New Relic vs. Instana Comparison

Which is the best APM and observability provider for you?

March 24, 2023

Written by
Louis-Victor Jadavji, Cofounder of Taloflow

Who should you choose and why?

âś‹ Most important consideration

  • If you want to work with an open platform that supports open source third-party agents (i.e., OTEL/Prometheus) and may want to switch your observability stack in the future, New Relic offers a lot more flexibility.

🤔 Strongly consider New Relic over Instana if

  • You prefer an open platform that supports open source third-party agents (i.e., OTEL/Prometheus).

🤔 Strongly consider Instana over New Relic if

  • If you want to do any kind of code profiling, New Relic doesn't have good support. Code profiling provides the insights to improve code efficiency and debug more effectively.
  • If you want real-time metrics. Instana is the only APM vendor that offers visible metrics in the user interface in under 1 second, or practically real-time.
  • If you want better dependency mapping. Instana has a relationship engine that automatically calculates the relationships and dependencies for each unit of work.
  • If you have purely microservices-based architecture.
  • You want fully dynamic instrumentation where you barely have to worry much about the frameworks and other tools that developers are using (i.e., language independent), Instana has an outsized advantage.
  • You want a more effective tool for automated problem resolution.

đź“ť Other Notes

  • Instana has a relatively cheaper solution for most use cases, but New Relic's unique data consumption based pricing model can be a lot cheaper for some.
New Relic

New Relic

New Relic, one of the pioneering APM providers, has successfully reinvented its product to meet the requirements of a modern observability platform. The solution now provides insights into the software, infrastructure, and customer experience, offering businesses comprehensive visibility into their digital systems. New Relic's observability platform ensures that companies can efficiently manage system performance, understand customer experience, and accelerate software delivery.
New Relic


Instana offers near-comprehensive metric instrumentation with real-time data intervals. This empowers businesses with immediate insights into their application performance, enabling rapid responses to any emerging issues. With its extensive real-time monitoring capabilities, Instana provides a dynamic observability solution that allows businesses to maintain high-performance applications and swiftly detect and address performance issues.
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Feature Comparison


Use Case Fit

Problem Resolution




Integration With Other Services

Not all observability providers have the integrations or compatibility with tools and languages like Rancher, AlertOps, or Rust.

Compliance Requirements

Compliance with standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, FedRAMP and more have been tracked and recorded.

About the Author

Louis-Victor Jadavji (or "LV") is a recognized leader in the cloud services industry. He's helped 50+ digital native companies like ModusBox, Later, and NS1 choose the right cloud stack for their applications. His work has been featured in Forbes (30 Under 30 All-Star), HuffPost, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and Inc. Magazine.

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