How's your business doing? Ask the dashboard

The current wild pace of enterprise technology development has a host of enablers: devops, cloud platforms, microservices, rampant open source code-sharing, and so forth. Application monitoring sometimes gets left off that list, but it shouldn’t be — you need a deep view of how applications perform in production to determine how to improve them continually.

“Full-stack visibility” is how New Relic describes its ability to give operations, developers, and even business execs a deep view of how applications are performing in real time. During an InfoWorld interview last week, to illustrate the volume of monitoring data collected, CEO and founder Lew Cirne fired up a New Relic smartphone app: “At this moment we’re collecting 3.1 million events per second … and in the last minute we queried 5 billion events per second,” he said.

That little demo neatly demonstrates the ability of users to access application performance data instantly from New Relic’s cloud-based service. Cirne deserves credit for convincing investors and customers that a fairly geeky IT function, APM (application performance monitoring), should be a first-class application for taking the temperature of digital business.

Along with offering the first SaaS APM play, New Relic’s secret sauce has been a compelling user experience, with configurable dashboards that present performance data in real time. That approach kicked up a notch last November when New Relic added business intelligence style features to its Software Analytics Cloud.