On March 31, New Relic hit the Big Apple again for our second NYC New Relic User Group. We were blown away by the huge turnout—over 70 attendees from a wide range of big companies, way more than our last New York event back in August 2014.

Big thanks to our host, MongoDB, for hosting us in their cool Manhattan offices.

(Not so stupid) APM tricks

Roger Berlind

Roger Berlind of New Relic

The first presentation of the night was by Roger Berlind, senior sales engineer for New Relic, who led a new product overview as well as a training session for New Relic APM. Roger discussed how New Relic Browser can provide deep visibility into the experience of real users of your Web applications by measuring the overall time to load Web pages. It is also designed to help you monitor the performance of individual sessions, AJAX requests, and JavaScript errors.

Roger also talked about New Relic Synthetics, which can let you test your app performance around the world by simulating essential user flows and interactions. These requests vary from simple pings and page loads to more sophisticated, scripted interactions that are designed to help make sure your applications are fully available and functioning correctly at all times.

Picture perfect

Our guest presenter for the evening was Alberto Lopez, CTO of Pixable, a personalized, digital media publisher and content creator based in NYC. In order to produce highly visual original content for its users, Pixable constantly crawls millions of photos and videos per hour, using machine learning to provide personalized content. This means the company typically has more than 300 servers running at any moment in Amazon Web Services.

Alberto explained how the company originally relied on a number of ad-hoc infrastructure monitoring and analytics tools to monitor its systems. After Pixable integrated New Relic into its DevOps environment, it changed the way the company monitors, troubleshoots, and optimizes its systems.

The company now uses New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, New Relic Mobile, and New Relic Synthetics to monitor performance, identify bottlenecks, and get error alerts to rapidly troubleshoot any problems.

Alberto’s team regularly schedules what they call “New Relic sessions,” in which everyone sits down to find and fix performance problems that New Relic has brought to light. These sessions have saved Pixable a great amount of time and money, so both he and CFO are happy. He said, “The real value of New Relic is that it has changed the way we deploy and the way we respond to errors. In a way, it has democratized DevOps, setting a performance-oriented mindset across the company, reinforcing the sense of ownership in the developers.”

Boston bound

Boston skyline, New Relic user group event

After our great New York event, we packed up and headed north to beautiful, chilly Boston, where on April 2 we held the second stop of our “Great Northeast Tour.” This was our first user group event in Boston, and the night was hosted by our friends at Logentries. We had another great turnout, with nearly 50 people coming out to meet us, network with each other, and listen to informative presentations from our great guest speakers.

Don Darwin, technical account manager, New Relic

Don Darwin speaks at the Boston event

From our own team, the audience got to hear from Don Darwin, New Relic technical account manager, and Bill Kayser, one of New Relic’s very first engineers. Don led the group through a New Relic APM workshop (his own take on “APM Tips & Tricks”) while Bill explained how to use APM to discover the three most common performance problems in Web applications: slow SQL traces, N+1 queries, and resource saturation.

Trevor Parsons, co-founder of Logentries, took the stage briefly to present the Logentries New Relic plugin. Logentries is a log management solution tool, and the plugin can allow users to search Logentries from New Relic and send specific time frame or search terms to Logentries. The plugin is available on the Chrome store.

Power protection

Our other guest speaker for the Boston event was Danielle Hewitt, director of information technology for Ontegrity, a site management services and power solutions company. As Danielle explained, Ontegrity’s goal is to “keep businesses powered on.” When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, Ontegrity helped to provide emergency cellphone service. The company provides a technology platform, OMS® (Optimization Management System) that uses patented algorithms and advanced predictive analysis to determine power system vulnerabilities by forecasting the health of batteries.

Danielle explained that the company’s decision to try out New Relic came after they heard it mentioned in an article about HealthCare.gov. Once her team installed New Relic and began monitoring transaction traces, it saw major changes within just days. Danielle told the crowd she devoted four hours to learning New Relic Insights, after which she was able to build custom dashboards to measure things such as the number of times audit reports were run by users, weekly report stats, weekly “ready to invoice” stats, and much more. She said that today Ontegrity uses New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, and New Relic Insights continuously on all global deployments.

Join our Meetup pages and stay connected

Our user group events are a great opportunity to meet and learn from other New Relic users in your area, hang with the New Relic team, and get answers to some of your lingering questions. If you’re in New York or Boston, be sure to join our NYC New Relic User Group or New England New Relic User Group Meetup.com pages and get notifications for future events.

This week we’ve landed in Montreal, Quebec, for PyCon 2015. Venez nous voir!

Interested in speaking at our next event or setting up a New Relic User Group in your city? Drop us a note at community@newrelic.comNote: Event dates, speakers, and schedules are subject to change without notice.


Statue of Liberty and Boston images courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

Noelle Daley is a software engineer at New Relic. View posts by .

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