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Rackspace Cloud, New Relic Help Organizations Deliver High Performance Web Apps

This is a guest blog post written and contributed by Chris Kelly, Developer-Evangelist at New Relic, an application performance management vendor and Rackspace Cloud Tools partner.

Together New Relic and Rackspace have created a foundation to help organizations develop and deliver high performance web applications. New Relic’s ability to monitor and troubleshoot the performance of live web applications as they are running in production enhances the Rackspace Cloud by providing a new layer of visibility and control for application development and DevOps teams.

Real World Example: Facilitating Development And Improving Productivity

A non-profit organization that helps more than 100,000 users a year by providing healthcare resources, services and information needed its website to be completely redesigned to support steadily increasing traffic while still ensuring a high-quality user experience.

Challenges
The non-profit recognized that its website needed a major overhaul and embarked upon a total and complete redesign and rebuild of the existing website. The new site had to be easy to use, fast and more reliable, while delivering a user friendly, highly performing experience every time. To accomplish this, the company knew it needed an Application Performance Management (APM) solution that would aid in pinpointing performance problems in both development and production environments.

Solution
The organization chose New Relic on the Rackspace Cloud. New Relic provides all-in-one web application performance management. With 24/7 monitoring from the frontend to the backend, down to the line of code, the company was able to leverage real user data to identify issues, problems and bottlenecks with surgical precision. As its development team was building code quickly, New Relic provided immediate feedback and facilitated the process, making development easier and more enjoyable.

By using New Relic’s error diagnostics, the organization’s web and development teams were automatically alerted when error rates rose. The teams also used Apdex as a snapshot of the overall state of its applications. Lastly, New Relic’s transaction traces allowed them to see at a glance the pages that were slowing them down, identify what issues were holding up each transaction and showed them how to fix them.

Results
The organization improved its development team’s productivity and efficiency. The company was ultimately able to run its website with a smaller staff. The teams were able to prioritize their workload more effectively thanks to New Relic’s deep and extensive laser-like insight into the aspect of the system, making sure the highest impact items were addressed first. The development was easier, more efficient and more enjoyable.

Real World Example: Ensuring Exceptional User Experience

A dynamic interaction design and strategy firm put its user-focused ethos and experience to work for over 150 clients to improve their products and experiences.

Challenges
Being in the business of designing and building web apps, the organization knew that performance was critical for maintaining its leadership. Mediocre performance was not an option and the company could not afford to let app slowdowns degrade its user experience. The company had to ensure its apps met user expectations.

The company constantly dealt with traffic spikes and continuous improvements spurred by increased popularity. It was difficult to keep up with the necessary pace of development. The organization needed a way to diagnose issues occurring from traffic spikes and code changes. That meant gaining visibility into real-time performance data in a format that could be easily read and filtered.

Solution
The organization turned to New Relic running on its Rackspace cloud environment and was able to implement the tool in minutes. Now it had access to response-time data in real time and had enough detail to see how long each part of the request took. The company used this information to quickly find bottlenecks and rapidly repair them to keep things running smoothly during traffic spikes. It was also able to proactively identify and fix pages that might cause issues under a heavy load. The organization relied on New Relic’s extensive set of filters and view options, particularly the web transactions view and attendant performance breakdown, in streamlining deployments.

Results
The organization was able to identify performance issues quickly and assure an exceptional user experience. This allowed the company to stoke brand loyalty and maintain its edge. The time its development team saved in problem resolution increased the team’s efficiency and allowed it to focus resources on innovation, reinforcing its position as an interaction design thought leader.

New Relic has partnered with Rackspace to offer New Relic Standard free of charge (a $50/server/month value) to all Rackspace customers interested in managing and monitoring their web applications. If you want to be like the organizations discussed in this post and find out how you can use New Relic on Rackspace to monitor and boost the performance of your entire web app environment, go to http://www.newrelic.com/rackspace to get started.

Questions?  Send us an email at Rackspace@newrelic.com

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Andrew Hickey.

Andrew Hickey is chief blog editor at Rackspace, a role in which he helps Rackers, customers and partners tell their stories. Andrew comes to Rackspace following many years as a journalist, more than half of which were spent covering high tech and Rackspace. When not writing, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, and spinning punk rock vinyl. If you have an idea for the Rackspace Blog, track down Andrew at andrew.hickey@rackspace.com.


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