We are excited to announce the addition of timeseries charts to APM Service Maps! These charts are designed to help New Relic customers troubleshoot operational issues more quickly and easily.

In general, application maps are useful for showing the relationships of entities in your application architecture. However, they are less useful for showing the health of the entities and overall architecture over time. With the introduction of timeseries charts to Service Maps, you are able to see, in a single view, both relationships and health metrics within a time window. This perspective can help you to troubleshoot more effectively and reduce Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR).

If you are an IT operations manager or a developer who is interested in better understanding your overall application and service architecture, or finding the source of problems in the architecture more quickly, read on!

Background on Service Maps

The New Relic APM Service Maps feature—which we plan to roll out to New Relic users over the next few weeks—provides you a visual, customizable representation of your application architecture at the entity level. Entities are elements of your service map that include applications and services that you monitor (New Relic APM, New Relic Mobile, and New Relic Browser apps), databases, plugins, and external services, along with associated connections and health metrics. You can use Service Maps to understand how the entities in your architecture connect and communicate with each other, quickly see the health of your overall system, and troubleshoot problems.

Finding problems more quickly and easily

Service Maps can be useful in troubleshooting issues during incident management. During an incident, your goal is to reduce the MTTR by identifying the source of the problem and its impact as quickly as possible. During the triage and investigation phases, Service Maps can help you quickly identify slow or failing services within the overall system you are monitoring. Once you open the service map for your environment, the problematic application or service can be initially identified via its health status (Red/Yellow/Green), which is associated with alerts policy violations.

With the addition of charts to Service Maps, you can drill down to specific performance metrics directly from the application or service itself. The charts contain metrics from New Relic APM, Browser, and Mobile pages, providing you with a high-level picture of your system in addition to the relationships between the entities. Additional charts can be viewed by clicking on each of the metrics displayed below the current chart shown. Data in the chart is shown for the last 30 minutes so you can easily find recent problems.


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An important benefit of the Service Maps feature is that it shows you the relationships between the applications or services. When a problem arises in an application, you can look at the upstream and downstream applications or services to see if the problem originated upstream, or has created an impact further downstream. As shown in the example below, you can open up charts and see metrics for the entities with connections to the problem application, in this case the response time of an upstream browser application as well as throughput and response times for downstream datastores and external services.


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At this point, you may have sufficient information to identify the problem and focus on resolving it. If additional troubleshooting is needed, you can drill down further by going to the application or service’s Overview page, which contains detailed information, including time-consuming transactions.

service maps screenshot

The ability to see metrics directly on the nodes within a service map and follow the upstream and downstream impact helps you to pinpoint problems and assess impact quickly and easily. This ability becomes more important with more complex architectures that involve many nodes, such as an operational IT environment or as a microservice-based architecture.

To summarize, by adding timeseries charts to Service Maps you can see both relationship and health metrics from within a single view, which aids in reducing MTTR.

Try it out and let us know!

We would love for you to try out the new charts in Service Maps and let us know what you think, and whether you think there are areas that we can improve with charts or with Service Maps in general. Please provide your feedback directly in the New Relic Community Forum.

If you need additional help, you can get support at support.newrelic.com, or check out the detailed documentation here.

The Service Maps feature is slated to be available to New Relic customers with at least an APM Pro subscription and who meet the minimum agent versions requirements. We plan to roll out Charts on Service Maps to customers gradually, starting with a subset of customers. We are working toward making it available to all customers over the next few weeks.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

Peter Vinh is principal product manager for New Relic APM. View posts by .

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