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New Relic Expands APM Tools into an Observability Platform

The platform ties together existing and new tools around a unified UI, APIs, New Relic Query Language (NRQL), GraphQL—an API query language—and a library of components.

New York -- In the quickly evolving world of serverless functions, containers and Kubernetes, the new mantra is "observability."

"There is a proliferation of observability tools," said Lew Cirne, founder and CEO of application performance monitoring vendor New Relic. "But customers don't want more tools. They want a platform. Observability requires a platform with a capital P. It has to be open, connected and programmable."

To that end, New Relic expanded the breadth and depth of its APM tools with the release of its One Observability Platform at the company’s FutureStack conference here.

The platform ties together existing and new tools around a unified UI, APIs, New Relic Query Language (NRQL), GraphQL—an API query language—and a library of components. Along with the platform, New Relic delivered 12 free open source tools developed on it—though the tools can only run on the New Relic platform.

Also announced was the beta of New Relic AI, which is due next year. The AI will automatically collect and correlate incident, metric, log and trace data points, and prioritize response to trouble spots in order to eliminate some of the “noise” around application performance alerts.

New Relic also announced general availability of three new products, New Relic Metrics, New Relic Logs, and New Relic Traces, each of which are part of New Relic One alongside the company's core APM tools.

New Relic has notably designed these new offerings to be open and able to operate without using proprietary New Relic agents and data. For instance, Traces, which enables developers to track performance in distributed applications, can ingest data from OpenTelemetry, Istio and Zipkin sources.

Other new tools announced include the Kubernetes Cluster Explorer, Service Maps, and Serverless for AWS Lambda. The latter can watch the speed of execution for serverless functions and determine if a company is wasting money on compute power.

Together, the efforts are intended to keep up with top competitors Dynatrace and Cisco AppDynamics, and others like Splunk, which recently acquired SignalFx, a specialist in real-time monitoring of applications and events.

For customers, New Relic has helped turn the software development process into an exercise in accountability. For instance, Cox Automotive, a diversified player in the consumer and B2B automotive space, is running New Relic to help it stay compliant with AWS's Well Architected Framework initiative to build secure and high-performing applications.

"You can't be held accountable for things you can't measure," said Chris Dillon, Vice President for Architecture at Cox. "Now we can hold teams accountable, and drive a new sense of accountability, and we have turned that into a process for our teams to assess their apps and how to improve them, and link data to topics the business cares about.”


Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

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