Whether you're considering New Relic One or you're already using our capabilities, this glossary of common terminology can help. And if you don't already have a New Relic account, don't hesitate to sign up at newrelic.com/signup. It's free, forever!
If you have access to more than one account in a multi-account organization, you can use the account switcher to switch between accounts. This is located in the top right of most New Relic UI pages.
For more on factors that affect access to accounts, see Factors affecting access.
To find account settings, use the account dropdown.
A New Relic agent is an installable piece of software that integrates with multiple types of technologies (for example, web frameworks, operating systems, and types of databases) and reports data to New Relic, usually on a specific cadence. We have APM agents, an infrastructure agent, a browser monitoring agent, and mobile monitoring agents. The various technologies that our agents integrate with are just some of our many integrations.
For more information, see:
Some New Relic agents have agent APIs that allow you to extend the functionality of an agent. You can use the API to control, customize and extend the functionality of the agent.
Here are some agent API docs:
Aggregated metric data summarizes calls to specific methods in your application, including how many times each one was called and response times. In the New Relic UI, you see the class and method names along with their aggregate numbers. Metric data aggregation depends on the New Relic tool and your subscription level. For more information, see the documentation about data retention.
The length of time in seconds to wait for the aggregation window to fill with data. Required when using CADENCE or EVENT_FLOW
You can use NRQL query functions, such as
latest() to choose how the data points in an aggregation window should be processed into a single data point. The single aggregated data point is what's passed through the alert evaluation process.
New Relic aggregates data into windows, and needs to determine when the current window ends and the next one begins. The
aggregation_method is the logic that tells us when we have all the data for a given aggregation window. Once the window is closed, the data is aggregated into a single point and evaluated against the threshold. This field is optional. One of the following three values can be specified:
EVENT_FLOW: (Default) Each aggregation window will wait until it starts to see timestamps arrive that are past its own delay setting. Once this occurs, the data is published. Relies on the timestamps of arriving data, so wall-clock time is no longer relevant. Works best for sources that come in frequently and with low event spread (high througput metrics)
CADENCE: Classic New Relic logic where each evaluation window waits exactly as long as the
aggregation_delaysetting, using the wall-clock time as a timer.
aggregation_delayis required when using this option. Data arriving too late will be dropped, which can cause false alerts.
EVENT_TIMER: Each aggregation window has a timer on it, set to the
aggregation_timersetting. The Timer starts running as soon as the first data point appears for that aggregation window (based on the data point’s timestamp). The
aggregation_timeris reset for each new data point that arrives for that window. Once the
aggregation_timerreaches 0, the aggregation window is published. Ideal for sparse and batched data, such as cloud integrations and infrequent error logs.
The length of time in seconds to wait after each data point received, to ensure the entire batch is processed. Required when using
Streaming alerts gathers data together into specific amounts of time. These windows of time are customizable.
Data points are collected together based their timestamps and reported as a batch. The customizable aggregation window provides greater flexibility and fewer false violations when alerting on irregular or less frequent data points.
An alert condition (or condition), identified by its unique numeric
condition_id, contains the criteria for creating a violation. The condition includes the threshold that is set for a metric timeslice or a custom metric over time on a chosen target.
For an explanation of how a condition relates to other basic alerts concepts, see Concepts and workflow.
Streaming data is assessed on a set of aggregation windows to determine if an alert condition is violating or recovering.
The aggregation window time is how long we'll collect data before running the NRQL query condition. The offset evaluation time is how long you want us to wait for late data before assessing it.
If a window doesn't have any data points, it's treated as a gap for loss of signal.
If a condition contained within the policy opens a violation, an incident may be opened depending on the Incident preference setting. Notifications will then be sent to all channels attached to the policy.
For an explanation of how a policy relates to other basic alerts concepts, see Concepts and workflow.
Apdex is an industry-standard way to measure users' satisfaction with the response time of an application or service. New Relic rates each response as Satisfied, Tolerated, or Frustrated, and uses these ratings to calculate an overall user satisfaction score.
For more information, see Apdex: Measure user satisfaction.
The response time above which a transaction are rated frustrating. Defaults to four times
Requests that complete in less than
apdex_tare rated satisfied.
