New Relic invents APM – again

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The News

On July 30, New Relic announced the delivery of its new Observability Platform, New Relic One. The platform has been redeveloped (‘reimagined’) to be more simple and integrated while retaining the power it already offered.

New Relic One offers three core modules:

  • A highly scalable telemetry data platform as the single source of truth of all operational data. It collects and visualizes data and creates alerts on application and infrastructure data
  • Full stack observability that enables the analysis and troubleshooting of the complete software stack, including IaaS
  • Applied intelligence to detect, understand and resolve incidents, ideally before they even happen.

These modules are offered with a perpetually free tier. Once the quotas of the free tier are exceeded, New Relic offers the solution in a pricing model based upon amount of data (telemetry data platform), seats (observability), and incidents (applied intelligence).

For your convenience, you can read the press release – minus some quotes – right here:

New Relic Delivers Reimagined Observability Platform with Unified User Experience, and Simplified, Predictable Pricing to Bring Value to Engineering Teams

Introduces consumption pricing model that’s easy to manage — the end of host-based pricing

SAN FRANCISCO – July 30, 2020 – New Relic, Inc. (NYSE: NEWR), the observability platform company, today delivered strategic updates to New Relic One [ADD LINK]. In a video to customers [ADD LINK], New Relic CEO and Founder Lew Cirne introduced a reimagined New Relic One, including a unified, intuitive user experience, new simple, predictable packaging and pricing, and a new perpetual free tier to make it easy for developers to try, use and do business with New Relic (ADD LINK).

New Relic One is a powerful offering designed to give every engineer a single platform to easily experience the benefits of full observability, including improved uptime and availability, greater scale and efficiency, and faster time to market.

New Relic unveiled a reimagined New Relic One, including all the powerful, innovative features throughout its full observability platform, now delivered with an intuitive user experience – in a dramatically simplified package. The revamped New Relic One is designed as a single source of truth for all of a customers’ telemetry data, and at a price point that removes the barriers of adopting observability across a customers’ full environment. As a result, customers no longer have to sample which applications they monitor. In addition, they can reduce the cost and complexity from the number of fragmented monitoring tools they currently have which may only show them part of their software environment. This eliminates the toil of needing to switch between tools to try to uncover answers to problems.

Updated New Relic One

New Relic One is the most powerful cloud-based observability platform built to help customers create more perfect software. It includes everything organizations need to achieve observability:

  • Telemetry Data Platform to collect, analyze and alert on all types of application and infrastructure data at petabyte scale. It is designed to be the single source of truth for all operational data.
  • Full-Stack Observability to easily visualize and troubleshoot the entire software stack across APM, infrastructure, logs, and digital customer experience in one connected experience;
  • Applied Intelligence to detect, understand, and resolve incidents faster.

Introducing a New Perpetual Free Tier

The company introduced a perpetual free offering for New Relic One. Now, every engineer can have instant access to New Relic’s powerful complete observability platform at no cost, forever. The new perpetual free offering includes access to New Relic One with no hidden costs or credit card required, including:

  • Telemetry Data Platform: 100 GB of data every month.
  • Full-Stack Observability: one free user license.
  • Applied Intelligence’s Proactive Detection: first 100 million app transactions per month free.
  • Applied Intelligence’s Incident Intelligence: first 1,000 incident events per month free.

Once an engineer’s usage increases beyond these levels, New Relic One makes it easy for customers to upgrade to meet their growing needs.

 

Industry Reacts Positively to New Relic One

“New Relic is changing the economics of observability by empowering companies to leverage all available telemetry at dramatically lower cost than before,” said Jason Bloomberg, president of industry analyst firm Intellyx. “For companies that leverage modern IT infrastructure, correlating all available performance data with the performance of their business has become mission critical. New Relic is removing the barriers to deploying essential observability across a company’s entire production environment.”

