FutureStack15 brought together some 1,500 registrants from all corners of the world of modern software, including New Relic experts, partners, and users. So this once-a-year gathering of the New Relic faithful is the perfect place to put together an all-in-one-room podcast, which is exactly what our friends at The New Stack did for the latest episode of The New Stack @ Scale Podcast, sponsored by New Relic.

I joined The New Stack’s Editor in Chief Alex Williams, TNS contributor Scott Fulton, Joyent product manager Tim Gross, and New Relic’s own Karl Matthias (the latter two spoke on a FutureStack15 panel on Containers in Production) for a wide-ranging conversation. We initially focused on the details of Karl’s work on Centurion, New Relic’s tool to help manage Docker deployments, including everything from Docker’s level of maturity (what is normal?) to alternatives to Linux-kernel Device-mapper, to the evolution of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). From there, though, we went big-picture (more on that after the podcast player):

New Relic is a sponsor of the New Stack @ Scale Podcast. However, the content and views expressed are those of the participants of the New Stack @ Scale Podcast, which is the property of The New Stack. Any views expressed on the New Stack @ Scale Podcast do not necessarily reflect the views of New Relic. By  embedding the audio for the New Stack @ Scale Podcast or linking to The New Stack, New Relic does not adopt, guarantee, approve or endorse the information, views or products available on The New Stack site.

One of the most interesting topics we addressed concerned New Relic’s push to spread the power of Software Analytics beyond the relatively technical worlds of developers and IT operations. With the release of the visual Data Explorer for New Relic Insights, business leaders can get direct access to the stories their software is telling them about their business. I was surprised—and encouraged—to hear that entire panel agree on the game-changing power of this approach.

“Change that starts with the tech organizations—what’s going on with our deployment cycle, what’s going on with our production monitoring—have been turned into questions about how is our business doing,” Tim said.

That’s why, “the more accessible you can make that data, the better,” Tim said. “Otherwise it’ll be in Excel documents … and weird little proprietary processes that don’t get shared and don’t get fed back into the technical organization … [But] once that data is available, it’s like wow, there’s a whole world of new questions you can have answered.”

From left to right: Scott Fulton, Tim Gross, Karl Matthias, Alex Williams, and Fredric Paul.

From left to right: Scott Fulton, Tim Gross, Karl Matthias, Alex Williams, and Fredric Paul.

“Our customers want more direct access to their data,” Karl agreed. “They know best about how their business operates and what they need out of that data. So the platform we’re building now is making that data more available.”

For Scott, it’s all about communication: “There are a number of people who are not hearing this message,” he said. And these are the people who are in the executive suites and they are the people who are in … the financial side of operations” actually charged with solving the business problems. “They do not know that the data is being collected,” Scott said, because there is often little or no communication between the business operation and the technology operation.”

I couldn’t agree more. I believe giving both the technical and business sides easy access to the data generated by the software that runs the business is super important, and often underappreciated. But if this discussion is any indication, it seems like that’s starting to change!

Read more about this podcast program on The New Stack website: The New Stack @ Scale Show 3: Monitoring and Containers


Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite, AllBusiness.com, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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