Monitoring HTTP connections and apps with New Relic
New Relic is one of the best tools for measuring the performance of a service infrastructure, from backend to frontend: it measures the performance of browsers, APIs, servers, mobile apps, and even their integration with Amazon Web Services.
Just as in the physical world, digital projects can sometimes run into problems. And these problems are difficult to solve if you don't even know they exist. You can't improve something if you are unaware it's not working, which is why metrics are so important. Today there are numerous metrics tools around that focus on user behavior.
Two of the most widely-used examples on the market are Google Analytics and Amplitude, but there are many more. In a digital project – and particularly on a large scale –, it's not only necessary to monitor user behavior, but also the real-time response of the infrastructure of the whole stack, including everything from servers through to the performance of an app in iOS and Android. New Relic perfectly satisfies both these requirements.
How to define New Relic? It is a tool for real-time monitoring of the total volume of the resources of one or several machines. The company has also added similar features to measure the performance of mobile apps for the two most important environments: iOS and Android. In this case – like in any other metrics tool –, the only thing you need to do is add the New Relic SDK to the apps you want to monitor. The idea is to measure the network connections in the requests users make to the servers through the APIs that serve the content (errors in offering the response, timeouts, slow loading times…) and, above all, the reports of unexpected crashes, which tend to be very frustrating for the experience.
In general, New Relic is a fairly transversal monitoring tool. These are some of the most interesting aspects the platform usually measures:
● Data on the customer experience: users' behavior, performance of mobile apps, browsers and servers.
● Business data: all the previous aspects, plus the performance of resources in the public cloud, micro-services, APIs and databases, both SQL and NoSQL. This is a very comprehensive tool.
The New Relic products
New Relic has several specific products that can be acquired separately, in groups, or as a whole. Naturally, depending on the type of companies and their requirements, you don't always need to have the whole package. Another possibility worth considering is that two combined products can offer metrics that provide a key competitive advantage over the rest of the field.
● New Relic APM (Application Performance Magic): in this case, the company offers a free trial for 14 days, enough time to see the possibilities of the tool before deciding whether it really fits the bill. What does it do and what are its features? This product allows you to monitor the apps' performance in terms of response time, performance and size of the different data requests. Each metric is accompanied by graphics such as histograms and percentiles. But it also looks for elements such as business transactions through the service, searches and maps of user experience in the app.
● New Relic Synthetics and New Relic Mobile: the first allows you to monitor a mobile app throughout its lifecycle – even in the pre-production phase –, and from its development to the testing phase. Once launched, it also enables the collection of insights to measure performance. The second service focuses above all on the production phase, by monitoring the behavior of the app in different environments (operating systems, devices and versions), the performance of third-party APIs, reports by geographic segmentation and so on.
New Relic: its alliance with Amazon Web Services
One of the most widely-used cloud service products in the world is Amazon Web Services. New Relic offers an ad hoc service for monitoring everything taking place in real time within the development stack Jeff Bezos' company offers its customers. This is in some way what they consider to be the perfect complement to measure whether an infrastructure performs optimally with Amazon, particularly when that infrastructure needs to scale rapidly.
New Relic offers an integration with AWS to effectively manage the entire dynamic infrastructure, which is normally done by Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). EC2 is a web service that provides scalable computing capability in the cloud. New Relic wants to make all Amazon's EC2 customers their own on the monitoring side, with a series of dashboards that place the data in context and significantly reduce complexity.
New Relic adds some interesting features to the service provided by Amazon:
● It helps manage the app code.
● It handles the integration with third-party services.
● It configures all the architecture.
● It is responsible for monitoring the customer experience.
● It manages the business results and helps in decision-making.
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