Introducing the new and improved New Relic plugin for Grafana

Published: 22 Jul 2020 RSS

It’s been a while, but the Kelly and Regis of Grafana Labs (a.k.a. Christine and Eldin of Solutions Engineering) are back to report on another Grafana Enterprise plugin: New Relic!

The latest version of this plugin will be just one of the many topics we’ll cover during today’s webinar, All about Grafana plugins: Visualizing disparate data sources in one place. We’ll be hosting a great conversation around plugin updates, use cases, and the best way to make coffee. (It’s about to get controversial!) [Note: You can now watch the recording on demand here.]

Now back to New Relic, the tried-and-true plugin that we recently revamped with some new and improved functionality.

New Relic, known for inciting illuminating, a-ha moments based on the breadth and depth of data it provides users, can be added as a data source in Grafana so you can keep your data where it currently is without compromising how you can visualize and transform it into something even more insightful within Grafana.

With the new plugin updates and some cool features from our Grafana 7.0 release (transformations, we’re looking at you!), you can create actionable dashboards that not only correlate New Relic data with metrics, logs, and traces from your other data sources. You can also perform additional math and aggregations on your data before they are passed to the visualization.

New Relic system metrics

Arguably the most exciting change with the New Relic plugin 2.0 release is the ability to create template variables using the New Relic Query Language (NRQL). Previously, you were able to get a list of applications or components by typing something similar to this in the query field:

applications/data

What this would fetch as your variable are all applications that contain the word data in its name:

Querying

Now, you can use NRQL in your template variable query to capture the values you want. You can also add regex if you would like to further filter your variable with a capture group:

NRQL

Due to this improvement, we’ve modified how you configure the New Relic data source in Grafana. Instead of using the Insights API key, you will now use the Personal API key:

New Relic API credentials

If you’re more of a ditch-the-UI kind of user, here is how you would provision the New Relic plugin with a config file:

datasources:
  - name: NewRelic
    type: grafana-newrelic-datasource
    access: proxy
    editable: true
    enabled: true
    secureJsonData:
      accountId: <id>
      apiKey: <NRAA-...>
      personalApiKey: <NRAK-...>
    version: 1

Besides the ability to use NRQL in template variables, there is a camp of users who will contend that alerting is the latest and greatest addition to the New Relic plugin. (Please don’t make us publicly choose!) Now, you can set up alert rules for your graph panels to send alerts to specific notification channels when certain thresholds are met.

A use case for how you can take advantage of transformations for alerting on New Relic data is utilizing a reduce transformation to calculate your alert thresholds (for example, the web transaction time of your applications). Instead of arbitrarily choosing a transaction time value on which to trigger alerts, you can first find the mean of your transaction times over the last week or two to establish a more informed baseline for what a healthy transaction time should be for a certain application.

To find out more about what you can do with the New Relic plugin, be sure to check out our updated plugin docs here.

Great catching up again, and don’t be a stranger on Twitter!

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