version of your app—it is just beginning.
At New Relic, we provide tools for the builders and operators of your website, your mobile app, and backend software to help ensure it’s working properly and to understand how it’s being used. This is what we call Software Analytics, and today at FutureStack15 we’re announcing the next step in fulfilling our Software Analytics vision.
When we released New Relic Insights last year, customers loved the deep, detailed data they could get through its ad hoc query capabilities. They told us they wanted this level of granular analysis across all New Relic products. And we want all our customers to gain the benefits of software analytics. So, I’m pleased to announce today that we’re unleashing the power of analytics across all our products, for all our paying Pro and Enterprise customers.
What’s new in Software Analytics
Specifically, we are announcing the following:
- Including New Relic Insights functionality and events data with all commercial New Relic products: New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, and New Relic Mobile. Beginning on December 1, 2015, that will include eight days of Insights standard events generated from New Relic agents instrumented in your software, and one day of Insights custom events created by your developers.
- Introducing a new, visual Insights Data Explorer that is designed to make it even easier for everyone on your software team to explore Insights events. With the visual Data Explorer, available now, you don’t have to use NRQL to start getting a better understanding of how to drive your software business forward.
- Infusing analytics into all our products going forward. The first of these efforts to bear fruit is Error Analytics, which builds dimensional analysis of lossless events data directly into our APM product. This will be closely followed by Geo Analytics, which will give New Relic Browser the ability to segment end-user Web experience by geographic, network, and browser-processing metrics.
The real goals of Software Analytics
To truly understand the importance of analytics to building and running software, let’s take a step back and look at the goals and assumptions behind monitoring. The history of monitoring began with monitoring servers back in the 1990s. The assumption was that if the servers ran well, the apps on them also ran well.
But that wasn’t always true. So in the next decade, companies started monitoring applications, believing that if the apps ran well, customers would have a good experience.
But that didn’t always follow, either. So in this decade, companies began monitoring the customer experience, thinking that if they did, good business outcomes would occur. Of course, that isn’t always the case, either. You have to measure that, too.
When monitoring all these layers to get the true picture, we think it is critical for the information to be in one integrated platform. Great software is typically built collaboratively by cross-functional teams of developers, system administrators, and app owners making data-driven decisions based on highly iterative feedback loops. Tools that look at all levels help foster alignment and trust, providing each team member with the data they need. Further, that data can tie server performance to business outcomes. Supported by a single integrated platform, business stakeholders can converse with developers about how a new feature might grow revenue, for example, and with operations on how adding more application capacity could help accommodate a seasonal rush of customers.
Asking questions using Software Analytics
If you want to understand how your customers are using your apps, how they’re impacting the business, and how the apps are behaving, you need to be able to ask questions about your software data that spans all these levels. Our customers can ask questions like, How much revenue did my software generate, from which geographic regions, on which devices, and from which accounts? How can we provide the fastest, most reliable service to our users so that they come to love doing business with us, and even become evangelists for our brand?
In the old world, asking these questions would lead to responses like, “We need to analyze the data, we’ll get back to you in a month.” Today, great software—and great software businesses—are built using real-time feedback. And this is exactly what Software Analytics provides to our customers. New Relic can enable you to answer the questions above and many more, instantly, with continual updates in real time. This is why at least one of our customers checks New Relic just before going to bed, and again first thing when he wakes up.
Software Analytics is all about the data
Making this happen isn’t easy. The amount of data generated from monitoring your app can dwarf the amount of data inside the app by as much as 100 times or more. That’s why, in the past, monitoring systems typically aggregated this vast mountain of monitoring data. The problem is that aggregated data generally reveals only the averages, without easy access to information about the outliers that you really need to understand to solve problems and drive innovation.
We think we have a better way. Our customers capture their software data in the form of events. These Insights events can relate to any of the layers mentioned above: infrastructure, application, customer, and business. Each of these events can contain multiple dimensions. For instance, an event can describe which customer made a transaction, what kind of device they were using to make the purchase, and how long it took for them to complete their transaction. That event, for example, would contain the dimensions “customer,” “device,” and “response time.”
By storing data in a lossless, unaggregated manner and pre-indexing it across all dimensions, we have enabled our customers to ask questions about their software in almost any way imaginable, across any combination of dimensions.
This approach means our software data isn’t pre-computed or pre-formed to limit what you can do with it. Instead we have designed it so that you can mold and sculpt it to suit your needs. We focus on the flexibility of the data, so you can use it to answer whatever questions you can imagine.
Economics of Software Analytics
Handling all these software events is a significant big data challenge. In a single second, we might process 2 million incoming events. On a typical day we might query 126 trillion events, with a typical response time of less than a second. Critically, our software handles all of this data complexity for our customers using NRDB, our purpose-built, multi-tenant analytics database in our Software Analytics Cloud, which we introduced with Insights two years ago. A few Web giants may have the enormous scale needed to build their own monitoring infrastructure for unaggregated events data, but for most companies that’s the equivalent of flying across the United States in their own 747. Fortunately, today’s architects have the option of outsourcing the engineering effort and infrastructure costs involved in building and maintaining world-class analytics capabilities.
With NRDB—which we see as the first of its kind—and the New Relic Software Analytics Cloud, there’s no on-premise software or hardware for our customers to build or manage. That’s one less thing to distract them from building great software.
With the New Relic Software Analytics Cloud, we are able to build, run, and secure the mother of all superclusters because we’ve built it for shared use by all of our more than 12,000 paying customers. That’s the power of the cloud.
You are now a Software Analytics business
Now that you have Software Analytics as part of your New Relic subscription, we believe you are going to love what you see. We believe you’ll be able to build better software by exploring the events data it generates, and getting real-time answers to your questions about application performance, customer experience, and business outcomes. That’s the power of Software Analytics, and we’re proud to advance that vision further today.
This post contains “forward-looking” statements, as that term is defined under the federal securities laws, including but not limited to features and products that may be released in the future, such as including New Relic Insights functionality and events data with all commercial New Relic products, infusing analytics into products going forward such as Geo Analytics , the benefits of our new features to our customers resulting from these new inclusions and any features or benefits related thereto. The achievement or success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements are based on New Relic’s current assumptions, expectations, and beliefs and are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and changes in circumstances that may cause New Relic’s actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. Further information on factors that could affect New Relic’s financial and other results and the forward-looking statements in this press post is included in the filings we make with the SEC from time to time, including in New Relic’s most recent Form 10-Q, particularly under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Copies of these documents may be obtained by visiting New Relic’s Investor Relations website at http://ir.newrelic.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. New Relic assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.