Plugins 〉Synthetic Monitoring

Application
grafana

Synthetic Monitoring

  • Overview
  • Installation
  • Change log
  • Related content

Synthetic monitoring application

Synthetic Monitoring is a blackbox monitoring solution provided as part of Grafana Cloud. Synthetic Monitoring provides users with insights into how their applications and services are behaving from an external point of view. Users can define checks to continually test remote targets from 1 or more probe locations around the world to assess the availability, performance and correctness of the services. As each check runs, metrics and logs are collected and published to the user's Grafana Cloud service. Metrics are published to Grafana Cloud Prometheus and logs are published to Grafana Cloud Loki.

Synthetic monitoring is the successor to the original worldping application. The refreshed Synthetic Monitoring product focuses on reducing complexity and taking advantage of Grafana Cloud capabilities.

Check Types

Users can define HTTP/HTTPS, DNS, TCP and ICMP Ping checks to monitor their remote targets. Internally, the Synthetic Monitoring solution uses the Prometheus Blackbox exporter for executing the checks and collecting metrics and logs. When creating a check, users are able to customize the settings and validation rules supported by the Blackbox exporter.

Probe Locations

For each check, users can select 1 or more 'public' probe locations distributed throughout the world to run tests from. Additionally, users can run their own 'private' probe locations by downloading and deploying the Synthetic Monitoring Agent.

Configuration

Synthetic Monitoring requires a Grafana Cloud account, and is installed by default in Grafana Cloud stacks. A local Grafana instance can be configured to connect to Synthetic Monitoring via a provisioning file:

apiVersion: 1

apps:

  • type: grafana-synthetic-monitoring-app name: grafana-synthetic-monitoring-app disabled: false jsonData: apiHost: <synthetic monitoring api url for your grafana cloud stack> stackId: <instance ID of your hosted grafana> logs: grafanaName: <name of an existing Loki datasource pointing to the Grafana Cloud Loki instance> hostedId: <Grafana Cloud Loki instance ID> metrics: grafanaName: <name of an existing Prometheus datasource pointing to the Grafana Cloud Prometheus instance> hostedId: <Grafana Cloud Prometheus instance ID> secureJsonData: publisherToken: <metric publisher token from grafana.com>

Configuration details:

  • apiHost expects Synthetic Monitoring API URL, see more details here

  • stackId expects an integer and can be found using gcom /instances/<orgSlug>, or by visiting https://grafana.com/orgs/<orgSlug>/stacks and clicking the details button on stack you are connecting to. The id will be in the URL.

  • The logs and metrics section are instructing the plugin which datasources it needs to use.

    • The grafanaName needs to exactly match the names specified in your datasource provisioning
    • The hostedId expects an integer and is the same value as the basicAuthUser in your datasource provisioning. The value can also be found from the details page of loki or prometheus at https://grafana.com/orgs/<orgSlug>/stacks.
  • publisherToken needs to be a grafana.com api key with a MetricsPublisher role. This is what the probes use to publish metrics to your cloud stack.

Note: you can add a provisioning block per org to provision the plugin for multiple orgs. You can provide different values for each org block and connect to a different cloud stack per org.

Prerequisites:

  1. A datasource pointed at a Prometheus instance hosted in Grafana Cloud
  2. A datasource pointed at a Loki instance hosted in Grafana Cloud

Note: The Prometheus and Loki instances must be part of the same Cloud stack

The required datasources can be added via provisioning. The information needed can be copied from Prometheus and Loki datasources found in the datasources tab of a Cloud hosted Grafana instance:

apiVersion: 1

datasources:

  • name: <datasource name> type: loki access: proxy url: https://logs-prod-us-central1.grafana.net basicAuth: true basicAuthUser: <Grafana Cloud Loki instance ID> jsonData: maxLines: 1000 secureJsonData: basicAuthPassword: <viewer token from grafana.com> version: 1

  • name: <datasource name> type: prometheus access: proxy url: https://prometheus-us-central1.grafana.net/api/prom basicAuth: true basicAuthUser: <Grafana Cloud Prometheus instance ID> jsonData: timeInterval: 1s secureJsonData: basicAuthPassword: <viewer token from grafana.com> version: 1

To start the using app:

  1. Navigate to Synthetic Monitoring via the sidebar
  2. Click the Get Started button. This will initialize the app.

During the Initialization process, the Synthetic Monitoring backend will:

  1. Validate the Publisher API key provided in the provisioning file.
  2. Ensure the account has active Grafana Cloud Prometheus and Grafana Cloud Loki services
  3. The dashboards included with the App will then be imported.
  4. Finally, the Synthentic Monitoring Backend will be notified that the service is ready.

