Next Update Expands its Sifter Bug and Issue Tracking Application with Help from New Relic

Next Update logoNext Update is a small company that’s obsessive about making work a little less tedious and a lot more fun. Sifter, its SaaS-based bug and issues tracking application, simplifies the bug tracking process by making it easier to capture and utilize information.

Unlike traditional tracking tools, Sifter is designed to be easily used by both technical and non-technical tem members. Next Update’s goal is to make Sifter more accessible for wider use across companies. And judging by its steady growth, driven primarily from word of mouth, Sifter is filling that need.

Getting Started with New Relic
Next Update’s founder, Garrett Dimon, first heard of New Relic in 2008 when the Ruby APM was introduced. At that time, the entire Sifter application and database ran on a single virtual server. As a result, even the smallest issue impacted performance or took the application offline. Garrett installed New Relic in 2009 to improve Sifter’s reliability, avoid downtime, and have more time and resources to enhance the application. The company has used New Relic ever since.

With the insight gained from New Relic, the Next Update team soon realized that higher availability meant moving to a more complex environment. They evolved their single virtual server to seven virtual servers hosted by Rackspace. Next Update relied on New Relic’s Server Monitoring feature to aid them during the transition. The team was able to monitor application performance across the different app servers, helping them prevent any problems before customers noticed them or caused an outage.

“Recently we figured out our application servers were maxing out their memory, using up all the RAM,” says Garrett. “Using New Relic we were able to update the server configuration to prevent us from running out of memory. Instead of wasting money upgrading application servers, New Relic helped us see that a minor configuration change could solve the problem.”

Setting Performance Objectives with the ASI
ASI: Which Apps Are FastestNext Update also used the New Relic Application Speed Index (ASI) as a comparative performance gauge against similar applications. “The ASI has been a great tool for us because it provides a quantifiable, objective context against we can measure ourselves,” adds Garrett. “We’ve always believed the performance was important, but we never knew if we were running fast enough. Seeing how our Ruby app stacks up against other applications in our space tells us exactly how much we need to improve.”

Today the Next Update team checks in with New Relic regularly to monitor application and server health, and identify areas where improvement can be used. This not only makes it easier to manage Sifter’s performance, it improves the team’s productivity by helping them decide where to put their efforts.

“Initially we used New Relic reactively to figure out what was going wrong,” Garrett explains. “Now that we’re ahead of the curve, New Relic has turned into a much more proactive tool. I use New Relic more than any other tools I have. I can see beyond performance and can pick out high value things to works on from a development point of view – so that things don’t ever go bad, and that’s good for Sifter and it’s good for our customers.”

Learn More
Read the full case study to see how New Relic supports Next Update as it expands its Sifter bug and issue tracking application.

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