How To Get Synthetics Monitoring To Work In New Relic

Synthetic monitoring is a crucial aspect of ensuring the performance and reliability of your applications. In a digital landscape where user experience is paramount, being able to proactively identify issues before they impact real users is essential.

New Relic offers a powerful synthetic monitoring solution that allows you to simulate user interactions and monitor your applications from various locations. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of setting up and optimizing synthetic monitoring in New Relic.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Synthetic Monitoring
  3. Benefits of Synthetic Monitoring
  4. Getting Started with New Relic
  5. Setting Up Synthetic Tests
    • 5.1 Creating Test Scripts
    • 5.2 Configuring Test Parameters
  6. Choosing Monitoring Locations
  7. Analyzing Test Results
    • 7.1 Monitoring Dashboards
    • 7.2 Alerting and Notifications
  8. Fine-Tuning Performance
    • 8.1 Adjusting Test Frequency
    • 8.2 Refining Test Scenarios
  9. Integrating with Real User Monitoring (RUM)
  10. Comparing Synthetic and Real User Monitoring
  11. Best Practices for Synthetic Monitoring
  • 11.1 Regular Test Updates
  • 11.2 Monitoring User Flows
  • 11.3 Monitoring Third-Party Services
  1. Common Challenges and Troubleshooting
  • 12.1 Dealing with False Positives/Negatives
  • 12.2 Addressing Fluctuations in Test Results
  1. Continuous Improvement
  • 13.1 Learning from Incidents
  • 13.2 Adapting to Changes
  1. The Future of Synthetic Monitoring
  2. Conclusion


Synthetic monitoring is a technique that involves simulating user interactions with your application to proactively identify performance bottlenecks and downtime risks. In the case of New Relic, synthetic monitoring allows you to create tests that mimic user journeys, helping you ensure a seamless experience for your users.

Understanding Synthetic Monitoring

Synthetic monitoring involves creating scripts that emulate user actions, such as navigating through your website, clicking buttons, and filling out forms. These scripts can be scheduled to run at regular intervals, providing insights into how your application performs under different conditions.

Benefits of Synthetic Monitoring

  1. Early Issue Detection: Synthetic tests can identify problems before real users encounter them.
  2. Performance Optimization: Insights from synthetic monitoring help optimize load times and responsiveness.
  3. Geographical Insights: Testing from different locations reveals regional performance variations.
  4. Validation of Changes: Before deploying updates, run synthetic tests to ensure they don’t harm user experience.

Getting Started with New Relic

To start using New Relic’s synthetic monitoring:

  1. Sign Up: Create an account on the New Relic platform.
  2. Add Application: Add the application you want to monitor.
  3. Navigate to Synthetic: Access the synthetic monitoring section in the New Relic dashboard.

Setting Up Synthetic Tests

Creating Test Scripts

Write scripts that replicate user journeys on your application.

Configuring Test Parameters

Define test frequency, locations, and alert conditions.

Choosing Monitoring Locations

Select locations that represent your user base for accurate insights.

Analyzing Test Results

Monitoring Dashboards

Interpret test results through intuitive visualizations.

Alerting and Notifications

Set up alerts to notify you of performance deviations.

Fine-Tuning Performance

Adjusting Test Frequency

Find the balance between regular tests and resource consumption.

Refining Test Scenarios

Iteratively improve scripts for better accuracy.

Integrating with Real User Monitoring (RUM)

Combine synthetic monitoring with RUM for comprehensive insights.

Comparing Synthetic and Real User Monitoring

Understand the differences and benefits of both approaches.

Best Practices for Synthetic Monitoring

Regular Test Updates

Keep scripts up to date with UI and functionality changes.

Monitoring User Flows

Test critical user journeys to prioritize improvements.

Monitoring Third-Party Services

Ensure third-party services don’t degrade your app’s performance.

Common Challenges and Troubleshooting

Dealing with False Positives/Negatives

Refine alert conditions to minimize false alerts.

Addressing Fluctuations in Test Results

Distinguish between actual issues and expected variations.

Continuous Improvement

Learning from Incidents

Use incidents as learning opportunities for enhancement.

Adapting to Changes

Update tests to reflect application changes and updates.

The Future of Synthetic Monitoring

Stay prepared for evolving technologies and challenges.


Implementing synthetic monitoring with New Relic empowers you to deliver exceptional user experiences by proactively addressing performance issues. Regular testing, accurate analysis, and continuous improvement are the cornerstones of a successful synthetic monitoring strategy.