Users can then create checks to monitor their remote targets. Metrics and logs will flow into the selected Cloud stack.

Installing Synthetic Monitoring on Grafana Cloud:

For more information, visit the docs on plugin installation.

Change Log

1.9.18 (2022-6-21)

  • Fix a bug with settting default alert rules in Grafana v9

1.9.17 (2022-6-9)

  • Handles a breaking change in the alerting api for Grafana v9

1.9.16 (2022-6-3)

  • Adds a more helpful error message when probe deletion fails

1.9.15 (2022-4-28)

  • Fixes a routing issue where the unprovisioned plugin could get stuck in an infinite loop
  • Fixes a routing issue where the plugin could prevent navigation to other parts of Grafana

1.9.14 (2022-4-15)

  • Fixes a bug where there alerting tab could end up in a disabled state when it shouldn't

1.9.13 (2022-3-29)

Bug fixes

  • Fixes reachability queries that could sometimes be over 100% for long time windows
  • Hides dashboard update modal from users that don't have permissions to update dashboards

1.9.12 (2022-3-16)

Bug fixes

  • Dashboard maps weren't displaying thresholds correctly
  • Show custom alert thresholds in the check editor form

1.9.11 (2022-3-3)

Bug fixes

  • Fix broken dashboard redirect logic

1.9.10 (2022-2-16)

Bug fixes

  • Use datasource UIDs when creating dashboards instead of names
  • Fix a potential infinite routing loop when initializing on prem

1.9.9 (2022-2-04)

Features

  • Rearranged checklist filters under a central dropdown

1.9.8 (2022-2-01)

1.9.7 (2022-1-25)

Features

  • Adds a map to the probe edit page to visualize longitude & latitude

1.9.6 (2022-1-21)

Features

  • Increase the maximum quantity of labels per check to 10.

1.9.5 (2022-1-21)

Bug fixes

  • Fix a race condition that prevented values from showing up when navigating to the edit check form

1.9.4 (2022-1-19)

Bug fixes

  • Update routing to use React router
  • Fix a bug in the usage prediction calculation
  • Accessibility fixes

Features

  • Include traceroute checks in the Terraform config export

1.9.3 (2022-1-10)

Bug fixes

  • Gracefully handle inability to connect to API

1.9.2 (2022-1-06)

Features

  • Added the ability to bulk edit probes for checks

1.8.1 (2022-1-04)

Bug Fixes

  • Update the README with additional configuration details

1.8.0 (2022-1-04)

Features

  • Add a terraform import command to the terraform config download. This allows users to generate intial TF state.

Bug Fixes

  • Replace worldmap panel plugin with geomap panel in all the dashboards
  • Use the updated timeseries panel in the summary dashboard
  • Rename the DNS dashboard to align with the other dashboards

1.7.0 (2021-12-01)

Features

  • Add the ability to export checks and probes as terraform config from the plugin config page
  • Add a button to generate a new API key in the plugin config page

1.6.0 (2021-11-17)

Features

  • Add traceroute check type

1.5.6 (2021-11-15)

Bug Fixes

  • Add data points per minute to usage calculator

1.5.5 (2021-10-29)

Features

  • Mark deprecated probes as such in check editor. Prevent adding deprecated probes to checks.

1.5.3 (2021-09-20)

Bug Fixes

  • Fix a dashboard config error

1.5.2 (2021-09-20)

Bug Fixes

  • make homepage usage breakpoints smaller (#367) (d157abe)

1.5.1 (2021-09-14)

Bug Fixes

  • config setup button was routing to a 404 (#365) (a08a9c8)

1.5.0 (2021-09-13)

Features

1.4.0 (2021-09-08)

Features

  • Add beta feature traceroute behind a feature flag (#245) (89ab9b1)

1.3.2 (2021-09-08)

Bug Fixes

  • check type selector should be disabled on edit (#360) (dda165e)

1.3.0 (2021-08-27)

Bug Fixes

Features

  • almost there... skipping docs publish step (d97521c)
  • gcom token secret (1c2b5b8)

[1.2.30] - 2021-08-27

  • New start to changelog with updated build process