September 19, 2023 By Trent Shupe 4 min read

For a long time, there wasn’t a good standard definition of observability that encompassed organizational needs while keeping the spirit of IT monitoring intact. Eventually, the concept of “Observability = Metrics + Traces + Logs” became the de facto definition.

That’s nice, but to understand what observability should be, you must consider the characteristics of modern applications:

  • Changes in how they’re developed, deployed and operated
  • The blurring of lines between application code and infrastructure
  • New architectures and technologies like Docker, Kubernetes, microservices and serverless
  • A whole new (and different) set of stakeholders, from developers to business-side executives

That’s why IBM Instana wanted to go beyond monitoring (metrics), tracing and logging to focus on being the most effective observability platform possible by providing automated context to all users all the time. This comprehensive context separates Instana’s observability platform from legacy APM tools, even those that call themselves “observability” or “AIOps.” Continuous comprehensive context allows all Instana users and their teams to see the data most relevant to them in the context required to do their jobs. 

DevOps, SRE, Platform, ITOps, and developer teams are all under pressure to keep applications performant while operating faster and smarter than ever. Modernization is hard enough; observability should be easy to install, simple to use and transcend technology stacks. No advanced skillsets required, no gotchas on pricing, no lock-in due to intense upfront setups and no limits on what you can observe. All teams deserve access to all the data, and every individual should see the data in the context most relevant to them.

To operate even more quickly and proactively, these teams need observability that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and operating on precise high-fidelity data—no sampling, which in the cloud-native world can miss critical anomalies that impact end-users.

Managing cloud-native environments requires a different approach

In the rapidly evolving world of cloud-native technologies, observability has become a crucial component for enterprises seeking to deliver reliable and efficient software solutions. With so many options available, it’s essential to choose a solution that not only meets your organization’s specific needs but also offers the most extensive set of capabilities for today’s use cases and tomorrow’s requirements. It is no longer sufficient to rely on a slow, manual application monitoring solution built for yesterday’s monitoring challenges. 

IBM Instana is purpose-built for cloud-native environments, specifically to address the challenges and complexities of modern cloud-based architectures. It scales up to accommodate dynamic and distributed applications, allowing you to have full visibility across all your microservices, containers and serverless functions. Instana’s lightweight agent collects rich telemetry data—including logs, metrics and traces—without impacting the performance of applications or infrastructure. Once the telemetry data is collected, Instana uses advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to automatically detect and diagnose issues. With one-second metric granularity and no trace sampling, Instana provides real-time insights, along with the required context, to quickly understand what is happening in complex, modern dynamic application environments. 

Why it’s time to move away from New Relic

New Relic is an APM solution that was originally built in the age of monolithic and service-oriented architecture (SOA) application environments. It falls short when it comes to supporting the diverse complexities seen in dynamic environments, making it less suitable for organizations adopting modern technology stacks. These complex environments can be problematic, creating visibility gaps for New Relic. Manual configuration, multi-agent installation and 5–20 second monitoring granularity make life difficult for New Relic users in complex cloud environments, and adding serverless workloads amplifies these problems. This typically leads to significantly longer mean time to detection (MTTD), which ultimately means a slower mean time to resolution (MTTR).

Put another way – New Relic was a great decision as a monitoring tool for business applications when business applications were less complicated. But times have changed. Unfortunately, those exact features and capabilities that made it so good for those older applications are the reasons why the tool struggles with modern applications:

  • Microservices
  • Multicloud
  • Continuous delivery

New Relic isn’t the only legacy APM tool to struggle with those concepts; that’s why Instana was built, to cover the gaps that older APM tools have.

You made a good decision to buy an APM tool then. Make the next good decision and replace it with a true observability platform now.

Automation for efficient operations

Instana was built with automation in mind, understanding that manual intervention leads to delays, inefficiencies and potential errors. Its advanced AI-powered automation capabilities enable proactive identification and resolution of issues, allowing your teams to focus on critical tasks, rather than firefighting.

Instana automatically detects, traces and correlates all application dependencies, providing actionable insights right out of the box. New Relic, on the other hand, generally relies on manual configuration and effort to achieve comprehensive observability, resulting in increased time and resource allocation.

Transparent pricing

One significant concern for organizations implementing observability solutions is unpredictable pricing models. Instana offers transparent pricing so that you are aware of the costs upfront. There are no hidden fees or unforeseen charges, as Instana tailors its pricing structure to fit your specific needs, allowing you to better manage your budget and optimize costs. The complexity of New Relic’s consumption-based pricing plans can lead to unexpected costs down the line, making it difficult to accurately forecast and control expenses.

Now is the time to migrate to Instana

Today’s modern application environments demand an observability solution that provides real-time monitoring of containers, microservices and Kubernetes environments. You made a great decision choosing an APM solution like New Relic to monitor your legacy application environments, but the reasons that made you initially go with New Relic are the exact same reasons why you need to move onto Instana for your modern applications. To make sense of your application environments using hybrid cloud or cloud-native technologies, you need a modern tool like Instana that was built to deliver full visibility with context into your modern applications. 

Learn more about IBM Instana
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