Over the last few months, the New Relic Synthetics team has been hard at work, delivering some critical capabilities to enhance the ease, efficiency, and security with which our customers monitor applications critical to their businesses. At the same time, this also means we’re saying goodbye to some legacy capabilities that we’ve improved in other ways.

Read on for a full roundup of some of the cool capabilities we’ve recently shipped:

RBAC for Synthetics

New Relic provides system-wide role-based access control (RBAC) so you can control access to certain actions within New Relic applications. Synthetics now honors RBAC settings you make to users and roles to limit access to who can perform sensitive actions on Synthetics entities, such as deleting monitors and viewing secure credentials.

Important: We will end of life (EOL) the Synthetics optional permissions system in favor or New Relic RBAC in June 2020. We will continue to honor permissions set via Synthetics until that time. We encourage you to migrate to New Relic RBAC as soon as possible.

Synthetics public and private location monitoring available in the European Union

To make Synthetics GDPR-compliant, you can now run Synthetics minions from public locations and private locations in the EU. Customers concerned with GDPR and similar regulations will be able to take advantage of the fact that Synthetics runs an entirely separate installation of Synthetics in the EU, including the metadata for private and public locations, ensuring data sovereignty within the EU region.

Audit logging for Synthetics actions

Synthetics now logs all major create, update, and edit actions via the New Relic NrAuditEventin New Relic Insights. You can view all event actions, and get details on which user took the actions, and the date and time the actions occurred,  all from Insights.

Monitor recheck functionality

You can now use rechecks to rerun failed monitors from the monitor results page within Synthetics. When you use rechecks, Synthetics will schedule a new job run for the monitor, and the results will populate in Synthetics and Insights, like any regularly scheduled job run.

Environment variables in private minions

The Synthetics private minion can now read user-defined environment variables from the host operating system and make those key/value pairs available as script variables in Synthetic monitor scripts. This makes it easier to pass information, such as a certificate credentials or environment data (e.g., host information), that may be useful inside a script.

Chrome runtime update

We’ve updated the Synthetics runtime for simple, scripted, and API monitor types to more recent versions of Chrome, Selenium, and NodeJS. These improvements allow you to  create tests using recent versions of these technologies and to stay up-to-date with recent advances in web development.

Three EOL announcements

To keep Synthetic current, and to deliver the best value to our users, we’ve made plans to EOL the following capabilities:

Legacy private minions (LPM)

Legacy private minions (LPM) are virtual disk images of the Synthetics runtime that allow you to run Synthetics jobs in your infrastructure via private locations. We’ve EOLed LPMs in favor of  containerized private minions (CPM), which are Docker containers hosting the Synthetics runtime. In addition to being smaller and more secure than LPMs, CPMs are easier to install, run, and maintain.

Linode public locations

Currently, Synthetics offers 18 public locations around the world from which to run Synthetic monitors. These locations are provided by various third-party cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Linode. Unfortunately, due to network and performance issues, we’re retiring all three Linode locations: Fremont, CA; Newark, NJ; and Dallas, TX.

During the week of September 23, 2019, we’ll migrate these monitors from these locations automatically—with no user intervention required—to an alternate North American location on AWS. Customers who have been using the deprecated locations should notice more consistency in their metrics data.

Legacy Synthetics alerts

With legacy Synthetics alerts, customers could receive simple emails when their monitors failed. This system pre-existed New Relic Alerts, which is much more robust and contains much more functionality, including email and SMS notifications, a PagerDuty integration, and notification policies configuration options.

We’ll EOL legacy Synthetics alerts in favor of New Relic Alerts the week of September 23. Emails associated with monitors will no longer be sent starting that week. Customers who are currently using legacy Synthetics alerts should move their alerting information to New Relic Alerts before that date to continue to receive notification of monitor failures.

Robert Barth is a Manager in the Client-Side department at New Relic. View posts by .

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