Using New Relic With Rackspace Cloud Load Balancers


Cloud Load Balancers, New Relic

New Relic just released its “New Relic Platform” product consisting of more than 50 plugins from various ISVs and cloud companies. The first Rackspace plugin to be released is for our Cloud Load Balancer product, which allows you to see HTTP vs. HTTPS traffic, easily set alerts to your predefined thresholds, and periodically check the health of the nodes associated with your load balancer to ensure they are responding correctly.

It’s pretty simple to try this yourself utilizing the README on GitHub, but I thought I’d walk through the basics and add few things to look out for.:

Install prerequsites

First, make sure that your system has the following components installed:

  • ruby (version 1.8.7 for later)
  • rubygems (version 1.3.7 or later)
  • ruby bundler gem

NOTE: it does not matter where you load the agent. When configured properly it will see all load balancers set up in that particular region. I simply used Ubuntu 12.04 Cloud Servers.

Install the plugin

Next, get the zip file from GitHub:

wget https://github.com/newrelic-platform/newrelic_rackspace_load_balancers_plugin/archive/1.0.0.zip

Extract the contents into a directory of your choice.

Next, run a few commands from within this director to get the gem set up:

bundle install –binstubs
./bin/newrelic_rs --sample-config

Modify the config/newrelic_plugin.yml with your New Relic key, Rackspace username and API key, and the region in which your load balancer sits. Here is a good site for YAML parsing help.

NOTE: It is crucial to use lowercase for the region – it will not work otherwise. If you have load balancers in multiple regions, you will need to configure a separate plugin per region.

Start the agent: ./bin/newrelic_rs. The correct output here should say “gathering xx statistics”

Now you can log in to your New Relic account and you’ll see the Rackspace Cloud Load Balancer icon in the left navigation pane. Once there you will see your load balancer(s) and you can view traffic, configure alerts, and you are good to go!

Click here to start using the plugin today and keep an eye out for more Rackspace plugins that are currently under development. If you don’t already have a New Relic account, all Rackspace customers get a free Standard account for life through our Cloud Tools Marketplace.

I’ll post again once the next plugin is available so feel free to follow me on twitter or LinkedIn.


This is a post written and contributed by Jim Battenberg. Jim is a Cloud Evangelist for The Rackspace Cloud. His time in “the cloud” dates back to the late 90’s when the shared hosting, dedicated hosting and ASP markets first began implementing the core concepts of virtualization. During his nearly 20 years in the high-tech industry, his primary roles – spanning from startups to Fortune 50 companies – have been in the fields of Product Marketing, Product Management, Strategic Planning, Strategic Marketing, Corporate Communications IR/PR/AR/PA and Business Development. Jim holds both a BBA in Finance and an MBA in International Marketing from the University of Houston. Jim also likes yoga, poker and dubstep…and sometimes combines all 3! Follow him on twitter at @jimbattenberg or LinkedIn.

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