New Relic Plans to Extend Kubernetes Monitoring with CoScale Technology

Fresh off its acquisition of the technology assets of CoScale, New Relic plans to extend the depth of its monitoring services portfolio with deeper metrics for applications running on Kubernetes clusters.

Based in Belgium, CoScale has been providing monitoring capabilities for Docker, Kubernetes and OpenShift. New Relic already monitors Kubernetes, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS), Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and RedHat Openshift.

Aaron Johnson, senior vice president for product management at New Relic, says his company already monitors 80 million containers per month. New Relic will infuse the CoScale technology to provide deeper Kubernetes metrics than it does today now that Kubernetes as emerged as a de facto standard cluster for Docker containers. CoScale was recently identified as a “Cool Vendor in Performance Analysis; Analytics and Containers” by Gartner.

In general, Johnson notes that applications built on a microservices architecture built using containers tend to be a lot more dynamic than traditional legacy applications. As a result, organizations are relying on monitoring tools much more because human IT operators won’t be able to keep track of the rate of change in these environments without relying on a monitoring application.

The dynamic nature of containers also requires IT teams to be much more team-oriented because of all the dependencies involved, he adds. The days when a single IT hero could save the proverbial day by knowing every aspect of a monolithic application are coming to an end; container monitoring software makes it possible for DevOps teams to see what’s critical and triage their response accordingly.

Johnson notes the more critical that application is to the business, the more important it becomes to monitor it. In the age of digital business, the number of applications deemed critical is expanding because so much of a business today now depends on software, he says.

All these issues are starting to come to a head as more containers running on Kubernetes clusters are deployed in a production environment. In fact, organizations that have not adopted DevOps or have done so sporadically likely soon will be required to embrace best DevOps practices across the enterprise as containers continue to proliferate.

It’s not clear who in the IT organization will be responsible for monitoring containers. In some case, developers are assuming responsibility for the entire application end to end. Other organizations prefer IT operational teams monitor containers to maximize the amount of time available to build applications.

New Relic is betting that regardless of who is given the task, the inherent complexities associated with containers will push organizations to embrace container monitoring that is delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. The challenge New Relic might face is that in an application development environment, many developers now routinely employ open source container monitoring software such as Prometheus. Convincing organizations to pay for that capability requires convincing IT people that the metrics provided by New Relic are indeed significantly more actionable.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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