Instrumental vs New Relic

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Instrumental

16
15
+ 1
7
New Relic

19.5K
7.4K
+ 1
1.9K
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Instrumental vs New Relic: What are the differences?

Developers describe Instrumental as "Visualize any aspect of your application performance, measure production code in real-time, and share with your entire team". Instrumental is a real-time application and server monitoring platform. With over a million datapoints processed every second, we're one of the highest scale monitoring services. On the other hand, New Relic is detailed as "SaaS Application Performance Management for Ruby, PHP, .Net, Java, Python, and Node.js Apps". New Relic is the all-in-one web application performance tool that lets you see performance from the end user experience, through servers, and down to the line of application code.

Instrumental and New Relic can be categorized as "Performance Monitoring" tools.

Some of the features offered by Instrumental are:

  • Application monitoring - we accept any volume of arbitrary data, making it easy to set up graphs to measure the performance of your application in real time
  • Server monitoring - Ruby apps can use our instrumental tools gem to monitor information like CPU statistics, memory usage, disk space, and all the other things you'll need to monitor your servers. Language support - Ruby is supported using a custom library, and all other languages are supported with our Statsd backend
  • RESTful API - upon authentication, data is collected and returned in strict JSON format

On the other hand, New Relic provides the following key features:

  • Performance Data Retention
  • Real-User Response Time, Throughput, & Breakdown by Layer
  • App Response Time, Throughput, & Breakdown by Component

"Best, fastest, and easiest-to-use Interface" is the top reason why over 2 developers like Instrumental, while over 411 developers mention "Easy setup" as the leading cause for choosing New Relic.

Advice on Instrumental and New Relic
Needs advice
on
SysdigSysdigNew RelicNew Relic
and
DatadogDatadog

We are looking for a centralised monitoring solution for our application deployed on Amazon EKS. We would like to monitor using metrics from Kubernetes, AWS services (NeptuneDB, AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, etc) and application microservice's custom metrics.

We are expected to use around 80 microservices (not replicas). I think a total of 200-250 microservices will be there in the system with 10-12 slave nodes.

We tried Prometheus but it looks like maintenance is a big issue. We need to manage scaling, maintaining the storage, and dealing with multiple exporters and Grafana. I felt this itself needs few dedicated resources (at least 2-3 people) to manage. Not sure if I am thinking in the correct direction. Please confirm.

You mentioned Datadog and Sysdig charges per host. Does it charge per slave node?

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Replies (3)
Recommends
DatadogDatadog

Can't say anything to Sysdig. I clearly prefer Datadog as

  • they provide plenty of easy to "switch-on" plugins for various technologies (incl. most of AWS)
  • easy to code (python) agent plugins / api for own metrics
  • brillant dashboarding / alarms with many customization options
  • pricing is OK, there are cheaper options for specific use cases but if you want superior dashboarding / alarms I haven't seen a good competitor (despite your own Prometheus / Grafana / Kibana dog food)

IMHO NewRelic is "promising since years" ;) good ideas but bad integration between their products. Their Dashboard query language is really nice but lacks critical functions like multiple data sets or advanced calculations. Needless to say you get all of that with Datadog.

Need help setting up a monitoring / logging / alarm infrastructure? Send me a message!

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Maik Schröder
Recommends
InstanaInstana

Hi Medeti,

you are right. Building based on your stack something with open source is heavy lifting. A lot of people I know start with such a set-up, but quickly run into frustration as they need to dedicated their best people to build a monitoring which is doing the job in a professional way.

As you are microservice focussed and are looking for 'low implementation and maintenance effort', you might want to have a look at INSTANA, which was built with modern tool stacks in mind. https://www.instana.com/apm-for-microservices/

We have a public sand-box available if you just want to have a look at the product once and of course also a free-trial: https://www.instana.com/getting-started-with-apm/

Let me know if you need anything on top.

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Attila Fulop
Management Advisor at artkonekt · | 2 upvotes · 150.3K views

I have hands on production experience both with New Relic and Datadog. I personally prefer Datadog over NewRelic because of the UI, the Documentation and the overall user/developer experience.

NewRelic however, can do basically the same things as Datadog can, and some of the features like alerting have been present in NewRelic for longer than in Datadog. The cool thing about NewRelic is their last-summer-updated pricing: you no longer pay per host but after data you send towards New Relic. This can be a huge cost saver depending on your particular setup

https://docs.newrelic.com/docs/accounts/accounts-billing/new-relic-one-pricing-billing/new-relic-one-pricing-billing

I'd go for Datadog, but given you have lots of containers I would also make a cost calculation. If the price difference is significant and there's a budget constraint NewRelic might be the better choice.

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Decisions about Instrumental and New Relic
Kamil Kowalski
Lead Architect at Fresha · | 3 upvotes · 82.3K views

Coming from a Ruby background, we've been users of New Relic for quite some time. When we adopted Elixir, the New Relic integration was young and missing essential features, so we gave AppSignal a try. It worked for quite some time, we even implemented a :telemetry reporter for AppSignal . But it was difficult to correlate data in two monitoring solutions, New Relic was undergoing a UI overhaul which made it difficult to use, and AppSignal was missing the flexibility we needed. We had some fans of Datadog, so we gave it a try and it worked out perfectly. Datadog works great with Ruby , Elixir , JavaScript , and has powerful features our engineers love to use (notebooks, dashboards, very flexible alerting). Cherry on top - thanks to the Datadog Terraform provider everything is written as code, allowing us to collaborate on our Datadog setup.

