Private locations overview: Monitor internal sites and add new locations

Private locations are an add-on feature for paid Synthetics accounts. For more information, contact your account representative or the New Relic sales desk.

Private locations allow you to extend your New Relic Synthetics coverage to new geographical locations, and to monitor websites behind your firewall such as an intranet site. A private location is a collection of private minions. Each minion is a prepackaged virtual machine you can run in a standard hypervisor, which receive and manage jobs from the Synthetics UI. A private location can contain any number of private minions.

Compatibility and requirements

To use private locations, ensure your account and systems meet these requirements:

Compatibility for... Requirements
Contact your account rep Private locations are disabled by default. To activate this feature, contact your account representative or the sales desk.
Check budget Checks from a private location still count against your Synthetics check budget.
Hypervisors

Private minions are distributed as virtual appliances. The minion software is tested and fully supported with these hypervisors:

  • VMware-based hypervisors such as vSphere
  • VirtualBox

Private minions are virtual machines, packaged in an .ovf file. While New Relic only tests the hypervisors above, you may be able to use the .ovf file with other hypervisors.

When importing the .ovf file into vSphere 6.5, you may receive a warning: VALUE_ILLEGAL: Value "PIIX4 of ResourceSubType element not found in []

In this case, edit the .ovf to remove any line references to <rasd:ResourceSubType>PIIX4</rasd:ResourceSubType>

And remove the following block:

<vbox:Machine ...> ... </vbox:Machine>

Outbound network access

The minion needs to connect to the Synthetics horde endpoint at https://synthetics-horde.nr-data.net/ to receive and process jobs. If your firewall rules don't permit direct access, you must configure proxy access.

Test your connection to Synthetics horde with a successful response from the following command:

curl -X GET https://synthetics-horde.nr-data.net/synthetics/api/v1/ping
Administrative network access

Private locations use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to obtain a local IP address and DNS settings.

To configure the minion during setup, or to change your configuration later, the minion needs access to ports 80 and 8080 for web configuration, and to port 22 for SSH.

Create a private location

Before installing private minions, you need to create a private location. To create a new private location:

  1. Ensure you meet the requirements, including activating the feature by contacting your account representative.
  2. Go to synthetics.newrelic.com > Private locations. Then select plus-circle Add new.
  3. Type a Location Name.
  4. Optionally, configure these additional settings:

    • Description: Describe your private location for other account users.
    • Watchdog alert recipient Get notifications if your minions stop reporting.
    • Verified script execution: Require a pass phrase when assigning scripts to this location, or when adding minions to the location.
  5. Select Create to save your changes.

After creating the location, Synthetics lists your Private location key so you can install a private minion.

Add jobs to the location queue

To add jobs to the queue for your location, follow standard procedures to add or edit a monitor and select your location from the Private locations list.

screen-assign-to-private-location-synthetics-monitor.png
synthetics.newrelic.com > Add monitor: To assign new jobs to your private location and its minions, select its name from the Create a new monitor page (to assign an existing monitor, edit that monitor's settings).

Manage private locations

Synthetics includes tools to manage locations and individual minions. To access these tools, go to synthetics.newrelic.com > Private locations. Then follow the appropriate steps:

  • To clear the job queue, select Clear queue. This is useful when the number of scheduled jobs has increased faster than the minions can process them, such as when the minion is offline.
  • To view the status of an individual minion, select the parent location's name from the list. Active minions are indicated by a green health status indicator. You can also view the last reported time for each minion, and check whether the minion software is out of date. For detailed metrics about each minion, use the minion's Overview page.
  • To edit settings for a location or view its Private location key, select the pencil pencil icon next to that location.
  • To delete a location, select the delete trash-o icon next to that location. This does not shut down any minions assigned to that location, which must be shut down manually or reassigned.
  • Enable or disable verified script execution, which requires a pass phrase before you assign any scripts to the location. This requires you first set up the passphrase on the minion. For more information, see Verified script execution.

Each minion can run about 200 ping monitor checks per minute (about 8,640,000 checks per month). If the job queue for a particular location is growing, add additional minions. The exact capacity of the minions can vary depending on your network performance, the complexity of your scripts, as well as hardware configuration for the private minion.

screen-manage-private-locations.png
synthetics.newrelic.com > Private Locations: Use the Private Locations page to create, edit, and delete private locations. You can also install new minions, and clear the job queue if it backs up.

Set proxy configuration

You can set proxy server configuration for Synthetics scripted monitors running from local private locations. See Synthetics Proxy settings for more information.

For more help

Additional documentation resources include:

Recommendations for learning more: