Does a blog post dedicated to New Relic’s amazing 2018 qualify as bragging? Maybe, but New Relic really did have a remarkable year in almost every way, from business growth and industry kudos to rolling out a series of innovative new products and features designed to help our customers get the real-time insights they need to innovate faster.

Muhammad Ali once said it’s not bragging if you can back it up, and that’s good enough for us. So let’s get to work—there’s a lot of news to recap!

Success by the numbers: 17,000 customers and counting

Let’s start with a quick look at a fundamental measure of New Relic’s success as a business: Today, more than 17,000 companies—including half of the Fortune 500—rely on New Relic to solve some of their most urgent and sensitive business technology challenges. That group includes more than 2,000 new customers added during 2018; it also includes more than 700 firms with at least a $100K investment in the New Relic platform this year, compared to 517 firms in this key enterprise customer cohort the year before.

Kubernetes Cluster Explorer makes its debut

New Relic is always working to make our set of applications even better. And in 2018 we were constantly making waves—innovating, listening to customers, and continually improving our products.

Take our new Kubernetes Cluster Explorer, announced earlier in December: It’s an intuitive yet powerful tool that helps our customers monitor and manage the health and performance of their Kubernetes environments.

The rollout of New Relic’s Kubernetes Cluster Explorer was one highlight among many during a year packed with innovative upgrades to the New Relic Platform

Kubernetes Cluster Explorer makes it easier to engage with Kubernetes performance data—whether scaling up to assess the overall health of a cluster or drilling down to inspect and troubleshoot a specific pod, node, or container. As our customers grow and scale their Kubernetes environments, they need better ways to manage complexity and to troubleshoot problems before they impact users: Kubernetes Cluster Explorer offers an elegant yet practical solution.

Distributed tracing anomaly detection

But that’s only the latest innovation. In November, we rolled out distributed tracing anomaly detection to customers using New Relic APM Pro. Distributed tracing gives customers a powerful new way to address the growing complexity of their distributed application architectures—tracking the performance of a single request across all of the services and microservices within a system, pinpointing sources of latency, and revealing opportunities to fix errors and to optimize the underlying code.

Support for AWS Lambda

New Relic also addressed the growth of serverless, announcing APM support for AWS Lambda in November. Many New Relic customers are moving to add serverless architectures to support their application modernization efforts, but traditional system and application metric solutions don’t always work well in serverless environments. Adding APM support for AWS Lambda—the market’s most significant Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) offering—is a key step in extending modern monitoring techniques to serverless environments.

More 2018 rollouts

Of course, those weren’t the only new capabilities New Relic rolled out this year. For New Relic Mobile customers, there was backend API monitoring—giving users new abilities to resolve HTTP issues for business-critical endpoints, and supporting closer collaboration between mobile development and backend teams.

New Relic Infrastructure added an integration with StatsD—giving users the ability to monitor metrics sent to StatsD from New Relic Insights. Infrastructure customers also got stepped-up multi-cloud monitoring support with new integrations for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, and another long-awaited set of capabilities with on-host integration for Kubernetes.

Additions to New Relic Browser included the rollout of a JavaScript error analytics beta designed to help customers cut the guesswork out of JavaScript troubleshooting, so they can find and fix errors faster.

New Relic Insights added a Dashboard API designed to give users programmatic control over their organizations’ dashboards—the starting point for a wide range of unique and often very powerful capabilities.

New Relic Alerts got a host of enhancements—ranging from outlier detection for NRQL conditions and a new NRQL-condition UI to beefed-up incident context and improved preview charts—that take full advantage of the platform’s increasingly versatile intelligence capabilities.

Last but not least, New Relic Synthetics customers got acquainted with containerized private minions (CPMs), designed to simplify the process of configuring, deploying, upgrading, and auto-remediating Synthetics minions—including the ability to run CPMs as a non-root user.

Whew! You may call it a long list of new and improved capabilities— we call it business as usual for New Relic’s product and engineering teams.

Global growth—and a new acquisition

Global growth is also business as usual for New Relic, which has long served customers on six continents—give us a call, Antarctica! But 2018 turned out to be a huge year for New Relic’s European presence, as we opened a new EMEA HQ in Dublin, Ireland and a branch office in Paris; and partnered with IBM Cloud to open a dedicated EU region data hosting option located in Frankfurt, Germany.

dublin headquarters opening

New Relic executives preside over the official opening of New Relic’s EMEA HQ in Dublin, Ireland.

New Relic also turned to Europe to acquire technology and team members from Belgium-based CoScale in October. The CoScale team brings a cutting-edge body of work around deep Docker, Kubernetes, and OpenShift monitoring, and members of the CoScale team—including co-founders Stijn Polfliet and Frederick Ryckbosc—are joining our growing European Development Center in Barcelona.

Europe wasn’t the only location for New Relic’s 2018 expansion. We also celebrated the opening of New Relic’s East Coast HQ in Atlanta, where the New Relic team grew to more than 30 employees—with room for up to 50 more—to be closer to some of our most important customers.

On the other side of the world, New Relic expanded its presence in Japan by launching a Japanese joint venture with Japan Cloud.

New resources for our developer community

New Relic has always maintained a special relationship with application developers and DevOps practitioners. In 2018, we took that relationship to the next level with the brand new (and already extremely popular) New Relic developer program. Intended to be a journey towards openness, simplification, and engagement, the program gives developers and DevOps practitioners access to a rich catalog of reference code, documentation, examples, tutorials, and other resources. It’s all designed to help devs ease the process of moving data into and out of New Relic, automating New Relic into a team’s existing workflows, and other essential tasks.

FutureStack goes global—and stays local

In 2018, it was especially gratifying to see New Relic’s FutureStack18 event series emerge as a must-attend event for so many software development experts and practitioners around the world.

In fact, this year’s roster of FutureStack events—much like New Relic’s customer community—expanded into a truly global affair. It included flagship events in cities on three continents, including San Francisco, London, and Sydney/Melbourne. At all these events, DevOps teams from some of the world’s most innovative businesses shared how they leverage New Relic to drive innovation and to tap into the full potential of their companies’ digital transformations.

lew cirne futurestack18

New Relic Founder and CEO Lew Cirne addresses the FutureStack18 opening keynote audience.

For many New Relic customers, however, our FutureStack Roadshow events turned out to be exactly what they needed: compact events held in host cities near them throughout North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific Region. The Roadshows offered the same, high-quality FutureStack content and New Relic University training courses, along with the same great networking opportunities—but with far fewer travel hassles.

Of course, FutureStack wasn’t the only place where New Relic was able to connect with our customers. New Relic team members and customers spoke at breakout sessions, gave product demonstrations, hosted lightning talks, and answered questions about the platform at industry events such as AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas; KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018 in Seattle; DockerCon 2018 in San Francisco; and our own 2018 Well Instrumented World Tour, which covered 17 cities in partnership with this year’s AWS Global Summit series.

But wait, there’s more … isn’t there?

Crazy as it sounds, we probably left out more highlights than we managed to squeeze into this blog post—being named to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites for the sixth consecutive time, and also becoming the 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Application Performance Monitoring Suites, for instance. But you get the point: A lot of important things happened at New Relic in 2018, and we couldn’t resist sharing them

Matthew McKenzie is a Senior Content Editor at New Relic. He's a veteran writer, editor, content strategist and IT industry analyst with more than two decades of experience following the evolution of cloud computing and related technologies. View posts by .

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