Requests that take longer than
apdex_t, but less than four times
apdex_f), are tolerated.
Any requests that take longer than
apdex_fare rated frustrating.
For more information, see Apdex: Measure user satisfaction.
The response time above which a transaction is considered tolerable. The default value is 0.5 seconds, but you can change this in your Apdex settings.
Requests that complete in less than
apdex_tare rated satisfied.
Requests that take more than
apdex_t, but less than
apdex_f, are tolerated.
Any requests that take longer than
apdex_fare rated frustrating.
For more information, see Apdex: Measure user satisfaction.
New Relic offers a variety of APIs and SDKs. For more information, see the introduction to New Relic's APIs.
For New Relic purposes, any program instrumented by New Relic.
Some New Relic solutions assign a monitored application a unique application ID, often shortened to app ID. When present, this ID is available in the UI. It is also reported as an attribute and can be queried.
For how to determine this, see Find app ID.
The name that New Relic combines with your license key to uniquely identify a particular app. For more information, see Name your application.
Applied Intelligence (AI) helps you find, troubleshoot, and resolve problems more quickly. Specifically, it’s a hybrid machine learning engine that reduces alert noise, correlates incidents, and automatically detects anomalies.
Applied intelligence includes alerts, incident intelligence, and proactive detection.
Attributes are key-value pairs attached to data objects reported to New Relic. Attributes add detail, and they're similar to tags or labels in other SaaS software. You can explore this data by querying or searching via the UI or by using the data dictionary.
APM reports a
Transactionevent. This includes timing data for the transaction in a
durationattribute, which might have a value of
Our Infrastructure Monitoring reports a
ProcessSampleevent. This includes a variety of CPU usage attributes, including a
cpuSystemPercentattribute, which might have a value of
Our Telemetry SDK reports a
Metricdata type for storing metrics, with attached attributes like
Some New Relic tools allow you to report custom attributes to enhance your monitoring.
For more information about attributes in APM, see Agent attributes.
A Real User Monitoring (RUM) solution that measures the speed and performance of your end users as they navigate to your site from different web browsers, devices, operating systems, and networks.
The component that collects data from New Relic agents running on an app server, mobile device, or end-user browser. While the agent is installed on a user's app server, the collectors are centrally located in New Relic's data center.
In order to contact the collector, the agent must be able to reach New Relic's domains and IP addresses. (The exact domain or IP depends on the New Relic monitoring tool.) The collector receives and interprets this data, and stores it in a database. The data is then retrieved and presented in the New Relic UI and by our various REST APIs.
A unit of measurement that determines your pricing for some New Relic products governed by our original product-based pricing model. For more information, see Compute unit pricing.
The number of calls your application receives each minute. This usually corresponds to the number of page views or external connections, and is usually the same as RPM (requests per minute).
The time consumed by code minus the wait time for a transaction. This is the time actually spent processing the transaction. It appears in the New Relic UI at the top of the transaction view for the agents that provide it (Ruby and PHP only).
A key-value pair added to a transaction or event in order to gain additional information about it. For more information, see custom attributes.
A customizable dashboard with charts and tables that includes data from multiple New Relic data sources. For more information, see dashboards.
An event, in New Relic terms, is a data object with attached attributes. New Relic reports default event types, like
TransactionError. You can also create your own events. Events can be queried, and are used in some other features.
You can generate custom events with APM agents, the browser monitoring agent, the mobile monitoring agents, and via the Event API. Alternatively, you can add custom attributes to some existing default New Relic events.
Custom instrumentation allows you to extend New Relic's monitoring to instrument code elements New Relic doesn't automatically instrument. Custom instrumentation is useful when your framework is not supported by New Relic, or when New Relic fails to pick up some element of your program. You can also use custom instrumentation to block a transaction from being reported entirely. For more information, see Custom instrumentation.
Metric timeslice data that is manually recorded via an API call. Custom metrics allow you to record arbitrary metrics; for example, timing or computer resource data. All custom metric names must be prefixed with
Custom/. For more information, see Custom metrics.
Not to be confused with custom instrumentation data.
Use the data explorer to access, query and customize your data, create visualizations, and make connections between your services in a consistent and curated experience.
