New Relic Enhances Kubernetes Observability
May 18, 2022
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New Relic announced a series of product innovations and enhancements to help millions of engineers take a daily, data-driven approach to Kubernetes observability.

New Relic re-architected its Kubernetes integration to reduce the overhead associated with monitoring Kubernetes environments with an improved memory footprint, flexible scraping intervals, and more.

In addition, New Relic announced plugin support for Pixie, an open source observability tool for Kubernetes, to give New Relic users unlimited access to the latest Pixie innovation directly inside the New Relic platform. These innovations are included as an essential part of the all-in-one New Relic observability platform that allows engineers to get 3X+ more value than the competition.

According to industry data from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and New Relic, container and Kubernetes adoption is mainstream, with 93% of organizations around the world using or planning to use containers in production, and 96% of organizations using or evaluating Kubernetes. As organizations accelerate their adoption of Kubernetes, the right monitoring architecture needs to be in place to minimize the consumption of access resources. Monitoring tools, with non-optimized agents and DaemonSet architectures, consume excessive cluster resources, adding unnecessary overhead and expense. Separately, as companies grow their Kubernetes footprints in many clusters, many choose to use solutions such as Rancher to manage their growing landscape. Without the ability to monitor external control planes, these organizations miss important performance signals. New Relic’s latest innovations — the Kubernetes integration and Pixie plugin — fill this gap by giving every engineer access to Kubernetes observability right from the New Relic UI.

“Kubernetes provides incredibly powerful tooling for running workloads. Its configurability, extensibility, and expressiveness give us more power than ever to structure, optimize, and scale our applications.,” said Zain Asgar, New Relic GVP & Product GM, Pixie Co-founder, and CNCF Governing Board member. “New Relic and Pixie have a joint mission to be developer-first, which means first class support for Kubernetes ...”

Kubernetes integration updates:

- Reduced memory footprint: Avoid data duplication while scraping kube-state-metrics (KSM) and control plane components to reduce memory consumption by 80% in big clusters.

- Support for control planes: Ensure clusters are maintained in accordance with your security, compliance or governance policies by supporting external control planes like Rancher Kubernetes Engine.

- Flexible scraping intervals: Dial up or dial down data ingest to find the right balance between data granularity and managing data ingest costs.

- Improved troubleshooting: Triage bugs and fix issues quicker with enhanced logs and process cycles.

- Easier configuration: Three individually-configurable components are now available, including support for config files that provide more granular settings.

Pixie plugin framework:

By supporting the Pixie plugin framework, New Relic is unlocking access to Pixie’s capabilities directly inside of the New Relic UI. With this new release, the New Relic Pixie integration is optimized to bring a subset of Pixie data off-cluster into New Relic for long term storage and retention, and as new capabilities are deployed they will be available to engineers using New Relic. With New Relic's Pixie plugin, the company is also giving users access to longer data retention and enterprise-grade alerting directly inside Pixie, so users can be alerted immediately when system performance suffers, and they'll be able to go beyond real-time debugging to analyze performance over longer time horizons.

With these releases, New Relic is activating its commitment to make observability a daily, data-driven habit for every engineer by continuing to invest heavily in the global open source and cloud-native communities. Since 2020, New Relic open sourced more than ten years of agents R&D, acquired Pixie Labs and contributed Pixie as an open source project to CNCF, and launched New Relic Instant Observability. These new enhancements are the continuation of this strategy to dramatically reduce the barrier for engineers to adopt Kubernetes observability.

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