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Create your first check

You can use Synthetic Monitoring to reduce monitoring complexity while taking advantage of Grafana Cloud capabilities. You can use Synthetic Monitoring to do the following:

  • Collect metrics and logs on every check: Troubleshoot problems with endpoints you’re monitoring to fully understand why a check has failed. In Synthetic Monitoring, along with metrics, logs are collected for each check run. Prometheus metrics and Logs from checks are published directly to your Grafana Cloud account.

  • Use blackbox monitoring: Because Synthetic Monitoring is built on top of Prometheus blackbox exporter, you can configure checks through the UI in Grafana or via the API.

    Synthetic Monitoring includes Ping, DNS, HTTP, HTTPS, and TCP checks.

  • Enable alerting: Use Synthetic Monitoring to leverage Prometheus-style alerting to ensure these alerts are making their way to the right people through the right notification method.

Note

You must create a different check for each check type. Each check type offers different configuration options based on the Prometheus blackbox exporter.

Getting started

To set up your first check, you can ping a target system to see if it’s reachable by sending a network packet to the host and waiting for a response. That’s the simplest check for system availability.

Create a ping check

  1. Log in to your Grafana instance.
  2. On the left-side menu, select Testing & synthetics and then Synthetics.
  3. Click Initialize the plugin if this is your first time using Synthetics.
  4. Click Create new check or Add new check.
  5. Choose PING as your check type.
  6. In the Add Ping check page:
    1. Enter a Job name.
    2. Enter a Target. That’s the hostname or IP of the system to check.
    3. Select the Probe locations to test from, or click All to test from all locations.
    4. Click Save.

The Synthetic Monitoring backend distributes the check to all selected probes. Each probe pings the configured target and reports metrics and logging data back to your Grafana Cloud account.

View the ping dashboard

Grafana dashboards display your data in panels arranged in rows. Synthetic Monitoring ships with default dashboards that you can customize or create your own.

  1. Click in the Search field at the top of the screen.
  2. Type in “synthetic”.
  3. Select Synthetic Monitoring Ping from the list of Synthetic Monitoring dashboards.

This dashboard shows details of all ping checks you have set up. You’ll see a world map with the selected probe locations for the check, uptime, average latency, and any error logs at the bottom of the panel.

If you have multiple ping checks set up and want to see only one of them, select a different job in the drop-down above the world map.

View check logs

You can view the check metrics or logs directly with the Grafana Explore feature if you are using Grafana 6.0 or later.

  1. Click Explore in the left-side menu.
  2. Choose your Loki data source from the top left drop-down list.
  3. Under Label filters, select check_name on the first drop-down menu, and select ping on the third drop-down menu.
  4. Click Run query in the upper right corner, or press Shift+Enter.

You will see the logs collected for all ping checks. See the Loki LogQL documentation if you want to query the logs deeper.

You can also see the log panel in the dashboard for each check type.

Next steps

Refer to Check types to get an overview of other types of checks and additional things you can do with Synthetic Monitoring.