How to Successfully Implement Synthetic Monitoring in New Relic

Filed in TECH UPDATE by on September 22, 2023 0 Comments

Synthetic monitoring is a powerful tool that enables businesses to monitor their applications and services proactively. It involves the use of synthetic monitors that periodically execute pre-defined scripts or actions to interact with an application or service.

New Relic is one of the leading providers of synthetic monitoring services, offering a range of tools and features to help businesses monitor their applications and services effectively.

Getting synthetics monitoring to work in New Relic can be a complex process, especially for those who are new to the platform. However, with the right guidance and tools, it is possible to set up synthetic monitoring quickly and easily. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to get synthetics monitoring to work in New Relic, covering everything from configuring monitors to scripting and testing.

Whether you are a seasoned IT professional or a business owner looking to improve your application monitoring capabilities, this article will provide you with the information you need to get started with synthetics monitoring in New Relic.

Understanding Synthetics Monitoring

Definition and Importance

Synthetic monitoring is a technique used to monitor applications and services by simulating user interactions with them. It is an essential tool for ensuring that applications and services are performing optimally and that users have a seamless experience. Synthetic monitoring can help identify issues before they impact users, and enable teams to proactively address them.

Synthetic monitoring involves the use of virtual browsers, or synthetic monitors, that run scripts or actions to interact with applications and services. These monitors simulate user interactions, such as clicking buttons and filling out forms, to measure the performance of the application or service. They capture aggregate numbers for load time, uptime, and average download size, among other metrics.

Synthetic monitoring is particularly important for businesses that rely on web applications or services to deliver their products or services. Poor application or service performance can lead to lost revenue, a damaged reputation, and a loss of customers. Synthetic monitoring can help businesses avoid these issues by identifying performance issues before they impact users.

How It Works in New Relic

In New Relic, synthetics monitoring relies on synthetic monitors that periodically execute pre-defined scripts or actions to interact with an application or service. These monitors can be scheduled to run at regular intervals, such as every 5 minutes, or on a specific schedule. New Relic provides a variety of tools and features to help teams create and manage synthetic monitors, as well as analyze the data they collect.

New Relic\’s synthetic monitoring capabilities include the ability to monitor web applications, APIs, and mobile applications. It also provides support for private locations, which enables teams to monitor applications and services from behind their firewall and ensure that they are performing optimally for their specific user base.

New Relic\’s synthetic monitoring also includes support for scripted browsers, which enable teams to create custom scripts to simulate user interactions with their applications and services. This can be particularly useful for businesses with complex applications or services that require specialized monitoring.

Overall, synthetic monitoring is an essential tool for businesses that rely on web applications or services to deliver their products or services. New Relic provides a powerful suite of tools and features to help teams create, manage, and analyze synthetic monitors, and ensure that their applications and services are performing optimally.

Setting Up Synthetics Monitoring

Preparation

Before setting up synthetics monitoring in New Relic, the user needs to have access to the New Relic platform. If the user does not have an account, they can sign up for a free trial or contact their organization\’s New Relic administrator. Once the user has access, they need to ensure that they have the correct permissions to set up synthetic monitoring.

To set up synthetic monitoring, the user needs to prepare the following:

  • URLs of the websites or applications they want to monitor
  • API endpoints, if applicable
  • Usernames and passwords, if applicable

Installation

To install synthetics monitoring in New Relic, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the New Relic platform.
  2. Navigate to the Synthetics section.
  3. Click on the \”Create a monitor\” button.
  4. Select the type of monitor to create. New Relic offers the following types of monitors:
    • Simple Browser
    • Scripted Browser
    • API Test
    • Ping
  5. Fill in the required details for the monitor, such as the URL to monitor, the locations to monitor from, and the frequency of monitoring.
  6. Save the monitor.

After creating a monitor, the user can view the results in the Synthetics section of the New Relic platform. They can also set up alerts to notify them of any issues with their monitored websites or applications.

