Validate cloud improvements

After you migrate your applications to the cloud and integrate cloud services, use New Relic to measure and validate improvements to your applications:

Steps to validate cloud improvement

1. Identify KPIs

To provide quantifiable measures that your teams can use to assess your migration, identify a list of corporate KPIs (key performance indicators). Using the New Relic platform to measure KPIs helps you eliminate blind spots and see the connections between entities—from your application code, to your cloud infrastructure (including containers running in highly distributed microservices), to your customer experience. Your goal is to create a collection of metrics in several categories that you can visualize in dashboards in New Relic Insights.

To validate cloud improvements, group KPIs in the following categories, from least to most strong:

  • Application and infrastructure performance
  • End-user experience, including website and mobile application performance
  • Audience and content trends
  • DevOps productivity
  • Application revenue analytics
  • Future business goals

2. Deploy monitoring tools

To start monitoring your KPIs, verify that the applications that you want to migrate are compatible with the requirements for the New Relic products you want to use. Then, install the New Relic agents:

Install New Relic APM

Review the compatibility and requirements and then install APM agents on your application stack.

After installing the APM agents, review the architecture of the applications you instrumented with an APM agent. Take note of all hosts that are part of each tier of the application stack (database, application, web server, etc.), so you can install New Relic Infrastructure agents on each of those hosts.

Install New Relic Infrastructure

After reviewing the requirements for New Relic Infrastructure, install the Infrastructure agent on the hosts that you identified so you can start to gather data for your KPIs.

If you use Ansible, Chef, or Puppet for automation, you can use those tools to deploy Infrastructure agents to your hosts.

Install New Relic Infrastructure integrations

You can also monitor and report data about services that your code depends on using New Relic integrations. New Relic offers cloud integrations for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, as well as on-host integrations.

If you are using AWS as a cloud provider, take advantage of New Relic’s AWS billing integrations to stay on top of your budget and prove the success of your migration.

3. Gather custom data

To manage, search for, and filter resources, assign metadata to your cloud resources in the form of tags. Tags are labels that consist of key-value pairs that you use to annotate your Infrastructure data.

Tag formats are different between AWS, Azure, and Google. Google, for example, has the shortest allowable lengths for keys and values. In addition, they all have different requirements for case sensitivity and allowable characters. To make sure that your tags are usable across most cloud providers:

  • Use only lowercase letters, numbers, underscores, and dashes.
  • Keep keys and values under 63 characters.

New Relic reports data contained in specific events to your Insights account as part of its “out-of-the-box” functionality. You can add additional data to those events by using custom attributes. If you determine that you need to collect custom data, review custom data requirements, and send that custom data to Insights.

For more detailed information about sending custom data, check out these New Relic University tutorials:

4. Create baselines

In order to validate the value of moving to the cloud, you need to get baselines for your applications before you move to the cloud. Define pre-migration baselines for applications and their underlying infrastructures that you have designated for cloud service improvements based on your KPIs. To stay on top of your KPIs as you are moving, create baseline alerts for applications monitored by APM and Browser and use NRQL alerts to get notified on any spikes or drops in your KPIs.

The following Insights dashboard tracks key performance indicators for applications designated to move to the cloud:

Insights dashboard - KPIs before migration
insights.newrelic.com: Create dashboards to track your KPIs.

After you migrate applications to the cloud, apply the same criteria to post-migration baselines so you can compare your results from before and after your migration.

5. Validate improvements with Insights

Insights is a single location to view all the data that New Relic products gather. Use New Relic Insights to visualize your KPIs before and after your move:

The following dashboard shows KPI data used to validate cloud improvements:

Insights dashboard - KPIs before and after migration
insights.newrelic.com: Create dashboards to track your KPIs pre- and post-migration.

Use Insights to validate the value of adopting a new cloud service and to answer key questions about application performance and customer experience.

For more help

Explore the New Relic Platform.

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