For more on using the data explorer, see Introduction to the data explorer.
When a data source enters a violating state, a degradation period of time begins. The degradation period is set in the condition's threshold. A violation will open if the source stays in a violating state for the entire degradation period. In addition:
- If the data source enters a non-violating state before the entire time has elapsed, the degradation period countdown is reset, and a violation does not open.
- If your alert condition threshold is configured as
at least once in, the degradation period always lasts a single minute.
In New Relic, an entity is anything we can identify that has data you can monitor. An entity can be something you monitor directly, like applications and microservices, or indirectly, like data centers.
For more on this, see What are entities?
The word event is a general term that can have many meanings.
At New Relic, event can have several meanings:
- At New Relic, event data is one of our core data types. Event data represents a record of a single event at a particular moment in time. Events can vary by type (for example,
Mobile, and will have associated attributes (for example,
transactionName). For more details, see Event data.
- For our infrastructure monitoring, the word event can be used to refer to important system and host activity. For example, a configuration change for a monitored host would be registered on Infrastructure's Events UI page.
- For alerts, the Events UI page displays a list of alerts-related incidents for your monitored entities. Events are reported for a violation opening and for closing.
- In some contexts, event can refer to any NRQL-queryable data type. For example, when you run a NRQL query, you will see a count of inspected events: this refers to a count of all data types queried.
An expected error is a common error that you don't want to affect your Apdex score or error rate. For more information, see Manage errors in APM.
New Relic Flex is an application-agnostic, all-in-one infrastructure integration. With it, you can build your own integration that collects metric data from a wide variety of services, and that can instrument any app that exposes metrics over a standard protocol (HTTP, file, shell) in a standard format (for example, JSON or plain text) to the terminal.
It's a recommended way to create a custom integration, because it doesn't require coding skills.
A framework is a structured collection of pre-defined functions, into which an application builder inserts their own code to build their application. A framework is not the same as a library. While a library is a collection of functions you can call as needed, a framework is a skeleton for your application. The functions in that framework then call your functions. For more about the distinction between a framework and a library, see What is the difference between a framework and a library?.
New Relic automatically instruments many common frameworks. For more about the frameworks New Relic supports, see the agent-specific documentation:
The most important metrics for a given entity, use case, or technology. Golden metrics can include golden signals: latency, traffic, errors, and saturation.
Some New Relic UI pages have a health status indicator appearing next to an index of monitored entities. This is a colored bar (generally green, yellow, red, or gray) indicating the status of your app or other entity monitored by New Relic. It also indicates whether the entity has any alert policies assigned to it and whether there are any policy violations.
In general, the colored bar will be green, yellow, red, or gray to indicate the health status. Exceptions:
At New Relic, a host means one of the following:
- A physical machine is a hardware-based device with dedicated physical resources, including memory, processing, and storage. Each machine has its own OS which applications run on.
- A virtual machine (VM) is the software implementation of a physical machine that executes programs like a physical machine. One or more virtual machines can run on a physical machine. Each virtual machine has its own OS and allocated virtual machine resources such as RAM and CPU.
- A cloud instance is a type of virtual machine that is run in the public cloud. In this context, virtual machines and cloud instances are different from Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) and containers.
Each host identified by APM is assigned a host ID. This ID is used to uniquely identify it, and to retrieve data about that host via the REST API. For more information, see List host ID.
An incident is a collection of one or more violations of the conditions defined in an alert policy. An incident record includes all of the open and close time stamps for each violation, as well as chart snapshots of the data being evaluated around the time of each violation.
For an explanation of how an incident relates to other basic alerts concepts, see Concepts and workflow.
By connecting changes in host performance to changes in your configuration, infrastructure monitoring provides real-time metrics and powerful analytics that reduce your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR).
Infrastructure is specifically designed for complex environments that need flexible, dynamic server monitoring, from a physical datacenter to thousands of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and other types of integrations.
Insights was the name for the New Relic product that previously governed the reporting of custom events, and the ability to query and chart your New Relic data. These features are now a fundamental part of the New Relic One platform and are no longer governed by the Insights product or name. To learn more about these features:
Event API for reporting custom events
For historical reasons, the word "Insights" is still used in some places. For example:
For New Relic organizations on our original pricing model, Insights Pro is still the product name governing custom event data ingest and retention.
