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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Iron.io Metrics + New Relic Platform = Increased Nerd Power



Part 1: Iron.io Metrics now in the New Relic Platform

Iron.io is pleased to announce its participation as a New Relic Platform partner. As of today, Iron.io has opened up a gateway for Iron.io customers to send IronMQ performance data to the New Relic Platform. This means that Iron.io metrics can be viewed within New Relic’s dashboard, allowing all app-critical information to be on hand in one location. Developers win because they get increased simplicity and availability of data as well as easier and faster ability to manage and scale their applications.

The New Relic Platform
New Relic already sets the bar as a performance management tool for web, server, and mobile app monitoring. The release of the New Relic Platform, which lets third party services integrate metrics into New Relic, makes for an even more comprehensive performance monitoring offering.


IronMQ: The Message Queue
for the Cloud

IronMQ is a high availability message queuing service that makes it easy to create scalable cloud applications, buffer data inputs, and interface with third party systems. Every production-scale application in the cloud needs message queueing to distribute load, buffer streaming data, and coordinate between internal and external processes. Message queues serve alongside app servers and databases as primary components within an application stack.

IronMQ: High Availability Message Queueing
In the past, message queues may have been introduced when a generation needed to be scaled up. Iron.io’s services make it so that advanced architectures and the asynchronicity, work dispatch, load buffering, and database offloading that they enable can be created from the start – allowing applications to go from MVP to production to scale and beyond.

Iron Metrics and New Relic Monitoring 

Having Iron.io metrics accessible within New Relic is a big win for Iron.io customers. Iron.io’s dashboard/HUD already provides great tools for keeping an eye on the message queues that underlie production-scale applications. Including these same metrics within New Relic means more than just increasing simplicity (although this is reason enough).
IronMQ Metrics within New Relic (boom)

Iron.io metrics imported into New Relic means a single consolidated dashboard can provide instant visibility on a greater number of critical components. Cloud applications are becoming vastly more complex and way more distributed. Adding visibility for the message queues operating within an application means great responsiveness to issues and greater ability to manage scale.

Key Metrics for Message Queuing

A messaging layer is key to creating reliable and scalable distributed systems. It provides work dispatch, load buffering, synchronicity, database offloading, and many other core needs. Message queues provide this bridge between processes. If there's anything like a standard structural component for distributed systems, it’s the message queue.

The key metrics to keep track of within a messaging layer are queue size and message rate.

Queue Size
Queue size is key because it’s the primary indicator as to whether messages are being consumed at the proper rate. For example, if a queue is growing in size, it could mean that more consumers or workers are needed – or it could indicate issues with the workers themselves including errors or failed processing.
  • Current
  • Historic

Message Rate
Message rate is important because it indicates the other side of the equation – what’s happening on the sending side. Unexpected increases or decreases in messages could indicate traffic spikes or dips or could indicate issues with the devices, internal components, or external systems that are sending messages to the queue.
  • Current
  • Historic

Better Visibility → Increased Nerd Power

Being able to access and view Iron.io metrics with New Relic is a significant step in cloud development. One dashboard that can rule them all makes app management easier and issue responsiveness much faster. We’re pleased to be one of the initial partners for the plug-in program and can only see great things ahead.

New Relic’s messaging is generally along the lines of the following.

Iron.io's view of the world makes a nice addition to their beliefs and now, with our IronMQ Plugin, to their platform.






 

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Part 2: How It Works


1. Start on New Relic site.

Navigate to the Iron.io [IronMQ] Plugin:
Grab the New Relic license key and click Continue to go to the Iron.io site:



2. Continue to the Iron.io site

On the Iron.io page for the plugin, enter the New Relic License and the Iron.io Project ID and Token:













Start the Agent. It will build and upload an agent. This agent will continually run on the Iron.io Platform and move the data from Iron.io to the New Relic Platform.







3. Return to the New Relic site.


On the IronMQ Plugin page, you'll now see Iron.io metrics!!





4. Behind the scenes (on Iron.io)
IronWorker tasks run on a schedule that will continually move data to New Relic. (In other words, not only do we provide Iron.io metrics to New Relic — we also use Iron.io to do the real-time updating.) Here are the steps that happen automatically when you install the Plugin in New Relic:

a) A New Relic Agents project gets created within Iron.io Projects list.



b) This project has one or more schedules associated with it which in turn run IronWorker tasks on a regular basis to execute the Plugin code.






Powering Other Plugins

This same capability powering the IronMQ Plugin can also be used to power other New Relic Plugins. In subsequent posts, we'll be showing how any service can use Iron.io to power New Relic Plugins – which will let their users to gain instant visibility of their metrics within the New Relic Platform.

To inquire about powering service plugins, please contact us on our support channel or connect with us in our public chat room.

Support: support @ iron.io
Live Chat: get.iron.io/chat

Sign up for a free Iron.io account now to get started!