Guest author Bekah Suttner is a Product Management Associate for Blue Medora, a leader in platform monitoring extensions.

New Relic Plugins cover a variety of performance monitoring issues and tasks. In the past six months, Blue Medora has widened that range by developing a dozen new plugins designed to extend the reach of New Relic to infrastructure hardware.

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Blue Medora plugins for New Relic.

Here at Blue Medora, we feel that New Relic’s reach into all layers of the stack makes the platform increasingly valuable. These new plugins from Blue Medora address the storage, compute, network, and converged infrastructure needs for monitoring and managing multi-tier enterprise systems. And we’re just getting started—we plan to develop another 20 plugins (in these tiers and others) by the end of 2016.

Blue Medora complements existing New Relic monitoring solutions by enabling customers to monitor the entire stack solely within the New Relic platform. With the right Blue Medora plugins, the complexity of running multiple monitoring applications to manage an IT stack is no longer necessary. This allows administrators to quickly find where problems originated and resolve issues with minimal downtime.

Storage plugins

Our storage plugins for New Relic monitor popular systems from companies like NetApp, Nimble Storage, and EMC. Storage monitoring is important for several reasons; let’s take a look at the practice of storage over-provisioning as an example.

Storage over-provisioning is a common practice in virtualized environments because it allows administrators to split up a central storage component—a group of volumes, for example—in order to share the resources amongst a number of other components, like thin volumes. It’s usually safe to assume that not every thin volume will reach full capacity, so admins can over-provision—the sum total of the disk space handed out is greater than the total storage available for the volume group. This is a great way to save storage costs, but it can come at a performance cost. If the thin volumes start using more storage than expected, they may reach the group’s capacity and negatively impact performance across the board.

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The Nimble Storage Plugin for New Relic.

Using storage plugins with New Relic can help your systems administrators keep an eye on storage usage and notice if resources in your system are trending towards capacity. If your company over-provisions, this helps you maximize your storage resources while also providing your company with optimum storage performance.

Of course, tracking storage over-provisioning is far from the only benefit of monitoring storage. Keeping an eye on storage as it reaches capacity helps your storage admin plan ahead to buy new resources; nobody wants to be plagued with unexpected IT expenses that could have been predicted in advance. Monitoring storage with New Relic lets you address potential issues before they affect your end users.

Compute plugins

Blue Medora’s New Relic Plugins for your compute layer monitor systems from companies like Cisco, Dell, and HP. Functionality in the compute tier is often constrained by throughput bottlenecks—places in your system where slowdowns affect overall performance. Fixing the bottleneck can speed the entire process. The trouble is that bottlenecks can be very difficult to find without comprehensive monitoring tools. Let’s take a look at how a typical bottleneck scenario can be solved with compute monitoring.

In the compute layer of the stack, so-called noisy virtual machines are often the culprit for throughput bottlenecks. A single virtual machine that claims a large amount of resources acts as a noisy neighbor, hogging the host’s resources and slowing down neighboring virtual machines. With a compute monitoring plugin, your IT team can locate a noisy neighbor and move it to a host with more resources, increasing the efficiency of your company’s compute resources.

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Alerts from the compute layer (Cisco UCS Plugin) and the storage layer (VNX File Plugin).

Network plugins

Blue Medora’s New Relic Plugins for Citrix and Cisco products are designed to provide network health monitoring analytics to your IT department. Odds are that your IT team receives countless help desk tickets in a given week, many of which could be related to your company’s network. Your IT team has to take time away from their regular tasks to track down the issues. Meanwhile, end users—somebody in your company, perhaps a top executive—are waiting on resolution before they can continue their work.

With network monitoring, your IT team is better able to prevent network issues, reduce helpdesk tickets, cut employee downtime, and increase productivity across your company.

Converged infrastructure plugins

Many companies use a converged infrastructure to consolidate their management needs. With a converged infrastructure, you can often manage your storage, network, and compute layers from a single console, making management easier for your IT administrators. Plugins for New Relic for solutions like FlexPod and VCE Vblock allow you to also consolidate the monitoring of your converged hardware, giving you a high level view of your system as a whole, along with breakdowns of each component’s health and metrics.

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The VCE Vblock Plugin for New Relic.

Instead of paying to monitor each resource individually, you can cut IT costs by monitoring the entire converged system with a single solution. This simplifies the system; if you’re going to consolidate to a single management console, why not simplify to a single monitoring solution as well?

As infrastructures grow, so do monitoring requirements

Unified monitoring is becoming a basic need for today’s complex environments. To meet this need, Blue Medora continues to develop new plugins for New Relic. In 2016, New Relic users can expect to see more than 20 new plugins become available from Blue Medora, including a plugin for monitoring VMware vCenter.

To download any of Blue Medora’s plugins for New Relic, log into your New Relic account and search Plugin Central for “Blue Medora.” For more information about Blue Medora, visit bluemedora.com.

Bekah Suttner is a member of the product management team at Blue Medora. She specializes in research and technical marketing. View posts by .

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