Whether your company was “born in the cloud” or you’ve recently migrated your on-premise applications to the cloud, there’s plenty of work to do to perfect your cloud native experience. The New Relic Guide to optimizing your cloud native environment provides nine hands-on tutorials for using New Relic to optimize your business in the cloud. This blog post shares some of the high-level take-aways from these tutorials.

Three core capabilities for optimizing your cloud native environment

Our cloud native optimization strategy consists of honing three core capabilities:

  1. Easily adopt new technologies
  2. Confidently promote a culture of experimentation
  3. Effectively scale your environment

Let’s take a closer look at how the tutorials can help you at every point on this journey to cloud-native mastery.

Capability 1: Adopt new technologies easily

To start, you’ll establish objectives and baselines that help you adopt new cloud services and take advantage of microservices.

1. Establish objectives and baselines

An optimized cloud native environment requires teams to develop the right mix of skills, along with appropriate goals and motives, for effective cross-team collaboration. Service level objectives (SLOs) support these requirements by codifying team goals in ways that stakeholders can measure and share.

This tutorial defines SLOs for successful service delivery objectives and provides guidance on how to use New Relic instrumentation to surface current performance metrics relative to those objectives. Measurable SLOs, and visibility into your progress towards those SLOs, help ensure that you can properly assess the success of your optimization efforts.

2. Adopt cloud services

Whether you recently completed your cloud migration, have been using cloud-based services for a while, or have always been in the cloud, you’re likely to deploy modern, cutting-edge technologies and services, such as Kubernetes, AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure. These services, like many others that abstract the service away from an operations-maintained infrastructure, also involve new challenges related to observability and performance.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to monitor, query, and alert on performance and usage metrics for modern technologies and cloud-based services, so your team can deploy faster and adopt new services with confidence.

3. Migrate to microservices

In a microservice architecture, you deliver a single application as a suite of small, API-based services—each running in its own process and communicating using lightweight mechanisms. Fragmenting applications into their most basic services in this manner enables continuous delivery and deployment of large, complex applications. App developers can build, manage, scale, and reuse services independently; resolve issues faster; increase the rate of deployments; and ultimately deliver an enhanced end-user experience.

This tutorial recommends six steps for using the New Relic platform to ensure an effective migration path to microservices.

Capability 2: Promote a culture of experimentation, and do it confidently

Next, you’ll promote a culture of experimentation within your teams to maximize the value of your complex, distributed systems. This includes using proactive alerting and incident orchestration, clear measurements for your deploys, and insightful analysis.

4. Use proactive alerting to align teams, tools, and processes for incident response

Well-defined alerts help you understand the health of your systems, so you can respond to performance problems before they affect your customers. Further, a focused alerts policy helps pinpoint any degradation that could impact performance in your application or environment.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use alerts to communicate efficiently and minimize the overall impact of incidents on your business.

5. Use tracking metrics to assess impacts before and after deployments

Proper instrumentation gives your teams full visibility into the impact of the changes they make to your systems. This tutorial explains how to capture metrics from before and after each change—allowing teams to make changes in isolation and to reduce their impact on other work happening in the system.

6. Analyze and improve the observability of distributed systems

It’s important to have a holistic view of any distributed system—especially when tracking the root cause of a defect, as there are volumes of data to evaluate and understand. When managing a microservices environment,  you need to spot bottlenecks and problem spans quickly so that you don’t increase your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) or compromise the end-user experience.

This tutorial details how to use the New Relic platform to transform data into relevant insights. It then explains how your team can apply these insights to collaborate around a common framework; to build context; and to optimize and troubleshoot complex, distributed systems.

Capability 3: Scale effectively

The final capability is all about how you can leverage data-driven insights to optimize containerized environments—ensuring that you can continue to enhance end-user experiences, improve reliability, and cut costs as your organization grows and your systems scale.

7. Manage your containerized environment

While the rise of Kubernetes has made it easier for teams to schedule, deploy, and manage their containerized applications, three remaining challenges require teams to rethink their container strategies:

  1. Containers are ephemeral by nature.
  2. The sheer scale and dimensionality of containers and clusters is hard to conceptualize in an easy-to-understand format.
  3. Organizations need context into how Kubernetes-related infrastructure changes impact the application stack, and how changes to both the infrastructure and application stack affect the end-user experience.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use New Relic platform to manage Kubernetes environments in ways that address these challenges.

8. Track experience indicators to improve the customer experience

An efficient, high-functioning IT culture helps organizations make rapid, frequent releases and product changes. A strong culture also democratizes access to data beyond the typical backend users—making it available to stakeholders such as customer service, support, sales, and marketing. A strong culture, however, also ensures that information enablement never loses focus on the overarching goal of enhancing the customer experience.

The four steps outlined in this tutorial show you how to leverage the data you collect to achieve these goals and to attain the greatest possible improvements in your organization’s digital customer experience.

9. Optimize cloud architecture and spend for continuous improvement

In the cloud, it’s important to regularly examine how your applications and services are architected and utilized. It’s the best way to identify opportunities that will let you right-size your instances, fine-tune your databases, modify your storage capacity, better configure your load balancers, or even re-architect your applications.

This tutorial explains how to use New Relic platform to serve these goals by capturing and leveraging data to optimize your cloud architecture and spend.

Ready to enhance your life in the cloud?

New Relic is ready to help you measure and optimize your effectiveness at every step of your organization’s cloud native journey. Visit our Guide to optimizing your cloud native environment to dive into our tutorials—and learn how to make the most of the cloud’s many benefits.

As solution strategy lead for Cloud Native at New Relic, Alexis has deep knowledge of the cloud industry and works with customers and partners to assist in their modernization initiatives. She's been in the technology industry for over a decade, serving in strategy, marketing, and finance roles for enterprise software, semiconductor hardware, and financial services companies. View posts by .

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