Some APM agents still have Insights language in their codebase. For example, the Java agent
There is an API key called the Insights insert key.
Each instance identified by New Relic is assigned a unique instance ID. Instance IDs are most commonly found for JVMs (Java Virtual Machines), but can exist for each agent. This ID is used to uniquely identify it, and to retrieve data about that instance via the REST API. For more information, see List instance IDs.
At New Relic, "integration" refers to any software technology that New Relic can make a connection to. So, for example, our agents contain various integrations (ways to report data from various app frameworks, or operating systems, or types of databases). Other integrations are configurations that allow a third-party service (for example, AWS Lambda or PagerDuty) to send data to us.
All our integrations can be found at New Relic Instant Observability.
In our mobile monitoring, an interaction is a specific code path initiated by a user interaction (usually a button press). An interaction is the mobile equivalent of a transaction, and like a transaction an interaction can be traced and monitored.
You can see much of the data included in an interaction in the BrowserInteraction event.
An interaction trace is a complete picture of a single interaction. With interaction traces, New Relic gives you much deeper visibility into a single slow interaction, which can help you understand a broader problem. Interaction traces are the mobile equivalent of a transaction trace. For more information, see Creating interactions (iOS) and Creating interactions (Android).
Inventory data is information about the status or configuration of a service or host. Examples of inventory data include:
Name of the host the service is on
Port being used
For more information, see Understand and use data.
A web transaction that the user has marked as particularly important; for example, key business events (such as signups or purchase confirmations), or transactions with a high performance impact (such as searches). Key transactions have their own pages in the UI and other customized values. For more information, see Key transactions.
A launcher is a specific piece of code you can include when you create a New Relic One app. It creates the tile on the homepage that you click to launch the app. For more information, see the documentation about core UI components.
A log is a message about a system used to understand the activity of the system and to diagnose problems. For more information on how we use log data, see Log management.
Our log management and monitoring features give you the tools to collect, process, explore, visualize, and alert on your log data using your existing log forwarder. With all of your log data in one place, you'll be able to make better decisions, detect and resolve problems more quickly, and see your logs in context to troubleshoot faster.
Our Logs feature is a scalable log management platform that allows you to connect your log data with the rest of your telemetry data. Pre-built plugins with some of the most common open-source logging tools make it simple to send your data from anywhere to New Relic.
Logs in context makes it easy to link to your log data with related data across the rest of our platform. Bringing all of this data together in a single tool allows you to quickly get to the root cause of an issue and find the log lines that you need to identify and resolve a problem.
A metric is a numeric measurement. Metric data is a broad category because there are several ways to make and report measurements. For more about how metrics are reported at New Relic, see New Relic data types.
New Relic reports metrics in several ways. One variety of metric data is called metric timeslice data; this is the type of data used to generate many of the charts in APM, mobile monitoring, and browser monitoring (for more details, see metric timeslice data).
Over time, metric timeslice data is aggregated into longer timeslice data records for more efficient storage. For more about how we aggregate this type of data, see Data aggregation.
For how to query this type of data, see Query metric timeslice data.
A metric grouping issue occurs when an account sends too many differently named metric timeslice data points to New Relic, and those individual web transactions are not properly aggregated. For example, rather than a single
/user/controlpanel/ metric name, you might see
/user/controlpanel/carol. For more information, see Metric grouping issues.
Mobile monitoring allows you to monitor and manage the performance of your mobile apps on Android, iOS, tvOS, and other systems. Mobile monitoring provides end-to-end details, including crashes, throughput, HTTP requests, error traces, and more.
For our Synthetic Monitoring, a monitor ensures your website or API endpoint is available. For more information, see Adding and editing monitors.
NerdGraph is our GraphQL API, an efficient and flexible query language that lets you request exactly the data you need, without over-fetching or under-fetching. NerdGraph calls get all the data you need in a single request. NerdGraph also makes it easier to evolve APIs over time and enables powerful developer tools.
New Relic Edge with Infinite Tracing is a fully managed, distributed tracing service that observes 100% of your application traces, then provides actionable data so you can solve issues faster.
