Is New Relic the tool for your business?
Imagine that you are in the process of creating an e-commerce site—or any other web application. Typically, these types of projects are hosted in the cloud or in your own data center.
At first we observed that everything works perfectly. Something normal due to low traffic usually receives a new trading project. As time goes by (and you make every effort), the number of people visiting your digital business increases. Brilliant!
If that web traffic increases dramatically, you may notice that site pages have slowed down and customers are having a poor user experience. Which results in a decrease in sales and satisfaction. At this point in the hypothetical scenario is where you will ask yourself, what should I do? How to solve it?.
Right here, New Relic comes along with the help. As ecommerce sites become more complex, it becomes difficult to monitor their performance. This is due to several factors, such as the web hosting server, external services, and other applications.
This is why many developers use New Relic to help with this task. New Relic is a monitoring tool that tracks web application performance metrics and other data.
In this article we will share everything you need to know about New Relic, including how it works, the most notable benefits and why you should consider it when monitoring your digital commerce site.
Go for it!
What is New Relic?
New Relic is a web software used for complete monitoring. It allows you to monitor applications, infrastructure, web browsers and other components on a single platform.
This tool tracks and provides details of your web application performance in real time. Development teams can analyze the data to understand what is causing performance issues.
New Relic Infrastructure provides dynamic and flexible server monitoring. It enables modern operational teams to make intelligent decisions on complex systems, from a physical data center to thousands of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) or Microsoft Azure instances.
If we want to think of New Relic in another way, it is like a performance dashboard with x-ray vision. It allows you to see inside your e-commerce site with respect to the end user experience within the application, right down to the line of code. New Relic takes the hassle out of monitoring, troubleshooting, and scaling your web application, making it easier.
Among its many services, New Relic is most famous for its application performance monitoring (APM). Working as a software as a service (SaaS), you can fully use its functions through any web browser.
New Relic supports many different languages including: PHP, Java, Python and Ruby. You can also integrate it with a cloud service such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
How does New Relic work?
To better understand how New Relic works, you need to know the four types of data it uses for tracking. Abbreviated as MELT, they are:
- Metrics: A numerical measure of the performance of your app or website. This includes loading time, CPU usage, and memory consumption.
- Events: Describes the activities that run within your application and consists of several lines of log data.
- Records: A detailed record of an event. It describes each step that occurs in an application and labels them with a timestamp.
- Traces: Displays a sequence of events. This data provides information about how your application is performing chronologically.
New Relic uses an agent: a shortcode installed within your web application or virtual private server. This agent collects different performance data by instrumenting your web application at the code level.
Each monitoring task requires a dedicated agent. For example, there are three separate agents for application, infrastructure, and web browser monitoring.
New Relic will retrieve the agent data and display it on the dashboard. Users can identify the data to determine what is causing the performance issue and resolve it immediately.
What can New Relic APM be used for?
APM also describes application performance management tools. In this case, it means application performance monitoring. Below we will explain how to use New Relic's features to improve your ecommerce site development effort.
New Relic APM offers unified monitoring functionality that tracks your website and microservices. Provides code-level analysis of your application for accurate troubleshooting.
For simpler monitoring, examine your website's performance overview via the APM Summary page. Here you can see important performance metrics such as:
- Transaction response time: The duration of the transaction from the requester's end. This metric does not reflect the total time spent on a transaction.
- Apdex Score: The ratio between satisfactory and unsatisfactory response time based on the default threshold. This metric is used to measure user satisfaction in website usability testing.
- Performance: User activity in a particular application. It is measured in requests per minute (RPM).
- Error rate: The percentage of transactions that fail relative to the total number during a specific time interval. In New Relic, unhandled exceptions often trigger these types of errors.
- Host Resources used: The hardware usage of the host server, such as CPU and memory consumption.
Important! In New Relic APM, transactions commonly refer to activities that begin when the application receives HTTP requests and end when it sends responses.
