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What is an entity in New Relic?

New Relic monitoring is built around the concept of the entity. This document explains:

  • What entities are
  • How to find entity data
  • How entities are related to one another
  • How to organize them into groups for easier analysis

What is an entity?

From a New Relic product perspective, entity is a broad concept. An entity is anything we can identify that has data you can monitor.

"Entity" can refer to fundamental data-reporting components like applications, hosts, and database services, but it can also refer to larger groupings of those components. For example, to monitor a data center, you could aggregate those hosts in New Relic to be a workload (a custom grouping of entities). That workload is, itself, also an entity.

This conceptual definition of "entity" is important because New Relic's goal is to give you practical information about the status of your business-important entities (and not just give you an unhelpfully large stream of assorted metrics and data). Our focus on entities, and the relationships between them, helps us optimize monitoring and troubleshooting of complex, modern systems.

Find and explore entities

An entity is anything that reports data to New Relic, so you'll find your entities wherever you see your data reporting in New Relic.

Tip

You can create new entity types to monitor any data source. Learn more about entity synthesis.

Some tips for finding and understanding entity data:

  • To find an entity's unique global identifier (GUID): from any list of monitored entities in the New Relic Explorer, hover over a specific entity and click the icon to see the GUID and other metadata.
  • An entity's GUID is reported as the attribute entityGuid. You can query for an entity using this attribute in the query builder.
  • Use the Related Entities view in the New Relic Explorer, service maps, distributed tracing, and our relationships API in GraphQL to see connections between entities.
  • Explore entity data using our NerdGraph GraphiQL explorer (api.newrelic.com/graphiql).

Connections between entities are automatically created by New Relic based on what we can infer from your telemetry. For example, when two services that communicate using HTTP are instrumented with New Relic, we infer a "calls/called-by" relationship between them.

When viewing a single entity in either the New Relic Explorer, Navigator, or Lookout, you can see its Related Entities in the entity's mini overview. Related Entities is a visualization of the various entities connected directly to the current entity in focus. You can quickly view important metrics for these related entities and navigate from one entity to another, through all the connected parts of your stack.

Tip

You can learn more about how entities are related using our NerdGraph API.

When relationships are not automatically detected, you can manually create them using the "Add/edit related entities" link in Related Entities.

Important

Currently, you can only manually create calls/called-by relationships between service entities.

Tip

To manage manual relationships, you need to have modify and delete capabilities on entity relationships. These are granted to user roles by default.

Group and organize entities

You can place entities into groups that reflect business-important relationships in your organization. For example, you might group all entities related to a specific team or department, or related to a specific service. Or you might group multiple hosts together to reflect their grouping in a data center.

To group your entities, see:

For more help

If you need more help, check out these support and learning resources:

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