Introduction to New Relic Plugins

Welcome to Plugin Central! This is where partners, third-party vendors, and users of the New Relic Plugins product can publish plugin agents that collect selected metric data. This is also where users can install and view the plugin data on their New Relic Plugins dashboards as a set of summary metrics, charts, and tables. This allows you to use a single resource to monitor critical information about your application stacks, tools, interfaces, logins, alerts, and other data, and view everything from a single user interface: New Relic Plugins.

Plugins is not supported with accounts that host data in the EU region data center.

Developers and SaaS providers

Developers can use the New Relic Plugins product to create plugins that monitor numerical metrics provided by external services, hosts, or equipment. Alerting options are also available.

New Relic Plugins does not require a host license to publish plugins. In most cases, the plugin's agent runs on the users' app server. SaaS or PaaS providers can also create plugin agents that run on their system and report metrics for customers who use New Relic to monitor their applications. For more information, see the specific plugin agent SDK documentation, or see SaaS developer plugins.

Plugin Central directory

The plugin agent collects, sends, and stores the metric data in New Relic Plugins. Plugin Central provides a searchable directory for plugins that developers publish and make publicly available to users.

From Plugin Central, users can select and download whatever plugins they want to use. After users install or configure a plugin, they can view the plugin's dashboard data securely from the user interface for New Relic Plugins.

View plugins in Plugin Central

To view information about available (published) plugins: From the New Relic Plugins menu bar, select Plugins. Plugin Central automatically appears. By default, available plugins appear in alphabetical order.

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Plugins > Plugin Central: Select any published plugin from the Plugin Central directory in New Relic Plugins to view a description and install it.
  1. From rpm.newrelic.com, select Plugins.
  2. From the Plugin Central alphabetical directory, review the descriptions of publicly available plugins.
  3. Optional: To limit the directory listing, type a value in Search plugins.
  4. To view additional details about a plugin, select the plugin's title or its Get started button.
  5. From the plugin's description page, review additional details.
  6. To learn more about the plugin's publisher, select About us or Support site.
  7. To select a plugin, select its Download or Continue button, and follow the online instructions to get your plugin installed and running. Or, to return to the Plugin Central directory, select your browser's Back function.

Depending on the selected plugin, installation and configuration instructions will vary. Refer to your plugin's documentation for specific details. After you install or configure a plugin, it automatically appears on your New Relic Plugins menu bar, where you can select and view it directly. You may need to wait a few minutes for data to appear.

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Plugins > (selected plugin) > (selected component): Here is an example of a plugin the user has downloaded and installed from Plugin Central in the New Relic Plugins product.

Plugins terminology

Here is a list of terms you may see when selecting plugins from Plugin Central or developing plugins with the New Relic Plugins product.

author

A person who creates a new plugin, which consists of a plugin agent and a matching plugin UI that are linked by their GUID. A plugin author may choose to publish the plugin (making it publicly available to New Relic Plugins users), thus becoming the plugin's publisher.

component

Also referred to as an instance. A component or instance may represent a host/port pair, a server in a cluster, a sub-group in a grouping, or some other fraction of your stack. The exact definition of "component" or "instance" can vary from plugin to plugin. All the components or instances monitored by a given plugin appear on the plugin's summary page.

Example: The F5 plugin monitors the F5 load balancers in your cluster. Each load balancer is listed in a separate row on the F5 plugin's summary page.

consumers

Individuals who sign in to New Relic and install plugins from Plugin Central. Also referred to as users.

GUID (Globally Unique Identifier)

A unique alphanumeric ID that identifies a given plugin, and forms the association between a plugin agent and that plugin's UI. Running a plugin agent with a new GUID causes a new plugin UI to appear in New Relic Plugins. GUIDs of published plugins cannot be changed.

NPI

The New Relic Platform Installer (NPI) is a command line utility that allows users to easily download, configure, and manage a plugin by installing it with a single command. If plugin developers follow the NPI requirements for a consistent installation experience, they can publish their plugins in Plugin Central as NPI Compatible.

plugin

A plugin extends New Relic's capabilities by pairing a data reporter (agent) with a user interface (the plugin's summary page and dashboards) to present metrics.

plugin agent

The piece of code that runs on the user's premises (typically on hosts) or is run on the user's behalf by a SaaS provider. The plugin agent reports data to New Relic Plugins via the Plugin API.

Examples:

  • In order to use a plugin from New Relic Plugins, install the plugin agent on one or more hosts in your monitored environment.
  • The plugin agent communicates with one or more hosts to collect the data it sends to New Relic Plugins so that users can view the collected data on their plugin dashboard.
plugin API

An HTTP application programming interface (API) that accepts POSTing of metrics from plugin agents. For more information, see Plugin API specification.

Using the Plugin API is not the same as using New Relic's REST API to extract plugin data.

Plugin Central

The directory of plugins that have been plugin publishers make available for users to select and use. To view Plugin Central: From the New Relic Plugins menu bar, select Plugins.

plugin UI

The plugin's user interface in New Relic Plugins, which always consists of a summary page with each component's (instance's) summary metrics, plus one or more plugin dashboards.

Examples:

  • You can view the data collected by the plugin agent through the plugin UI. Start at the plugin's summary page to see summary metrics for all of your components (instances), and then select any component (instance) to see charts and graphs in your plugin's dashboards.
  • A plugin UI may be updated to take advantage of new metrics available in an updated plugin agent.
Plugins SDK

The New Relic Plugins product includes SDKs for individual agents for authors to create plugins easily. The plugin SDKs wrap the Plugin API, making it easier to define and send metrics to New Relic Plugins. Plugin authors can choose to use an SDK for their plugin agent, or they can develop plugin agents in whatever language they choose via the Plugin API.

publish

A function to make a plugin publicly available for other users to view and select from Plugin Central. A plugin must be published to be used by another New Relic account. Plugins that have not been published can be used only in the author's account. Plugin authors are not required to publish their plugins if they prefer to keep the plugin for their own, internal use.

publishers

Plugin authors who make their plugin publicly available in Plugin Central, so that other users can install and run the plugin agent, and view the data in the plugin UI.

SaaS plugin

Software as a Service (SaaS) providers can use the Plugin API to develop plugins that POST metrics on behalf of multiple users and potentially for multiple components or instances. New Relic's collector typically consumes each POST in less than 3ms, so this is a very fast way to send large amounts of metric data (either many metrics, or for many users, or both). For more information, see SaaS developer plugins.

Example: MyPaymentProcessor is a SaaS offering that runs a SaaS plugin on behalf of its users. To send your MyPaymentProcessor metrics to your New Relic account, simply add your New Relic REST API key to your MyPaymentProcessor settings, and MyPaymentProcessor will send metrics to your New Relic account.

summary metric

Each plugin can have up to five metrics that capture summary values, such as average, total, minimum, maximum, standard deviation, rate, or count. In addition, each summary metric can have thresholds for triggering Caution and Critical alerts. Only summary metrics can trigger alerts (not the metrics on individual dashboards). Summary metrics appear in the plugin's summary page in the Plugin UI.

For more help

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