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Attila Fulop

I haven't heard much about Datadog until about a year ago. Ironically, the NewRelic sales person who I had a series of trainings with was trash talking about Datadog a lot. That drew my attention to Datadog and I gave it a try at another client project where we needed log handling, dashboards and alerting.

In 2019, Datadog was already offering log management and from that perspective, it was ahead of NewRelic. Other than that, from my perspective, the two tools are offering a very-very similar set of tools. Therefore I wouldn't say there's a significant difference between the two, the decision is likely a matter of taste. The pricing is also very similar.

The reasons why we chose Datadog over NewRelic were:

  • The presence of log handling feature (since then, logging is GA at NewRelic as well since falls 2019).
  • The setup was easier even though I already had experience with NewRelic, including participation in NewRelic trainings.
  • The UI of Datadog is more compact and my experience is smoother.
  • The NewRelic UI is very fragmented and New Relic One is just increasing this experience for me.
  • The log feature of Datadog is very well designed, I find very useful the tagging logs with services. The log filtering is also very awesome.

Bottom line is that both tools are great and it makes sense to discover both and making the decision based on your use case. In our case, Datadog was the clear winner due to its UI, ease of setup and the awesome logging and alerting features.

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Benoit Larroque
Principal Engineer at Sqreen · | 4 upvotes · 248.2K views

I chose Datadog APM because the much better APM insights it provides (flamegraph, percentiles by default).

The drawbacks of this decision are we had to move our production monitoring to TimescaleDB + Telegraf instead of NR Insight

NewRelic is definitely easier when starting out. Agent is only a lib and doesn't require a daemon

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Pros of Instrumental
Pros of New Relic
  • 3
    Best, fastest, and easiest-to-use Interface
  • 2
    Simple, powerful, reasonably priced
  • 1
    Custom metrics done right
  • 1
    Offers free metrics
  • 415
    Easy setup
  • 344
    Really powerful
  • 244
    Awesome visualization
  • 194
    Ease of use
  • 151
    Great ui
  • 107
    Free tier
  • 81
    Great tool for insights
  • 66
    Heroku Integration
  • 55
    Market leader
  • 49
    Peace of mind
  • 21
    Push notifications
  • 20
    Email notifications
  • 17
    Heroku Add-on
  • 16
    Error Detection and Alerting
  • 12
    Multiple language support
  • 11
    Server Resources Monitoring
  • 11
    SQL Analysis
  • 9
    Transaction Tracing
  • 8
    Apdex Scores
  • 8
    Azure Add-on
  • 7
    Analysis of CPU, Disk, Memory, and Network
  • 6
    Detailed reports
  • 6
    Performance of External Services
  • 6
    Error Analysis
  • 6
    Application Availability Monitoring and Alerting
  • 6
    Application Response Times
  • 5
    JVM Performance Analyzer (Java)
  • 5
    Most Time Consuming Transactions
  • 4
    Easy to use
  • 4
    Top Database Operations
  • 4
    Browser Transaction Tracing
  • 3
    Application Map
  • 3
    Pagoda Box integration
  • 3
    Custom Dashboards
  • 3
    Weekly Performance Email
  • 2
    Easy visibility
  • 2
    App Speed Index
  • 2
    Easy to setup
  • 2
    Background Jobs Transaction Analysis
  • 1
    Incident Detection and Alerting
  • 1
    Worst Transactions by User Dissatisfaction
  • 1
    Metric Data Resolution
  • 1
    Metric Data Retention
  • 1
    Team Collaboration Tools
  • 1
    Rails integration
  • 1
    Super Expensive
  • 1
    Access to Performance Data API
  • 1
    Real User Monitoring Overview
  • 1
    Real User Monitoring Analysis and Breakdown
  • 1
    Free
  • 1
    Best of the best, what more can you ask for
  • 1
    Best monitoring on the market
  • 1
    Time Comparisons
  • 0
    Exceptions
  • 0
    Ddd

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Cons of Instrumental
Cons of New Relic
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 19
      Pricing model doesn't suit microservices
    • 10
      UI isn't great
    • 7
      Visualizations aren't very helpful
    • 7
      Expensive
    • 5
      Hard to understand why things in your app are breaking

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Instrumental?

    Instrumental is a real-time application and server monitoring platform. With over a million datapoints processed every second, we're one of the highest scale monitoring services.

    What is New Relic?

    The world’s best software and DevOps teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences. If you run software, you need to run New Relic. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 do too.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Instrumental?
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    What tools integrate with Instrumental?
    What tools integrate with New Relic?
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      What are some alternatives to Instrumental and New Relic?
      Expressive
      Make your code flexible and robust, using the dependency injection container of your choice.
      Datadog
      Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
      Azure Application Insights
      It is an extensible Application Performance Management service for developers and DevOps professionals. Use it to monitor your live applications. It will automatically detect performance anomalies, and includes powerful analytics tools.
      AppDynamics
      AppDynamics develops application performance management (APM) solutions that deliver problem resolution for highly distributed applications through transaction flow monitoring and deep diagnostics.
      Dynatrace
      It is an AI-powered, full stack, automated performance management solution. It provides user experience analysis that identifies and resolves application performance issues faster than ever before.
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