 

Pricing and Availability

The New Relic One platform, composed of the Telemetry Data Platform, Full-Stack Observability and New Relic Applied Intelligence, is available today at newrelic.com [CONFIRM SIGN UP URL]. Once customers move beyond the free tier, the new platform pricing includes:

  • The Telemetry Data Platform priced at $0.25 per GB of ingest.
  • Full Stack Observability priced per seat license.
  • Applied Intelligence priced per transaction or event.

The bigger Picture

Before the launch I had the chance to talk to New Relic’s Chief Product Officer, Bill Staples, a long term cloud and infrastructure veteran at both, Microsoft and Adobe. Bill talked me through the layers of the solution and it applicability and helpfulness throughout the whole stack.

The market place for application performance monitoring (APM) tools has become quite crowded as one can easily see in the G2 Grid for APM. There is no doubt that, with increasing demands to user experience, application performance monitoring needs to get lifted to a next level. It is no more enough to just monitor key performance and create an alert when one of these metrics exceeds a threshold. Instead it becomes more and more important to be able to predict failures.

Knowing about the importance of application performance, APM tools usually do not come cheap. This is the other topic that New Relic addresses.

My PoV and Analysis

What I really like is the strive for simplicity. This creates a new experience for the user. A solution set that was complicated got rolled up into three modules, while maintaining the power of the solution. The messaging towards supporting (New Relic’s customers) customer experience is straightforward and important.

The pricing got revamped to follow one single and meaningful metric per module, along with a free tier that should attract and then bind customers. These metrics are geared towards incentivizing thoughtful use of the platform while they also appear reasonable to me. On the other hand customers can lose track of their cost, as especially the telemetry data and the applied intelligence modules are paid by usage. It would be interesting to see how much data is gathered in best practice scenarios and how alerting/incidents need to be configured in order to maximize the cost/benefit ratio – and in how far this changes the pricing compared to the old model. It might be helpful to include some comparisons or a calculator on the web site.

Still, this pricing model supports the messaging of simplicity and the message of supporting the creation of a good user experience.

Looking at functionality; I do not doubt the power and usefulness of New Relic One. On the contrary.

Still, being an analyst and consultant, I took the chance to confront Bill with a real life scenario, where a predictive intelligence combined with clear metrics could have helped early in the development process – before a significant usability incident occurred.

The scenario is as follows: A global B2B e-commerce solution using synchronous pricing is set up in a template approach. It is using one single ERP system for pricing. This is a pretty common B2B scenario, as it is often not feasible to replicate all prices to the e-commerce system, due to the sheer amount of product – customer combinations that are possible.

In this scenario, adding a product to the shopping cart involves multiple calls from the e-commerce solution to the ERP system to establish the price.

The pilot country site is close to the country that hosts the ERP system. Implementation of the e-commerce solution happened in the country that hosts the ERP system for all e-commerce sites. Deployment into the target countries can happen only after the testing phase, which is clearly suboptimal.

Adding a product to the cart is reasonably performant for the pilot country.

The second country is on the other side of the world.

After deploying the site to this country, it immediately became clear that adding products to the cart is far too slow to be acceptable.

Now, one could think that the development team should have seen the issue coming. It hadn’t. Unluckily, given the same development setup, New Relic One would not have uncovered this issue as well (and I suspect, the competing products wouldn’t have, either).

Why do I bring this scenario up? Not to put New Relic on the spot, but to point the team into offering an even more helpful solution by adding to the already available predictive capabilities. As Bill told me, their “users are using our software in really critical moments. They usually jump into it when something is wrong, and they need to quickly troubleshoot and address the problem”. Critical moments can often be predicted before they occur. Enabling the users to address an issue before it occurs, maybe even fixing it automatically, could be a game changer. It would certainly help New Relic’s customers in creating an improved experience for their users.

All in all, I do think that New Relic did an interesting pivot with this launch, attacking the competition from an already strong base. It remains to be seen how the competitors react and, from a customer point of view, how the new pricing pans out.

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