When we first launched New Relic Insights in 2014, our customers were thrilled.
Up to that point, many APM solutions (New Relic included) relied solely on aggregated metric data to describe application performance. A number or series of numbers, captured at regular intervals, downsampled over a long time horizon. Using that data, you could answer questions like “Is my average web duration trending up or down relative to the previous week?” That’s a super useful trend to follow, no doubt, but when it came to really understanding the experience that particular customers were having or performance within particular parts of an application, that data pool couldn’t tell you much.
New Relic Insights radically changed the face of application performance monitoring by offering real-time event data, delivered at enterprise scale, in the cloud, with an integrated query language and visualization engine sitting on top. With Insights, users could ask hugely complex questions of their software without having to bring their own infrastructure or maintain frontend code to dashboard the data. This event data—web requests, page loads, mobile crashes, and synthetic pings, to name just a few of the data types available—represented actual end-user behavior, unaggregated, directly from customer software. By enriching this data with custom attributes about their businesses, users could track not only the performance of their software but the specific users that were impacted.
More than just an analytics tool
As we learned about how our customers were using Insights to help them run their digital businesses, we discovered that the product was more than an analytics tool; it was also a way to visualize the wide variety of data sent to New Relic in one unified place and to share the story of customer experience from across the entirety of your application stack. Insights was seeing a huge part of that story in the form of raw software events. However, it was missing some of what made other New Relic products hum: metric data across New Relic APM, Browser, Mobile, Plugins, and Servers. The picture was incomplete.
With Add-to-Insights, customers can now add charts from any New Relic product to Insights dashboards with the click of a button. Previously, much of this data was visible only via NRQL queries, or not available in Insights at all. Everything from JVM garbage collection statistics to CPU usage metrics to disk I/O can now be instantly pinned to Insights and visualized alongside any of your other charts.
Introducing the Metric Explorer
Further, we’ve added a whole new way to discover and query data within Insights: the Metric Explorer. This interface offers rich, full-text search across millions of metrics that New Relic agents collect about your applications and hosts. Not only can you explore and chart standard New Relic metrics from within the Metric Explorer, but you can also find any custom metrics that you’ve added. For example, if you use custom metrics to track messages sent and received on a Kafka queue, you could easily find those metrics and add them to a dashboard alongside error rate or throughput trends. From the Metric Explorer, you can easily change the scope of metrics using wildcards, facet your metrics by application host, and instantly expose an API call for the metric with a single click.By combining all of this data from up and down the application stack, DevOps teams, for example, can get a cohesive view of end-user performance—from the client all the way down to the infrastructure. We’re beyond excited to share this new functionality with all Insights users, and we can’t wait to hear your feedback. This release makes it even easier to get the full picture of what’s happening inside your software, and to see what your customers are experiencing, all in one place.
You can check out our documentation for more info, or get started using these features right now: Just mouse over any New Relic chart to see the Add-to-Insights button or visit insights.newrelic.com to start using the Metric Explorer! And stay tuned for more exciting releases in the coming weeks and months.
Don’t Miss Our Webinar
Join us on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) for a free webinar to learn more about these new features: “Launch Day with New Relic: A Unified View for Ops, Dev, and PM.” We’ll present an introduction to the Metric Explorer and Add-to-Insights; discuss how Add-to-Insights and Metric Dashboards improved our own pre-launch load testing; and share how we combined metric and event data in a single dashboard to watch feature adoption alongside ElasticSearch and service performance on launch day. Don’t miss this informative webinar—register today!
Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice.