New Relic Delivers 'Real User Monitoring' In APM Tool

New Relic, a provider of application performance monitoring (APM) tools, has added a free new feature that delivers real user monitoring to clock the time from when a Web page is requested to when it finishes loading in the browser. The APM tracks multiple metrics, including network speed, the performance of the application server, defects in the code and the performance of various browsers to determine where bottlenecks may occur.

May 19, 2011

2 Min Read
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New Relic, a provider of application performance monitoring (APM) tools, has added a free new feature that delivers real user monitoring to clock the time from when a Web page is requested to when it finishes loading in the browser. The APM tracks multiple metrics, including network speed, the performance of the application server, defects in the code and the performance of various browsers to determine where bottlenecks may occur.

Real user monitoring is a more precise measure of Web applications delivered in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment than measurement tools that simulate browser performance or only track performance at the network level, says Lew Cirne, chief executive officer of New Relic.

"We don't think monitoring at the network level is as effective because that only covers the time for the app to land in the browser [but] doesn't measure how long it takes to fully open," says Cirne.

New Relic displays a user interface (UI) that illustrates the whole spectrum of application delivery and indicates that, for instance, the bottleneck may be in the application server, he says. An IT professional can select "application server" in the UI and learn that the slowdown is in the database and can drill down to identify a specific operation and line of code that is causing the problem.

While New Relic can identify performance problems, it doesn't do remediation because there are so many variables and it's best left to the IT staff to fix them. Application performance may also vary by the brand and version of Web browser being used, Cirne adds.New Relic monitored 130 million page loads in one week and noted that Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) 7 browser loaded pages in an average time of 5.7 seconds, IE8 in 5.2 seconds and IE9, the newest, in 3.2 seconds. Google Chrome 11, meanwhile, loaded pages in an average of 1.8 seconds.

The worldwide market for application performance management software, along with business analytics and business intelligence software, was pegged at $9.3 billion in 2009, according to a 2010 report from Gartner. Market leaders in the space, in order, are SAP, Oracle, SAS Institute, IBM and Microsoft. Earlier this week, Compuware introduced new APM tools for mobile Web and enterprise applications.

When the New Relic APM tool was in beta testing, customers told the company that real user monitoring would increase the value of the product to those customers by 100 percent, Cirne says. "We were very tempted to charge for this in a 'do you want fries with that?' business strategy," he says. "We resisted that temptation because we felt ... that this sets us up to be the ultimate leader in the entire application performance market."

See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Strategy: Bringing APM to the Cloud (subscription required).

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