For more information, see /docs/understand-dependencies/distributed-tracing/get-started/how-new-relic-distributed-tracing-works.
Our catalog is a collection of applications built on the New Relic One platform. The catalog includes custom apps we've built, public open source apps, and any apps that you buid.
You can browse the catalog on New Relic One.
NRQL is a query language, similar in form to SQL, that allows you to query the data stored in your New Relic account.
APM identifies transactions as either web or non-web. When New Relic does not detect a transaction was initiated by a web request, this is called a non-web transaction. For more information, see Background processes and other non-web transactions.
Where we send a notification when an incident opens, is acknowledged, or closes. Available channels include email, mobile push notifications, webhooks, and more.
On-host integrations refer to integrations that reside on your own servers or hosts and that communicate with our infrastructure agent. For more information, see Introduction to on-host integrations.
Navigation start: The user initiates the transaction.
First byte: The browser receives the requested page.
DOM ready: The browser has finished parsing DOM.
Page ready: Page loading is complete.
New Relic organizations can have a parent/child account structure. This structure was much more important for organizations with users on our original user model, but is still used for some features for organizations on the New Relic One user model. Learn more about account structure.
Parent accounts were previously referred to as "master accounts", and child accounts were previously referred to as "sub-accounts".
A unique URL that links to a view of your application at a specific point in time. Permalinks are useful for troubleshooting and for sharing interesting time windows with colleagues.
The component of New Relic that connects to your website to verify your website is accessible. New Relic has pingers in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Each pinger attempts to contact your website at least once every two minutes. If enough pingers are unable to reach your website, your application will be considered down.
For in-depth scriptable testing, including real browser tests and tests of API endpoints, see Synthetic Monitoring. Synthetic Monitoring includes free ping monitoring, which allows you to monitor your website from locations around the world. For more information, see Types of Synthetic monitors.
Our Amazon integrations query your AWS services according to a polling interval, which varies depending on the integration. Each polling interval occurs for every AWS entity. For example, if you have thirteen Elastic Load Balancers (ELB), each one will be polled every five minutes.
Depending on the AWS integration, there may be delays in the timing between the API request and the metric data returned. If you notice unusual delays, follow the integration troubleshooting procedures.
The number of pages per minute your application serves.
A Synthetic monitor feature that allows you to run Synthetic monitors from within your own systems by creating private minions. Private locations allow you to extend your Synthetic coverage to new geographical locations, and to monitor websites behind your firewall such as an intranet site. For more information, see Private locations overview.
A recovery period of time begins when a data source enters a non-violating state after being in a violating state. The recovery period is set in the condition's threshold. A violation will close when a source remains in a non-violating state and the recovery period time has elapsed. If the data source enters a violating state before the time has elapsed, the recovery period clock will reset and the violation won't close.
The duration of time between a request for service and a response. For more information, see Response time.
Using the same application name for multiple applications. This allows you to combine data in APM, either from multiple applications, or from multiple instances of an application. For more information, see Rolling up app data.
However, for more complex, modern systems that use a lot of asynchronous, non-blocking processes, this will not be true. For those systems, the root span’s duration may be significantly less than the duration of the trace.
The term RPM usually refers to the number of requests per minute your application receives from users. This is usually the same as CPM (calls per minute).
Historically, some New Relic monitoring solutions, like APM and Browser Monitoring, used to contain RPM in the URL; for example,
https://rpm.newrelic.com. This language use originally referred to Rails performance management because the first iteration of our product monitored Ruby on Rails applications. We monitor many more languages and systems than Ruby now.
A runbook contains standard procedures and operations typically used by system administrators, network operations staff, and other personnel to handle outages, alert incidents, and other situations. If your organization stores runbook instructions as URLs, you can link this information to an alerts policy so your personnel has easy access to this information when an incident violates the defined policy thresholds.
A service is a cluster of runtime server processes that accomplish a particular task, usually service requests. Unlike an application, a service is not usually invoked by a human.
New Relic offers a variety of integrations that allow you to report data from your services.
The stream of telemetry data that's watched and alerted on. You use NRQL queries to define a signal.
When we receive data and it's routed to the streaming alerts platform, your NRQL
WHERE clause will filter the data coming in.
