New Relic Shifts Gears to Focus on Observability Platform and New Pricing Strategy

Software analytics company New Relic today announced a major strategy shift and unveiled a "reimagined" release of its New Relic One observability platform. The company's flagship platform has been revamped to provide a single source of truth for all telemetry data, access to that data via a simplified user experience, and a new pricing scheme "designed to give every engineer a single platform to easily experience the benefits of full observability," the company said.

The New Relic One platform was introduced just over a year ago "to enable our customers to observe, monitor, and view everything that's important to them, all in one place," the company's founder and CEO, Lew Cirne, said in a blog post at the time. The platform expanded on the company's namesake Application Performance Management (APM) solution with a long list of features designed to deliver system-wide observability.

"Observability" refers to the practice of instrumenting systems and applications to collect log data, metrics, and traces to provide actionable insights. It's different from "monitoring," which provides instrumentation for the collection and display of app and system data--the what, but not the why. The San Francisco-based company's founder is often credited with creating the APM market with the launch of the Insights real-time analytics platform in 2014. In April of this year, industry analysts at Gartner named New Relic a leader in its "Magic Quadrant" for APM for the eighth consecutive time.

"I believe the opportunity in observability is enormous," New Relic's new chief product officer, Bill Staples, told ADTmag. "Given the complexity of distributed systems, it has become an essential ingredient for building software nowadays. You just have to instrument everything."

The latest version of New Relic One observability platform combines three solutions: a Telemetry Data Platform for collecting, analyzing, and alerting on all types of application and infrastructure data at petabyte scale (this is where the platform gets its single source of truth for all operational data); Full-Stack Observability, which allows users to visualize and troubleshoot the entire software stack across APM, infrastructure, logs, and digital customer experience; and an Applied Intelligence feature for detecting, understanding, and resolving incidents.

The company is consolidating around these three products, and as part of its new strategy, all current users of the New Relic APM platform will be moved automatically to New Relic One.

With this release, the company is also introducing a "perpetual free" pricing tier that will give engineers access to the complete New Relic One observability platform at no cost, forever.

"We're introducing a perpetually free tier with no trial and no expiration, so that engineers can start thinking of the observability as just an essential part of the development process," said Staples. "They get 100 gigabytes of telemetry every month, full stack visibility for one user, and they can use that forever and never pay us a dime. For us, this is about making observability part of every engineers life."

Industry analyst Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, sees New Relic's strategic shift as good news for companies navigating new software and system complexities and struggling with the cost and confusion of analytics tool sprawl.

"New Relic is changing the economics of observability by empowering companies to leverage all available telemetry at dramatically lower cost than before," Bloomberg said, in a statement. "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."

One of the marquee users of the new New Relic One is genealogy company Ancestry. "As we've scaled our team to meet the growing needs of the Ancestry business, we've implemented many observability tools, some developed in-house, some open source," explained Nat Natarajan, Ancestry's CTO and chief product officer. "Rather than continuing to develop specialized tools, we wanted to standardize on one solution without having to worry about how much data we were logging and the associated costs. New Relic One gives us an integrated, cost-effective platform to centralize our approach to observability. Standardizing on the platform has allowed our engineers to stay better informed on what is happening on other teams, breaking down silos and resolving issues faster for higher uptime."

Lew Cirne introduced this company's reimagined New Relic One this morning in a light-hearted, scripted YouTube video that featured him DMing with a colleague from a home office.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].