In addition to the APM Summary, there are other pages for different monitoring purposes:
- Distributed tracking: Records the duration, errors, paths, and interval count of traces.
- Transactions: Lists requests, top transactions by percentage of time, relevant performance, and server resource usage.
- Kubernetes: Shows deployment age, available pods, pod log, and metrics comparison.
- Databases: Displays database transactions, operations, throughputs, and response times.
- External services: Details the performance, response time, and error rate of upstream and downstream entities.
New Relic APM can also collect metrics from external environments. Its external services metrics provide information about cloud resources and network traffic.
Reports and alerts
New Relic APM has a service level agreement (SLA) reporting feature that tracks your ecommerce site's uptime, downtime, and trends over time. This information provides insight into end-user performance.
The SLA report is available daily, weekly or monthly depending on your account settings. You can view the report directly in the APM or download it as a .CSV file.
It also offers an alert feature that notifies you of web application performance anomalies. Automatically alerts you when specific metrics fall below the threshold based on your custom criteria.
New Relic's dashboard collects and displays website performance information on a single screen. Its color-coded visual graph helps simplify monitoring tasks.
It also allows you to create your own custom dashboard. You can customize the layout, change the size of the chart and change the information displayed according to your needs.
New Relic also makes it easy to create multiple dashboards for different purposes. For example, create two dashboards to monitor ecommerce performance in two different countries. You can also share your dashboards with other teams to improve collaboration workflow.
Checking traces and backlogs
New Relic allows you to verify transaction traces and logs. Both pieces of information are essential to understanding the root cause of your ecommerce site's performance issues.
Traces and logs give you accurate records of errors that occur on your website. It is difficult to fix performance issues without them due to lack of information.
New Relic APM traces record in detail all your website transactions and database calls. You can drill down into these transaction traces to determine which services slow down your app the most.
The platform allows you to view log messages associated with transaction traces. You can search for relevant records by entering related keywords in the Records user interface.
The combination of these two data allows errors to be solved accurately and much faster.
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New Relic integrations with AWS
New Relic's Amazon integrations help you monitor AWS data across multiple New Relic products. The various integrations include the AWS API Gateway Monitoring Integration, AWS DynamoDB Monitoring Integration, AWS VPC Monitoring Integration, and AWS EC2 Monitoring Integration.
To see the full list of integrations available for AWS, you can click here. Anyone can view and explore AWS data reports in their New Relic Infrastructure account.
Only infrastructure plugin owners, administrators, or administrators can add AWS integrations.
The benefits of New Relic
New Relic provides several benefits that other monitoring tools lack, including:
- Simple setup. New Relic offers complete documentation on the installation process. Additionally, its guided installation automatically detects your environment and configures the agent accordingly.
- Easy to use. The New Relic dashboard allows you to monitor your website data on a single screen. You can also inspect the data to identify the root cause of any errors found with just a few clicks.
- Client error log. New Relic records and creates customer error logs. Displays different attributes to give you more context for troubleshooting.
- Transaction transfer. You can preview which of your web application components takes the longest to load.
- Intuitive user interface. New Relic UI has a well-designed layout and visual elements. Its customizability also makes the user interface suitable for all types of users, even newcomers.
Now is your turn!
As we have seen throughout the article, New Relic is a real-time monitoring tool that tracks and provides information about the performance of your ecommerce site. Helping you detect and fix any performance issues more efficiently and quickly.
In addition to monitoring, New Relic is also useful for generating reports and alerts, creating dashboards, and checking follow-ups and pending jobs. You can drill down into each data graph to gain better insights into issues occurring in your system, thus improving your observability over the entire ecosystem.
Its simplicity and features make New Relic a popular APM solution. Plus, it's easy to install and works immediately without additional configuration.
If you want to improve the monitoring of your ecommerce business or want more information, contact us today here.
Digital Marketing Manager at Orienteed.