The filtered streaming data is what's evaluated for loss of signal violations, for example.
SSL certificates encrypt data that is being transmitted. While New Relic refers to security certificates as SSL because it is a more commonly used term, all certificates adhere to industry standards for secure encryption in transit.
SSO (single sign on) allows you to manage user authentication in New Relic using an external SSO provider. For more information, see Setting up SSO.
This is what determines when the data in an aggregation window is processed. The streaming algorithm uses your server's clock time and the aggregation window size to trigger the alert evaluation process.
Synthetic monitoring allows you to monitor your website or API endpoint via automated, scriptable tools. Use free ping monitor to ensure your website is accessible, or expand your monitoring with browser monitors, which test your website with real browsers. Go further with scripting, to script browsers or API monitors for sophisticated testing.
A target is a resource or component monitored by a New Relic monitoring tool that has been identified in an alert condition. When the data source for that target crosses the defined critical threshold, we will open a violation. Depending on your policy's Incident preference setting, alerts may create an incident record and send notifications through the defined channels. See also entity.
Tags are key:value metadata added to monitored apps, hosts, dashboards, and other entities to help you organize your data at a high level. For details, see Tags.
Thresholds are alert condition settings that define a violation. Threshold values include the value a data source must pass to trigger a violation and the time-related settings that define a violation; for example:
Passing a certain value for at least x minutes
Passing a certain value only once in x minutes
While the data source passes a certain value, a degradation period starts. Likewise, when that data source stops passing a certain value, a recovery period starts. The durations of these two time periods are defined in the alert condition threshold settings.
Thresholds have a required critical (red) threshold and an optional warning (yellow) threshold. In the UI, the entity's health status indicator will change to yellow or red when a threshold has been crossed and a violation will open.
Throughput is a measurement of user activity for a monitored application. APM throughput and Browser Monitoring throughput are measured in different ways:
- APM: requests per minute (RPM)
- Browser: page views per minute (PPM)
A tier can refer to how New Relic categorizes or visualizes the various agent language ecosystems that we support. For example:
In APM, the color-coded categories that appear on your app's main Overview chart show response time spent in various functions, processes, or agents as tiers; for example, request queuing, garbage collection, Middleware, JVMs, etc.
In New Relic labels,
TIERcan be used to define or classify the client-server architecture; for example, front-end and back-end tiers.
"Tier" may sometimes be used to refer to our pricing editions.
By default the New Relic UI shows data for the past 30 minutes, ending now. To change the time window, use the time picker.
A time range can refer to a length of time selected in the New Relic UI. New Relic displays a time range depending on the range you select using the time picker.
A trace is a description of how a request travels through a system. Trace data helps you understand the performance of your system and diagnose problems. For more information on how we use trace data, see New Relic data types.
A transaction is defined as one logical unit of work in an application. This term primarily refers to server-side transactions monitored by APM. For more information, see documentation about web transactions and non-web transactions.
The term transaction is also sometimes used in Browser Monitoring. In that case, it primarily refers to activity beginning with a browser-side web request and ending with a complete page load.
A transaction trace is a complete picture of a single transaction, down to the database queries and exact invocation patterns. With transaction traces, New Relic gives you much deeper visibility into a single slow transaction, which can help you understand a broader problem. For more information, see Transaction traces.
Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), or Coordinated Universal Time, is a standard timestamp for synchronizing time around the world.
The numeric value obtained from metric timeslice data; for example, an average, minimum, maximum, total, sample size, etc.
A violation occurs when the entity monitored by an alert condition reports a value that crosses the thresholds defined in that condition. For an explanation of how violations relate to other basic alerts concepts, see Concepts and workflow.
Web external is the term applied to the portion of time spent in transactions to external applications from within the code of the application you are monitoring. That time can be a call to a third party company (a payment provider, for example) or it could be a call to another microservice within your own company. Web external demonstrates how performance is impacted by your code executing outside the application you are measuring.
A transaction is defined as one logical unit of work in an application. This term primarily refers to server-side transactions monitored by APM.
Web transactions are initiated with an HTTP request. For most organizations, these represent customer-centric interactions and thus are the most important transactions to monitor. For more information, see Web transactions and Non-web transactions.