In conclusion, setting up synthetics monitoring in New Relic requires access to the platform, correct permissions, and preparation of the URLs, API endpoints, usernames, and passwords. The installation process involves creating a monitor and filling in its details.

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Configuring Synthetics Monitoring

Configuring Synthetics Monitoring in New Relic can help you keep track of the performance of your apps and take immediate action to fix any issues. This section will guide you through the process of creating a monitor and setting up alerts.

Creating a Monitor

To create a monitor in New Relic, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your New Relic account and navigate to the Synthetics tab.
  2. Click on the “Create a monitor” button.
  3. Choose the type of monitor you want to create. New Relic offers several types of monitors, including Ping, Simple Browser, Scripted Browser, and API Test.
  4. Fill in the required fields, such as the URL or endpoint you want to monitor, the frequency of the checks, and any additional options you want to enable.
  5. Click on the “Create Monitor” button to save your settings.

Once you have created a monitor, you can view its performance data and configure alerts to notify you of any issues.

Setting up Alerts

To set up alerts for your monitors, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Alerts tab in New Relic.
  2. Click on the “Create Alert Policy” button.
  3. Choose the type of alert policy you want to create. New Relic offers several types of alert policies, including NRQL, Infrastructure, and Synthetics.
  4. Fill in the required fields, such as the conditions that trigger the alert, the notification channels you want to use, and any additional options you want to enable.
  5. Click on the “Create Policy” button to save your settings.

Once you have set up an alert policy, you will receive notifications when any of your monitors trigger an alert. You can configure the severity and frequency of the alerts to suit your needs.

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In summary, configuring Synthetics Monitoring in New Relic is a straightforward process that can help you keep track of the performance of your apps and take immediate action to fix any issues. By creating monitors and setting up alerts, you can stay on top of potential problems and ensure that your apps are running smoothly.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When using synthetic monitoring in New Relic, users may encounter issues that prevent the tool from working properly. Here are some common issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Monitor Failures

If a monitor fails, users can access the monitor\’s failures by navigating to one.newrelic.com > Synthetic monitoring > (select a monitor) > Hover the mouse over a failure to get quick data about it. Click on the dot to open a detailed report of the failure. Users can also click \”recheck the failed monitors\” to trigger the monitor again and see if it passes.

To troubleshoot monitor failures, users should check for script errors or failures, network connectivity issues, and monitoring configuration problems. New Relic\’s troubleshooting guides and community forums can provide additional assistance.

Alert Issues

If alerts are not being triggered, users should check that the alert conditions are properly configured. Alert conditions should be set up to trigger when the monitor fails, or when a certain threshold is exceeded. Users should also check that the alert notification channels are properly configured and that the notification settings are correct.

If alerts are still not being triggered, users should check for any issues with the underlying infrastructure, such as server-side issues or network connectivity problems. New Relic\’s troubleshooting guides and community forums can provide additional assistance.

By following these troubleshooting steps, users can ensure that synthetic monitoring in New Relic is working properly and providing accurate data and alerts.

Optimizing Synthetics Monitoring

Performance Tuning

To optimize Synthetics Monitoring in New Relic, it is important to focus on performance tuning. This will help ensure that the monitoring runs smoothly and provides accurate results. One way to do this is by setting up alerts for specific metrics that may indicate performance issues. This can include response time, error rate, and throughput.

Another important aspect of performance tuning is ensuring that the scripts used for monitoring are efficient and effective. This may involve fine-tuning the scripts to better match the behavior of the application being monitored. It may also involve optimizing the scripts to reduce the amount of time and resources required to run them.

Best Practices

In addition to performance tuning, there are several best practices that can help optimize Synthetics Monitoring in New Relic. These include:

  • Creating more complex scripts to get accurate and useful results out of synthetic monitoring.
  • Using a variety of monitors to cover different aspects of the application.
  • Regularly reviewing and updating the monitors to ensure they are providing accurate and relevant data.
  • Using the data provided by Synthetics Monitoring to fine-tune and optimize the application.

