Controlling when your synthetic monitors run is essential to managing your team’s service level agreements (SLAs) and, more broadly, to applying consistent and reliable proactive monitoring. During maintenance and scheduled site downtime windows, for example, you don’t want your synthetic monitors to fail and subsequently skew your uptime results. You need precise control over your synthetic monitors to dictate when you’d like them to run.

Maintenance windows in New Relic Synthetics, which until recently was in beta testing, were designed to give our customers these very important capabilities. With maintenance windows, users define periods when they can either stop monitors from running at all (e.g. turn off the monitor during scheduled downtime); or continue to run monitors but “mute” the data by excluding it from their results.

New Relic Synthetics is pleased to announce the general availability of monitor downtime—which integrates these key capabilities for managing and controlling your synthetic monitors directly into the Synthetics UI. Monitor downtime gives you an easier and more intuitive way to pause monitoring and alerting across all of your synthetic monitors, helping you maintain the integrity and accuracy of your monitoring and alerting data, and even of your SLAs.

New capabilities for New Relic Synthetics

Why did we change the name from maintenance windows to monitor downtime? Mostly, it’s a matter of being completely clear and transparent about the nature and extent of the new capabilities.

Within New Relic Synthetics, the periods that we referred to as “maintenance windows” specifically impact Synthetics monitors running during the allocated time windows. The reference to “maintenance windows,” however, implies that it extends across every New Relic product (including New Relic Alerts, New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, New Relic Mobile and New Relic Infrastructure). We updated the name to “monitor downtime” to put the emphasis where it belongs—specifically, on improvements within New Relic Synthetics that make it easier to pause or mute your monitors, and thus protect the accuracy and relevance of your monitoring data.

A better way to manage your monitors

You can use monitor downtime to pause synthetic checks. You can view this in relation to your SLAs, or simply control when you want monitors to run actively or to pause. Ultimately, as the user, you get full control over when your monitors run and when monitor data flows into your reporting.

Monitor downtimes give you the ability to dictate pauses in your New Relic Synthetics monitoring data.

Because monitor downtime is built into the Synthetics UI, using it is much easier than controlling monitors programmatically or manually through the API. You won’t have to pause monitors one by one, for example, but instead can control all four Synthetics monitor types in a simplified format within the UI.

In addition, the monitor downtime scheduler is based on Apple’s iCal recurring rules, so using it looks and feels a lot like scheduling meetings on a Mac desktop—a familiar and intuitive process for many users.

This release also includes a more intuitive approach to using timezone selectors. For cases where teams create monitors for locations in other parts of the nation or world, they can easily select the correct timezone for the monitor. If your team is based in Chicago, for example, but you create synthetic monitors for London, Singapore, or Seattle, you can simply select the correct timezone for that region and save the monitor.

Getting started with monitor downtime

You will find the Monitor downtime tab under the navigation bar in the Synthetics UI. Once inside the tab, you can specify the name of the monitor and select a frequency (once, daily, weekly, or monthly); select the correct timezone, and specify the exact times and days of the week when the monitor should pause. You can then apply these selections to specific, pre-built synthetic monitors.

Using the monitor downtime tab in the New Relic Synthetics UI is a simple and intuitive process.

Simple and seamless control

With monitor downtime, you can now seamlessly coordinate and control when to pause your synthetic monitors, and easily account for  time zone differences when monitoring from several different geographic points of presence. For periods of scheduled maintenance, or when you simply don’t want to be alerted, you can now quickly schedule a time-out within the Synthetics UI. It all adds up to a more efficient and intuitive experience for teams who want more control over their synthetic monitors and alerts.