New Relic vs. Splunk: a side-by-side comparison for 2024

Eric Hu
Updated on January 14, 2024

New Relic and Splunk are both cloud-based infrastructure monitoring platforms that are able to process machine-generated data and keep website and application owners informed about the performance of their services.

New Relic leans more towards performance monitoring. The platform provides services that help improve the performance, reliability, and user experience of your applications by collecting and visualizing real-time insights. Their services include application performance management, infrastructure monitoring, browser monitoring, and so on.

Splunk's strength lies in data processing. It collects, analyzes, and visualizes machine-generated data from a variety of sources, such as log files, system metrics, and network events. It also allows you to search, monitor, and analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data in real-time, and provides insights that can be used to improve operations, security, and business outcomes.

Both platforms have overlapping features, but they each have their own specialty. In this article, we will compare the two products in detail to help you find out which is better suited for your project. The comparison will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Deployment options
  2. Data source integrations
  3. Data visualization
  4. Alerts and notifications
  5. Search capabilities
  6. Machine learning
  7. Scalability
  8. UI and UX design
  9. Pricing
  10. Documentation and support

Features overview

Feature New Relic Splunk
Deployment options ✓✓
Data source integrations ✓✓ ✓✓
Data visualization ✓✓
Alerts and notifications ✓✓ ✓✓
Search capabilities ✓✓
Machine learning ✓✓
Scalability ✓✓ ✓✓
UI and UX design ✓✓
Free plan ✓✓
Documentation and support ✓✓ ✓✓

✕ - does not support

✓ - partial support

✓✓ - full support

1. Deployment options: Splunk wins

New Relic is only available as a SaaS (Software as a Service), where the platform is hosted by New Relic, and you may access it anywhere with an internet connection.

Splunk also offers a cloud-based option, just like New Relic. However, it is also possible to install Splunk on-premise, which gives you the option to host Splunk on your infrastructure. This on-premise option is ideal for companies and organizations that have strict security and compliance requirements and require a high degree of control over your data.

Splunk wins this round for having the on-premise deployment option.

2. Data source integrations: tie

New Relic integrations

New Relic offers around 600 integrations to a variety of applications and technologies, covering cloud platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, specific programming languages such as Python, Java, and PHP, as well as other log management platforms such as Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. These integrations can be established by installing and configuring agents on the platform or application you wish to monitor.

Splunk integrations

Splunk also provides a wide range of integrations with third-party tools and services, including cloud providers, application performance management (APM) tools, log management tools, and more. These integrations allow you to import data from a variety of sources into Splunk and use it as a centralized platform for monitoring and analyzing your data.

Both platforms offer similar data source integration options, so they are tied for this round.

3. Data visualization: New Relic wins

Both New Relic and Splunk offer a wide range of data visualization capabilities to help you gain insights into your applications and services. Some of the data visualization options include charts, data maps, reports, and dashboards. However, they do have several key differences.

New Relic visualization

New Relic is capable of visualizing many different data types, including application performance data, infrastructure data, as well as logs. It also provides various customization features allowing you to organize charts and graphs to meet your specific needs. And lastly, New Relic provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface for creating and visualizing data, making it easy for users to quickly understand performance trends and identify issues.

Splunk visualization

Splunk can also visualize many different data types just like New Relic, including log data, metrics data, and security data. However, the user interface may require a steeper learning curve for some users. Splunk's data visualization capabilities are comprehensive, just like New Relic, but they may not be as customizable.

Overall, both tools provide robust data visualization capabilities, and it is impossible to say which is 100% better. It depends on your specific use cases. New Relic might have a slight edge here for being more user-friendly.

4. Alerts and notifications: tie

New Relic provides real-time monitoring and alerting feature that will notify you if any performance issues or threshold breaches occur, allowing you and your team to quickly resolve problems before they impact the users. New Relic will also push notifications through a wide range of channels, including email, SMS, and webhooks. The platform also provides a flexible and customizable escalation process, allowing you to specify how alerts are escalated based on specific conditions.

Splunk also provides a comprehensive user interface for setting up alerts, allowing you to create custom alerts based on specific performance thresholds or conditions. Just like New Relic, Splunk is also capable of sending alerts through email, SMS, and webhooks, and it offers easy integration to collaboration platforms, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, allowing you and your team to receive alerts directly within your preferred collaboration tools.

Both Splunk and New Relic provide robust alerting capabilities that allow you to quickly identify and resolve performance issues in your applications and infrastructure.

5. Search capabilities: Splunk wins

New Relic search

New Relic provides search functionalities specifically designed for monitoring and troubleshooting applications and infrastructure. It comes with a search interface that allows you and your team to quickly find specific performance issues and events and visualize performance data in real time.

Splunk search

On the other hand, Splunk is famous for its powerful data-searching capabilities. It provides a search-based interface for analyzing and visualizing data from various sources, including log data, metrics data, and security data. With Splunk, you can perform complex searches, create custom dashboards, and gain insights into the performance of your applications and infrastructure.

Overall, Splunk offers more robust search capabilities, and New Relic's search functionalities are designed to suit the needs of organizations focused on monitoring and troubleshooting applications and infrastructure.

6. Machine learning: Splunk wins

Both New Relic and Splunk offer machine-learning capabilities, although the focus and depth of these functionalities differ between the two platforms.