By following these best practices, users can ensure that their Synthetics Monitoring in New Relic is providing accurate and useful data. This can help them identify performance issues early and take action to address them before they become more serious.

Conclusion

In conclusion, getting started with Synthetics Monitoring in New Relic is a relatively straightforward process. By following the steps outlined in this article, users can begin monitoring their applications and websites for performance issues, ensuring a positive user experience.

One of the key advantages of Synthetics Monitoring is its ability to detect issues before they impact end users. By setting up monitors to run at regular intervals, users can identify and address issues proactively, minimizing downtime and maintaining application availability.

Another benefit of Synthetics Monitoring is its flexibility. Users can create custom monitors to test specific aspects of their applications, such as login functionality or checkout processes. Additionally, users can leverage New Relic\’s pre-built monitors to quickly get up and running with monitoring.

Finally, Synthetics Monitoring provides users with detailed insights into application performance. By analyzing data from monitors, users can identify trends, pinpoint issues, and make data-driven decisions to optimize application performance.

Overall, synthetic monitoring is a powerful tool for ensuring application availability and performance. By following best practices and leveraging the features and functionality of New Relic, users can maximize the benefits of Synthetics Monitoring and keep their applications running smoothly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up a synthetic monitor in New Relic?

To set up a Synthetics monitor in New Relic, you need to create a monitor script that defines the actions that the monitor will perform. You can use the Synthetics editor in the New Relic UI to create or edit a monitor script. Once you have created the script, you can configure the monitor settings, such as the frequency of the monitor runs and the locations where the monitor will run. For more information on how to set up a Synthetics monitor in New Relic, refer to the official documentation.

What are some common issues with Synthetics monitoring in New Relic?

Some common issues with synthetic monitoring in New Relic include monitor failures, slow response times, and incorrect results. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, such as network connectivity problems, server issues, or incorrect monitor configurations. To troubleshoot these issues, you can use the Synthetics UI to view the monitor logs and error messages, and you can use the New Relic Insights dashboard to analyze the monitor data.

For more information on common issues and how to troubleshoot them, refer to the official documentation.

How can I troubleshoot Synthetics monitor failures in New Relic?

To troubleshoot Synthetics monitor failures in New Relic, you can use the Synthetics UI to view the monitor logs and error messages. You can also use the New Relic Insights dashboard to analyze the monitor data and identify patterns or trends that may indicate the root cause of the failures. Additionally, you can use the New Relic One platform to correlate monitor data with other data sources, such as APM or infrastructure monitoring data, to gain more insights into the issue.

For more information on how to troubleshoot monitor failures, refer to the official documentation.

What are the best practices for configuring synthetic monitors in New Relic?

Some best practices for configuring synthetic monitors in New Relic include using realistic user scenarios, setting up alerts and notifications, configuring monitor locations strategically, and monitoring key transactions or user flows. It is also important to regularly review and update the monitor scripts and configurations to ensure that they remain relevant and effective. For more information on best practices for configuring synthetic monitors, refer to the official documentation.

How do I create alerts for synthetic monitors in New Relic?

To create alerts for synthetic monitors in New Relic, you can use the Alerts UI to define alert conditions and notification channels. You can set up alerts based on a variety of metrics, such as response time, error rate, or availability. You can also configure alert policies to specify which monitors should trigger the alerts and how often the alerts should be sent. For more information on how to create alerts for synthetic monitors, refer to the official documentation.

What are the differences between public and private locations for Synthetics monitoring in New Relic?

Public locations for synthetic monitoring in New Relic are hosted by New Relic and provide a wide range of geographic coverage. Private locations, on the other hand, are self-hosted and can be used to monitor internal applications or services that are not accessible from the public internet. Private locations can also be used to monitor applications or services that require specific network configurations or security measures.

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