How to Get Synthetic Monitoring to Work in New Relic (Step by Step Guide)

22:59 Monrovia 0 Comments


Synthetics monitoring is a proactive approach to ensuring the reliability and performance of applications and services by simulating user interactions from various global locations. By mimicking real user behavior, synthetics tools provide insights into application performance, responsiveness, and availability. These tools enable scheduled checks from multiple locations, allowing businesses to identify issues related to regional latency, network connectivity, or service downtime. Additionally, synthetics monitoring facilitates the creation of scripted tests to simulate complex user journeys, providing a comprehensive assessment of application functionality.

With synthetics monitoring, organizations can receive alerts when issues arise, enabling swift action to rectify problems before they impact end users. By scheduling regular checks and analyzing historical data, businesses can track performance trends, identify areas for improvement, and ensure consistent user experiences across different regions. Synthetics monitoring not only enhances the reliability of applications and services but also empowers organizations to proactively address issues, maintain high levels of uptime, and uphold user satisfaction.

To set up synthetics monitoring in New Relic, you can follow these eight simple steps:

·         1) Sign Up and Log In

If you haven't already, sign up for a New Relic account and log in to your dashboard.

·         2) Access Synthetics

Once logged in, navigate to the "Synthetics" section of the New Relic dashboard. It might be under a tab labeled "More" or "Products" depending on your dashboard layout.

·         3) Create a New Monitor

Click on the "Create a monitor" button. You'll be prompted to choose the type of monitor you want to create. New Relic offers several types, including simple ping checks, scripted browser tests, API tests, and more.

·         4) Configure Monitor Settings

Depending on the type of monitor you choose, you'll need to configure various settings such as the URL to monitor, the frequency of checks, and the locations from which to run the checks.

·         5) Write Scripts (if necessary)

If you're setting up a scripted browser test or an API test, you'll need to write the script that defines the actions or requests to be performed during the check. New Relic provides documentation and examples to help you write these scripts.

·         6) Review and Save

Once you've configured the monitor settings and (if applicable) written the script, review everything to ensure it's set up correctly. Then, save your monitor.

·         7) View Results

After setting up the monitor, you can view its results in the New Relic dashboard. You'll be able to see metrics such as response time, uptime, and any errors encountered during checks.

·         8) Set Up Alerts (Optional)

To receive notifications when your monitor detects issues, you can set up alert policies in New Relic. This ensures that you're promptly notified of any problems with your monitored services.

By following these steps, you should be able to set up synthetics monitoring in New Relic to track the performance and availability of your applications and services.

How can synthetic monitoring be used?

Synthetic monitoring serves as a versatile tool for businesses to maintain the reliability and performance of their applications and services. It enables pre-launch testing, allowing organizations to conduct comprehensive assessments before deploying new features or applications. By simulating user interactions, synthetic monitoring identifies potential performance bottlenecks, usability issues, and functionality gaps, ensuring a seamless user experience from the outset. Continuous performance monitoring is another vital application of synthetic monitoring, enabling businesses to schedule regular checks from diverse geographical locations. This approach facilitates real-time detection of issues such as slow loading times, downtime, or errors, empowering organizations to address them promptly and uphold service reliability.

Synthetic monitoring encompasses various types, each serving specific purposes in evaluating the performance and availability of applications and services:

Simple Ping Checks

This type of synthetic monitoring involves sending ICMP ping requests to the target server to assess its availability. It's the most basic form of monitoring and primarily indicates whether a server is reachable or not. Ping checks are useful for detecting network connectivity issues and basic server availability but provide limited insight into application functionality.

Example: A website monitoring tool sends ping requests to a web server every minute. If the server fails to respond to the ping requests, an alert is triggered, indicating potential network connectivity issues or server downtime.

HTTP(S) Checks

HTTP checks involve sending HTTP or HTTPS requests to specific URLs to monitor the availability and response times of web applications. These checks can verify whether a web server is responding with the expected status codes (e.g., 200 OK) and assess the performance of individual web pages.

Example: An e-commerce platform conducts HTTP checks on its checkout page every five minutes. If the response time exceeds a predefined threshold or the server returns an unexpected status code (e.g., 404 Not Found), an alert is generated, prompting investigation into potential issues affecting the checkout process.

Scripted Browser Tests

Scripted browser tests simulate user interactions with web applications by executing scripts that mimic real user behavior. These tests navigate through web pages, interact with elements such as forms and buttons, and verify the correctness of page content. Scripted browser tests provide insights into application functionality, usability, and performance from an end-user perspective.

Example: A travel booking website runs scripted browser tests to simulate the user journey of searching for flights, selecting seats, and completing the booking process. If any step in the process fails or experiences delays, the monitoring tool generates alerts, enabling the development team to identify and resolve issues promptly.

API Monitoring

API monitoring involves sending requests to API endpoints to verify their availability, response times, and data correctness. API checks validate the functionality and performance of backend services, ensuring they meet the required service level agreements (SLAs).

Example: A social media platform monitors its API endpoints that handle user authentication requests. By periodically sending authentication requests and verifying the response times and data integrity, the platform ensures that users can securely access their accounts without encountering errors.

Each type of synthetic monitoring serves specific purposes in assessing different aspects of application performance and availability. By employing a combination of these monitoring techniques, businesses can comprehensively evaluate their applications and services, identify potential issues proactively, and maintain optimal user experiences.

Things to consider during this process:

During the synthetic monitoring process, it's crucial to balance the accuracy of tests with real-world conditions, understanding that synthetic tests may not always perfectly reflect user experiences. Supplementing synthetic monitoring with real user monitoring (RUM) data can provide a more comprehensive view of application performance. It's essential to ensure that your synthetic monitoring covers critical user journeys and functionality within your applications, prioritizing key transactions, pages, or API endpoints to effectively gauge user experience. Additionally, determining an appropriate monitoring frequency based on application criticality and expected user traffic patterns is important to detect issues promptly without unnecessarily consuming resources.

Furthermore, setting up alerting thresholds based on acceptable performance criteria and SLAs is vital, avoiding overly sensitive thresholds to prevent alert fatigue. Geographical diversity in monitoring locations should be considered to represent your user base adequately and identify regional performance issues. Regularly reviewing and updating scripts for scripted browser tests or API checks is necessary to accommodate changes in application functionality, preventing false positives or missed issues during monitoring. Finally, integrating synthetic monitoring alerts with incident response processes facilitates rapid issue resolution, ensuring relevant teams are promptly notified and clear escalation paths are established for effective response.

Synthetic monitoring plays a crucial role in assessing the geographical performance of applications and services. By monitoring from various regions, businesses gain insights into regional latency, network connectivity, and content delivery, ensuring consistent user experiences worldwide. Additionally, synthetic monitoring extends its utility to third-party service monitoring, enabling businesses to monitor the performance of essential dependencies like APIs or payment gateways. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of disruptions to the application and ensures that third-party services meet the required service level agreements (SLAs). Overall, synthetic monitoring not only enhances application reliability and performance but also supports capacity planning and scalability testing, empowering businesses to optimize their infrastructure and accommodate future growth effectively.

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