Dynatrace vs. New Relic: Comparing APM Solutions

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Application performance monitoring is crucial to seamlessly deliver services to end users. Small bottlenecks and inefficient resource management can quickly become a big deal, slowing delivery and frustrating users. Being able to receive instantaneous and actionable data is essential to solving these problems.

Fortunately, several robust APM tools exist, and two of the most popular are Dynatrace and New Relic. We are going to take a look at each of them and compare their strengths and weaknesses.

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What is Dynatrace?

Dynatrace is a fully integrated APM solution with deep AI capabilities and a strong focus on security. As an agent-based system, Dynatrace collects extremely detailed data which then powers their AI engine known as Davis to provide root cause analysis and other actionable data to help teams diagnose and resolve. problems quickly.

Dynatrace works with all popular cloud services right out of the box, including AWS, Azure, and Google. Dynatrace also offers options to run in cloud, on-premises or hybrid mode depending on your existing infrastructure.

What is New Relic?

New Relic is a powerful APM solution that uses user-defined thresholds and correlation data to define and find defects or issues instead of an AI-based approach like Dynatrace.

New Relic only offers its service as a SaaS option and no on-premises capabilities are offered. New Relic provides a comprehensive list of plugins, which is one of its greatest strengths, as well as a strong user community and knowledge base. Users also appreciate the highly intuitive dashboard that requires very little customization after installation to provide crucial data via easy-to-read graphs.

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Dynatrace vs. New Relic: Feature Comparison

Both of these APM tools seek to achieve the same goals, but there are a few differences between the two when it comes to functionality.

FeatureDynatraceNew relic
Extensive plugins and AWS integrationsNopeYes
On-site or hybrid optionYesNope
AI fault detectionYesNope
Continuous automationYesNope
Configurable dashboardYesYes

Direct comparison: Dynatrace vs. New Relic

These two options both offer similar basic functions, but they both offer a different experience for users, as well as different strengths. We’ll look at some of these basic features below.


Both options here offer a robust dashboard for users to quickly access crucial data and spot issues. With New Relic, this is achieved by primarily displaying easily readable graphics and providing instant feedback without the need to explore and dive into menus.

Dynatrace offers a dashboard built using user-selected modules or widgets. While this offers greater flexibility and customization, it does require some setup and knowing what exactly you want. For this reason, many users prefer the New Relic dashboard as it works well right after installation. Dynatrace requires some effort to set it up, but once complete it can offer a more customized data set for your needs.


Dynatrace offers a very simple installation process that provides an automatic discovery tool. Once started from the dashboard, this tool quickly discovers all the assets across your entire tech stack and produces a topology map showing the entire network. This ease of installation is one of the key features that Dynatrace users appreciate the most.

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New Relic, while still easy to install, doesn’t offer an auto-discover and install option, so there’s a bit more initial setup involved. While this initial setup may require additional steps, it’s relatively straightforward and most non-developers should be able to handle the task given they understand the environment New Relic is installed in.

Fault and error detection

Of course, these APM tools will detect both bottlenecks, failures and problems. But they go about it very differently and provide the user with a very different experience.

Dynatrace relies heavily on its AI system known as Davis, which integrates its three modules which are One Agent, Smartscape and PurePath. This suite fully monitors the entire technology stack and sets a dynamic baseline for performance, then detects deviations from that baseline. The AI ​​system also provides root cause options when issues are detected. These can be automatically sent to the corresponding teams to speed up response and problem resolution.

New Relic uses no AI style monitoring and instead uses industry standard Apdex scores. Users set benchmark performance goals, and then New Relic detects deviations from the user-defined benchmark. Overall, it’s a simpler system that may be more useful in some contexts, but doesn’t provide the detail or dynamic monitoring like DynaTrace.

Is Dynatrace or New Relic the best choice?

Both of these APM tools offer great options for those who need to monitor their tech stack and optimize their efficiency. However, they each have their strengths, making it easy to choose one over the other based on your needs.

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For those who need deep, highly granular data to solve complex bottlenecks and performance issues in a large environment, Dynatrace is the clear winner. It also works well for sending multiple teams to address issues that may span multiple areas. This, combined with the ability to be on-premises or hybrid and high security, makes it ideal for complex and larger enterprises.

New Relic, on the other hand, which has a slightly more complex setup, is overall the easier of the two. Being only a SaaS option, it works best for dedicated cloud environments. The quick-to-understand dashboard and extensive plugins make getting started quick, even for non-developers. So, while less detailed in some areas, ease of use is New Relic’s main strength.

Both of these solutions are strong APM tools, and depending on the size and complexity of your environment, each will work well if chosen for the right task.


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