Getting started for past worldPing users
worldPing was released in 2015 as Grafana’s open source plugin to monitor performance and uptime of Internet applications. Grafana has made significant improvements to worldPing over the past few years. It became time to unveil the newest iteration, now called Synthetic Monitoring and available via Grafana Cloud.
Synthetic Monitoring focuses on reducing complexity while taking advantage of Grafana Cloud capabilities. The majority of capabilities from worldPing are available in Synthetic Monitoring. In addition, Synthetic Monitoring includes these key enhancements:
Collecting metrics and logs on every check: With worldPing, Grafana received regular requests from customers for help troubleshooting issues with the endpoints they were monitoring, so they could fully understand why a check had failed. With Synthetic Monitoring, metrics and logs are collected as each check runs. These are published directly to your Grafana Cloud account so you have easy access and now have more data, enabling more efficient troubleshooting.
Data is stored in Grafana Cloud: worldPing stored metrics in a dedicated time series database, which meant that data was isolated and only contained data specific to worldPing. With Synthetic Monitoring, your data is pushed directly into your Grafana Cloud logs and metrics data stores, enabling more efficient correlation with other collected metrics and logs.
Expanded blackbox monitoring capabilities: With the new blackbox exporter, users get additional key metrics, such as SSL certificate expiration times, TCP- and HTTP-based checks, as well as Ping and DNS checks.
Alerting: Synthetic Monitoring leverages Prometheus-style alerting to ensure these alerts are making their way to the right people through the right notification method.
What’s similar in Synthetic Monitoring
Synthetic Monitoring allows users to monitor their applications from an external point of view, as in worldPing. Both worldPing and Synthetic Monitoring continually test, store and alert on the global performance and availability of your Internet applications so you can pinpoint issues, fix them immediately, and improve your user’s experience.
In Synthetic Monitoring you can create different types of checks, set up alerts for those checks, and leverage data to create visualizations and dashboards in Grafana.
What’s different in Synthetic Monitoring
Synthetic Monitoring performs several tasks differently and includes features not available in worldPing. This section describes the improved and added capabilities of Synthetic Monitoring and a few other differences.
In worldPing, you had the option to use the discovery feature. Through the UI, the you could enter an endpoint URL and the system returned different check types that could be created from the URL.
In Synthetic Monitoring, you must create a different check for each check type. Each check type offers different and robust configuration options based on the Prometheus blackbox exporter.
Now using Prometheus blackbox exporter
Synthetic Monitoring is built on top of Prometheus blackbox exporter and exposes blackbox exporter’s many check configuration options through the Grafana Cloud UI.
worldPing only allowed for Ping, DNS, HTTP, and HTTPS checks.
Synthetic Monitoring includes Ping, DNS, HTTP, HTTPS, and TCP checks.
Probes and probe mapping
Synthetic Monitoring offers 21 probes. worldPing offered 23 probes to choose from. Some of the Synthetic Monitoring probes are located in the same cities. Other probes are located in different cities but remain located in the same region as the worldPing probes.
You can set up Private probes in Synthetic Monitoring, as you could in worldPing.
In worldPing, users had the ability to create tags (groups of probes) that they can select for a check. In Synthetic Monitoring, the ability to create probe groups is not currently available.
This table presents a map of available probes across worldPing and Synthetic Monitoring:
|Worldping||Synthetic Monitoring||Latitude||Longitude||Map to|
Synthetic Monitoring billing and pricing
Synthetic Monitoring is a feature of Grafana Cloud and is billed using active series, just like other features of Grafana Cloud.
Billing by active series bases costs on the volume of metrics and logs published, rather than by check the way worldPing would bill.
To learn more, see Synthetic Monitoring billing.
Frequently asked questions about Synthetic Monitoring from past users of worldPing
These are actual questions asked by past users of worldPing with responses from support.
Why were my South American probes not migrated to Synthetic Monitoring?
Synthetic Monitoring does not currently have probes in any South American data centers. You can use Synthetic Monitoring private probes and choose exactly where you want these to run.
Where did probe groups go?
Synthetic Monitoring does not currently support probe groups.
Why are my checks taking longer than it used to take in worldPing
Synthetic Monitoring follows redirects, so perhaps the target is redirecting to another target, which could cause a longer response time.
Check the resolve breakdown in the latency chart to verify.
What happened to my private probes, why are my checks not running on them?
We migrated the private probe configuration but you need to get a synthetic monitoring probe token and run these probes. See [Private probes]/docs/grafana-cloud/synthetic-monitoring/private-probes/ to know more about how to run a private probe.
Why do I have more DNS checks in Synthetic Monitoring than in worldPing?
If you had a DNS endpoint in worldPing configured with multiple name servers, you will see a separate check in Synthetic Monitoring for each of the name servers. Synthetic Monitoring checks are configured to check against a specific server.