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New Relic: A New, $3.5 Million Funded Player in the Rails Application Monitoring Space

By Peter Cooper / May 2, 2008


New Relic is a new entrant into the nascent Ruby on RailsĀ® application monitoring market, so far dominated by FiveRuns. The company has just taken $3.5 million in first-round venture financing from heavyweights Benchmark Capital. Rather impressively, New Relic has already been featured on TechCrunch, where writer Mark McGranaghan notes that New Relic's founder, Lewis Cirne, previously ran a similar company in the Java space.

New Relic's primary product at this time is "RPM," a subscription-based Rails "Performance Management" solution. It provides useful information that Rails developers can use to quickly detect, diagnose and fix application performance problems. There are a lot of pretty graphs and charts on the RPM product page from which you get an idea of what sort of information it presents.

It is worth noting, however, that FiveRuns' RM-Manage appears to provide more features at the moment, although without knowing New Relic's pricing, it may still be better value depending on your needs. RM-Manage not only provides live Rails application monitoring, but also overall server monitoring (including OS, database, Web daemon, swap usage, etc.), as well as triggers and events to automatically notify you of changes or issues. I've also heard from a credible source that FiveRuns has some exciting new enhancements in the pipeline, due to be unveiled at RailsConf.

New Relic's launch is newsworthy, however, not only because of the investment (something matched in the Ruby / Rails scene by FiveRuns and Engine Yard) but because the hype surrounding its launch demonstrates that both the press and investors are now seeing plays in the Ruby and Rails space as serious business rather than quirky gambles.


  1. Alan says:

    "A New, $3.5 Million Funded Player in the Rails Application Monitoring Space"


    "A New, $3.5 Million Funded Rails Monitoring Application"

    See how the words 'player' and 'space' were just superfluous?

    This message underwritten by the National Anti-Bizspeak Foundation and listeners like you.

  2. Peter Cooper says:

    That's not a bad edit, so thanks for that, but I want to emphasize it's a company that's been funded (or, as I put it, "player") rather than an application. Your edit would have also worked if it were the original headline, but I want to get across two things here.. that a) there's an industry around Rails application monitoring now, and b) the funding was for a player in that space, rather than just funding for a lone application.

  3. Alan says:

    That's totally fair. I think the proliferation of "enterprise" language at my day job just makes me overly sensitive to it. ;) Carry on.

  4. Peter Cooper says:

    I am no fan of it either :) That said, it's very rare there's a corporate style post here, so if I have fallen out of the knack of eradicating business-speak, I would not be surprised!

  5. Man says:

    Man, I hate both these companies. 3.5M to parse the Rails benchmarks and ship it to gchart? Please.

    You can find your O(N) loops with Query Reviewer for free; you don't need some proprietary service that gives free accounts to the big players so they can try to sweep up the cash of the small ones.

  6. Peter Cooper says:

    Man: If you ever write a blog post about how to achieve similar results to these companies' services for free with open source software and tools, I'd most likely be interested in linking to it.

  7. Tim Goh says:

    I know FiveRun's sponsorship of Ruby Inside is obvious -- they have a large box in the sponsors list -- but some people may still nitpick that you did not disclose this relationship formally in a post that mentions them. Just a tiny heads up.

  8. Peter Cooper says:

    Yes, someone already did ;-) In any case, sponsorship or not, I would have written the same thing, so there's no bias.

    I shall try to add disclaimers where possible in future, however. Thanks!

  9. Gregory Brown says:

    So, I was contacted about this 'news' too.

    To me, company launches are of minimal excitement, I don't know if I represent a large cross-section of the community, but for example, I had no interest in writing a buzz post about this for O'Reilly Ruby.

    I think the points made by others about the title of the post and the sponsor-relationship with Ruby Inside are definitely valid and shouldn't be taken lightly.

    Peter, you know I have a lot of love for you, but be careful not to trod into the realm of pandering. Promoting interesting open source projects or community members is quite a different thing than promoting companies. I'm not saying there isn't room for both on Ruby Inside, just that some consideration for your audience is important :)

  10. Peter Cooper says:

    To say I was contacted by New Relic would be an exaggeration. I received a press release. I receive many of these, but few make it on to the site. This case, however, was different. TechCrunch had already covered the story and there was a serious level of funding involved. That there is room for more than one multi-million dollar company in the Rails monitoring space is news.

    Very few other Ruby blogs bother to cover the commercial areas that are so important to the language. Often this is as a matter of tone or principle (O'Reilly Ruby) but in many cases it comes off as an anti-commercial, pro open source "arrogance." Ruby Inside, on the other hand, has covered quite a lot of very relevant commercial news relating to Ruby and Rails in the past two years.

    In any case, there's no payola on Ruby Inside, and I think that's the most important point. I don't get kickbacks and as a rule I don't put affiliate links on the books I link to on Amazon (as opposed to most bloggers) - I did once but it earned < $50. I don't earn money at all from anything that's posted on the site, and earn rather little from that which is paid for elsewhere.

    The only benefit that sponsorship gets people on this site is my ear. I post no differently about someone whether they're a sponsor or not, but I may be inclined to post more rapidly as they already have my attention. In FiveRuns' case, they have an extremely friendly and helpful PR guy who I enjoy talking to. This is very rare in this sector, and may be why FiveRuns get mentioned more than most.

    In any case, thanks for your support and your concerns everybody, but there's nothing sinister going on here. There's no payola, there's no pandering, and the site will remain as much interested in commercial news as non-commercial news as long as I'm in charge.

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