New Relic has incorporated machine learning algorithms into its platform to help you automate various performance monitoring and troubleshooting tasks, such as identifying performance issues and anomalies. New Relic's machine learning algorithms can also be used to generate insights and recommendations to help you optimize your applications and services.

Splunk, on the other hand, provides more extensive machine learning capabilities, including a machine learning toolkit, with pre-built algorithms and integrations with popular machine learning frameworks. With Splunk, you may use machine learning to perform a wide range of tasks, including data classification, anomaly detection, and predictive analytics.

Overall, while both New Relic and Splunk come with machine-learning features, Splunk provides more extensive machine-learning capabilities, making it the better choice for teams with more advanced machine learning requirements. However, New Relic's machine-learning capabilities are still helpful for teams looking to automate performance monitoring and troubleshooting tasks.

7. Scalability: tie

Both New Relic and Splunk are highly scalable platforms that are capable of handling large amounts of data, and they both provide a range of scalability options to meet the needs of teams of all sizes.

New Relic offers a range of scalability options, such as the ability to scale data collection and retention and add more capacity as needed. While Splunk provides the ability to scale data indexing, search, and data retrieval. Both of them are well suited to organizations with growing data needs.

8. UI and UX design: tie

New Relic UI

New Relic's UI is designed to be simple and intuitive, with a focus on real-time monitoring, alerting, and data visualization. The UI provides a range of visualizations and dashboards that allow teams to quickly understand performance trends and identify potential issues. The UI design is clean and modern, making it easy for teams to navigate and find the information they need.

Splunk UI

Splunk's UI is designed to be more flexible and customizable, focusing on data analysis and visualization. The UI provides a wide range of options for customizing dashboards and visualizations, and it is possible to create complex custom views of data. However, this flexibility also give Splunk a steep learning curve for many users.

9. Pricing: New Relic

Both platforms offer flexible pricing models based on specific use cases.

New Relic Pricing

New Relic offers a free plan with 100 GB/month data ingestion limit, allowing you to try out the platform before paying. The free plan also comes with 1 full platform user, unlimited basic users, and unlimited hosts and CPUs. For teams that require more than 1 full platform user, you may contact the New Relic team for custom pricing.

Splunk pricing

Splunk, on the other hand, offers different prices for different solutions. The Splunk observability solution starts at $15 per host per month. For the other products, such as the Splunk Cloud Platform and the Splunk Enterprise Platform, you must contact the Splunk team for detailed pricing.

New Relic wins this round for offering a free plan.

10. Documentation and support: tie

Lastly, when it comes to support, both New Relic and Splunk offer different resources, such as online documentation, knowledge base articles, community forums, online training courses, and email and phone support. Their documentations are both extensive and well-organized, making it easy for you to find the information you need.

Both platforms provide excellent documentation and support options to help customers get the most out of their tools and services.

Better Stack: the modern alternative to New Relic and Splunk

Better Stack is an observability platform that is able to collect, process and analyze data across your stack. It comes with two main products:

  • Logtail, which is for log management. Giving you a centralized platform for organizing and processing all you log data.
  • Better Uptime is for monitoring your applications and scheduled tasks and alerting you when something goes wrong.


Logtail is a log management tool that lets you centralize, analyze and visualize logs from various sources. It supports real-time log collection from multiple sources, such as cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, and Azure, as well as servers, databases, and applications. The collected log records will automatically appear in the Live tail, which you can then save it as a custom view.

One of the main features of Logtail is simplicity. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to connect to a new source and start collecting logs. It also includes data processing, shipping, and alerting features. Additionally, it allows you to filter, search, and alert on logs in real time.

Better Uptime

Better Uptime is a monitoring tool that monitors your applications, services, and scheduled tasks. It will notify you through multiple channels such as email, SMS, phone call, Slack, or the mobile app if an incident occurs.

Some of its main features include application monitoring, scheduled tasks monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, incident management and alerting, status page, and so on.

Better Uptime also allows you to create on-call calendar for your team, assigning different team members to receive alerts at different times. This feature is also integrated with Google Calendar, allowing you to schedule on-call duties straight from your favorite calendar app.

The customizable escalation policy feature is available in Better Uptime as well. This feature allows you to define what happens when an incident occurs and the current on-call person fails to acknowledge it.

Both these products come with a modern and beautifully designed user interface and offer competitive prices. Both Better Uptime and Logtail offer a free trial, allowing you to test the tools before paying. The paid plans start at $24 per month, and all payment plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Final thoughts

In this article, we compared two popular observability platforms, New Relic and Splunk. New Relic and Splunk are both widely used platforms that provide a range of infrastructure monitoring, performance management, and data analysis functionalities.

New Relic primarily focuses on monitoring and performance management for applications and infrastructures. It provides real-time visibility into the performance of applications and services and helps you and your team identify and resolve issues quickly. New Relic provides a range of tools for collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data and has a strong focus on user experience and ease of use.

On the other hand, Splunk is focused on collecting, analyzing, and visualizing machine-generated data. It gives you and your team the ability to search, analyze, and visualize large amounts of data in real time and helps you gain insights into your applications, services, and data. Splunk's powerful search and analysis engine provide various advanced analytics and data visualization tools. However, it is generally considered more complex and harder to use than New Relic.

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