What a great day! On Tuesday, July 5, we officially expanded our annual FutureStack user conference beyond San Francisco, kicking off our new FutureStack16 Tour “across the pond” in London.

futurestack london entry

FutureStack16 Tour: London took place in a beautiful facility at 155 Bishopsgate in central London, with plenty of room for the more than 200 attendees. We dedicated rooms to big-picture discussions as well as hand-on training, while a large open area in the middle made a perfect spot for networking and mixing. To my mind, one of the best aspects of the conference, this mingling space offered plenty of time and opportunity to discuss topics of interest with the speakers, expert New Relic staffers, and other New Relic users and fans.

futurestack london lunch crowd

Of course, most people come to conferences for the content, and FutureStack16 Tour: London delivered a jam-packed lineup. In addition to engaging presentations, keynote speeches, and panel discussions, there were New Relic University workshops to help attendees get some hands-on training on how to make the most of New Relic. Customers and partners also got the chance to talk about the remarkable ways they are using New Relic to manage and grow their digital businesses.

New Relic announces SPA monitoring in New Relic Browser

The afternoon keynote session was hosted by Patrick Lightbody, senior vice president of product management at New Relic, who also delivered New Relic’s first major product announcement made outside the United States: He shared the news that New Relic Browser is extending its monitoring capabilities to support Single-Page Application (SPA) frameworks.

The Thought Leadership track at FutureStack16 Tour London, led by our Chief Marketing Officer Robson Grieve, began with my own presentation on how the dynamic nature of the cloud has allowed developers to build applications faster and better than ever before. But using those dynamic capabilities has introduced new monitoring requirements. The dynamic cloud has created a new class of resource that comes and goes rapidly and under the control of the application, not your operations organization. As I said on stage, “If you want to understand a problem that happened 45 minutes ago, you need to know what was running 45 minutes ago.”

lee atchison on stage at futurestack

On stage to present my talk, “Monitoring the Dynamic Nature of the Cloud: How Docker and the Cloud Bring Your Application to Life.”

New Relic customers were the stars of the show

The real stars at the London event were our many customers who shared their own stories of business success using New Relic.

One of the most interesting customer presentations came from David Merrilees, solution architect at Tesco, the largest grocery chain in the U.K. Merrilees began his mesmerizing talk with a description of Tesco’s first foray into online shopping, way back in 1984 when English grandmother Mrs. Jane Snowball became the first person to buy groceries from her local Tesco through her television set. She was homebound, and as part of an initiative to help the elderly, several U.K. companies built a system to help her buy products using only her television remote control. And so online shopping was born (watch this fun video to learn more).

mrs. snowball ordering groceries

In 1995, Tesco joined forces with Microsoft to lead the push to bring grocery shopping to the internet. “‘Do something first’ brings loyalty,” said Merrilees, and by being leaders in bringing grocery shopping online, Tesco has built a solid set of loyal customers. Today, Tesco uses New Relic to help keep its online shopping services operational. Merrilees showed off New Relic dashboards that revealed what might have been an attempted attack on Tesco, and talked about how New Relic has helped various Tesco teams solve real-world problems and been instrumental in helping Tesco scale its online operations.

david merrilees from tesco

David Merrilees, Architect at Tesco, presented on “The Critical Tie between Performance and Customer Experience.”

Kevin Bowman, head of operations of Sky Betting & Gambling, talked about how New Relic helps the firm track its application performance in the face of extremely demanding and variable scaling requirements tied to high-profile sporting events—including the biggest one of all, the Grand National horse race. When big events overlap, for example, the scaling challenge for Sky Betting can be especially intense.

Matthew Churcher, performance test engineer with NewVoiceMedia, a maker of cloud call center and inside sales software, described how New Relic Insights connects performance data to the company’s phone-call data.

Guillaume Postaire, deputy CTO of France Télévisions Editions Numériques, shared how franceTV discovered the value of New Relic for learning the facts about how its systems are operating. The company streams 300 million videos a month to French territories spanning the globe, challenging the company to deliver 24×7 operations support. Data and insights derived from New Relic are essential to drive decision-making, Postaire told the audience.

futurestack panel

New Relic CMO Robson Grieve (far left) led the “This Way to the Future” panel discussion with (from left to right) France Television’s Guillaume Postaire, Tesco’s David Merrilees, and me.

Finally, Mehdi Ali, digital platform manager for News UK, showed FutureStack16 Tour: London attendees how the digital transformation has revolutionized the media industry—and how media companies operate. “If you get the culture right,” Ali said, “positive things start to emerge.”

mehdi ali from news uk

Mehdi Ali, Digital Platform Manager for News UK, presented on “Bringing It All Together to Solve Real Problems.”

James Governor, analyst and co-founder of RedMonk, capped off the day with a compelling and extremely entertaining view of the future of the digital revolution. (More on that in an upcoming New Relic blog post.) Then it was on to drinks and snacks and entertainment—and even more networking.

james governor of redmonk

Special guest speaker James Governor, Principal Analyst and Founder of RedMonk, gave the closing keynote of the day.

Don’t miss the next FutureStack16 Tour event!

Put it all together, and our first FutureStack outside the United States combined invaluable training, compelling content, and extensive opportunities to interact with peers.

new relic university training session

New Relic Senior Technical Trainer Phil Weber leading the onsite training session for attendees.

But if you couldn’t make FutureStack in London, don’t worry. FutureStack 16 Tour: New York rolls around on August 9, and the big FutureStack16 two-day event in San Francisco convenes November 16-17. We look forward to seeing you at one or both of these informative, educational, and fun events!

Scroll down to see more photos from the event:

lee atchison book signing

At the end of the day I was signing copies of my new book Architecting for Scale: High Availability for Your Growing Applications, just out from O’Reilly.


mac and cheese

Another star of the show, says New Relic Technical Trainer Marko Nikolovski, was the mac and cheese served at the party.

this way to future sign

We hope to see you at our next FutureStack event!


Check out what people were saying on Twitter about the FutureStack16 Tour: London.


Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice. Special thanks to Jay Fry and Marko Nikolovski for their event photos.

Lee Atchison is the Senior Director, Cloud Architecture at New Relic. For the last eight years he has helped design and build a solid service-based product architecture that scaled from startup to high traffic public enterprise. Lee has 32 years of industry experience, including seven years as a Senior Manager at Amazon.com, and has consulted with leading organizations on how to modernize their application architectures and transform their organizations at scale. He is the author of the O’Reilly book Architecting for Scale and author of the blog Lee@Scale. View posts by .

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