The synthetic monitoring feature proactively monitors performance and user experience for Internet applications such as web pages and network links.

What is synthetic monitoring?

The synthetic monitoring feature provides an out-of-the-box and enterprise-level active application monitoring solution for cloud users. It utilizes global monitoring networks to manage and monitor the performance of applications by simulating real user scenarios. You can gain a better insight into the performance of applications outside firewalls. The synthetic monitoring feature can explore potential failures and help improve user experience of applications.

The synthetic monitoring feature provides data analysis models combining multiple dimensions such as region, city, carrier, and time series, as well as rich metrics and online charts such as scattered plots and trend charts. These help you quickly discover the affected scopes and root causes of application performance problems, accurately solve IT problems, and improve service quality.

The synthetic monitoring feature supports the following tasks:
  • Webpage performance: allows you to obtain user experience data for accessing webpages in different environments (such as cities, carriers, browser versions, operating systems), and analyze the page access performance by using generated reports.
  • Network quality: allows you to obtain metrics of connected nodes such as network data, latency, packet loss by using ping monitoring, DNS monitoring, and Tracert monitoring on specified servers (IP addresses or domain names), and understand the conditions of network connections in real time by analyzing generated reports.
  • File downloading: allows you to obtain performance data (such as success rate and transmission speed) when you download specified resources in different environments (cities, carriers, browser versions, and operating systems), understand the access performance of files by analyzing generated reports, and generate better tuning policies based on Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) effects than existing services to further optimize distribution policies.
  • API performance: monitors GET and POST requests or the response performance and availability of ports to improve user experience and service availability.
For the preceding task types, the synthetic monitoring feature allows you to create scheduled tasks and real-time tasks.
  • Scheduled tasks: non-intrusive periodic tasks, which provide data visualization and analysis capabilities and can detect performance problems during application user access in advance.
  • Real-time tasks: non-intrusive one-time tasks. The result data is returned in real time to facilitate quick verification of discovered problems.
Table 1. Features
Feature Description
Task management Allows you to create, view, modify, and delete tasks. You can also click Details in the rightmost column corresponding to a task to go to the Overview page. Tasks are displayed in a list and include browse tasks and network tasks.
Task overview Displays different data and charts for webpage performance, network quality, file downloading, and API performance. General items include basic data such as first meaning paint, availability, downloads, and performance charts such as performance trends, availability, and top five slowest carriers.
Multidimensional reports Allow you to analyze the performance of synthetic monitoring tasks from multiple dimensions such as map analysis, resolution analysis, trend analysis, regional analysis, and scatter analysis. You can also analyze the details of a single synthetic monitoring sample. Different metrics are displayed depending on task types.
CDN optimization Provides a comprehensive score for a task from dimensions such as slow ratio, success rate, DNS duration, TCP duration, response time, average transmission speed, and overall coverage rate.
Note Only file downloading tasks supports CDN optimization.

Terms

Term Description
Browse task A task type, which monitors applications by checking URL accesses from a browser. The task supports IE full elements and Chrome full elements.
IE full elements The IE browser is used to access applications.
Chrome full elements The Chrome browser is used to access applications.
Network quality A task type, which uses tools such as Ping and Tracert to monitor network health.
File downloading A task type, which allows you to obtain the performance (such as success rate and transmission speed) when you download specified resources, understand the access performance of files by analyzing generated reports, and generate better tuning policies based on CDN effects than existing services to further optimize distribution policies.
API performance A task type, which monitors GET and POST requests or the response performance and availability of ports to improve user experience and service availability.
Last mile monitoring point The monitoring point for users.
IDC monitoring point The monitoring point for data centers.
Latency The time for a packet or packet to be transmitted from one end of the network to the other. Latency is determined by routing conditions over the Internet. If a channel provides low speed or is too crowded, long delay or packet loss may occur.
Packet loss rate The ratio of lost packets to total packets. Packet loss rate is generally caused by reasons such as physical connection failures, device failures, network congestion, and routing errors.
DNS query time The time to resolve a domain name into an IP address.
Custom frequency You can customize frequency parameters and the monitoring cycle.
Element The text, images, audios, animations, and videos that you see when you browse web pages.
Error element The element where an error occurs.
Error rate The ratio of the number of errors to the number of monitoring events.
Carrier Such as China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.
Availability The access success rate of the client that performs the monitoring task.