Kentik - Network Observability
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Solution Brief

Synthetic Monitoring

Synthetic Monitoring Overview

Many businesses today are blind to the digital experiences of their customers and employees until a performance issue occurs. Network teams use synthetic monitoring to proactively test for performance elements, but traditional tools cannot auto-configure or adapt to ever-changing internet traffic and paths. Without providing actual network context, these tests result in time-consuming, manual configurations, and guesswork that can negatively affect network performance, the end-users and, ultimately, the business.

With Kentik Synthetic Monitoring, part of the Kentik Network Observability Cloud, network teams now have a fully integrated solution that frequently and autonomously measures performance and availability metrics with full network context, making the resulting insights actionable immediately.

Autonomous Synthetic Tests

Autonomous tests allow testing towards a higher-level entity (ASN, CDN, country, region or city) without having to specify individual IP addresses. They automatically determine IP addresses to test towards based on flow data and keep the list up to date by periodically refreshing it.

Synthetic Monitoring: Autonomous Testing
Sankey view of an ASN autonomous testing

Site-Mesh Tests

Kentik Synthetic Monitoring curates test results for quick and easy assessment. Complex, multi-site, site-mesh tests can be set up with just a couple of clicks. The matrix-style view helps in identifying problems at a glance and quickly drilling down to the root of the issue.

Synthetic Monitoring: Site-Mesh Tests
Performance Dashboard view featuring site-mesh tests and Tests panel with health and credits metering overview

The Path View

The Path view allows you to get to the root of a network issue quickly. It shows the multiple paths taken by your traffic and identifies ASNs traversed along the way, highlighting nodes and links with high latency and loss as well as changes to AS paths over time.

Synthetic Monitoring: ASNs in Path View
Path view of test results showing the various paths taken from origin to destination


The Kentik Global Synthetic Network includes 200+ strategically positioned global agents in internet cities around the world and in every cloud region within AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud. Kentik Synthetic Monitoring also provides private agents via common deployment packages for both x86 or ARM that customers can deploy quickly and easily in their own environments.

Synthetic Monitoring: Global Agents
Synthetic Monitoring Agent Management view


Kentik Synthetic Monitoring enables network teams to test everything that matters — frequently and autonomously — with simple pricing that offers more testing at a lower cost. The management console automatically calculates the number of credits needed per test and notifies users if additional credits are needed. Kentik Pro Edition customers receive 2,500,000 credits per month. Kentik Premier Edition customers receive 5,000,000 credits per month. Additional credits are available through the purchase of a SyntheticPak.

What is Synthetic Monitoring?

In the networking context, synthetic monitoring means imitating different network conditions and/or simulating differing user conditions and behaviors. Synthetic monitoring achieves this by generating different types of traffic (e.g., network, DNS, HTTP, web, etc.), sending it to a specific target (e.g., IP address, server, host, web page, etc.), measuring metrics associated with each test and then building key performance indicators using those metrics.

These synthetic tests are both automatic and periodic. They are conducted at regular intervals to ensure that application, website, network component, or service (such as an API endpoint) is still performing as expected. With Kentik Synthetic Monitoring, you can configure testing intervals even as low as less than one minute.

In contrast to flow or packet capture (which could be called passive forms of monitoring), synthetic monitoring is a way to proactively track the performance and health of networks, applications and services.

Kentik can be the cornerstone of your digital experience monitoring strategy by combining both forms of monitoring to bring a new level of observability to your mission-critical networks, services, and applications. For an introduction to these topics, see our Kentipedia articles “What is Synthetic Monitoring?” and “What is Digital Experience Monitoring?”.

Download the Brief

Synthetic Monitoring Solution Brief

Monitor Essential Infrastructure, Applications and Services

  • SaaS solutions
  • Applications hosted in the public cloud
  • Internal applications
  • Transit and peer networks
  • Content delivery networks
  • Streaming video, social, gaming, and other content providers
  • Site-to-site performance across traditional WAN and SD-WANs
  • Service provider connectivity and customer SLAs
  • Synthetic testing for websites (HTTP/HTTPS), API Endpoints and page load times

Key Capabilities

  • Autonomous testing
  • Instant site-mesh test setup
  • Network and application layer testing
  • Correlation of synthetic performance metrics with real traffic
  • 200+ global agents covering all major cloud providers and regions
  • Private agents for x86 and ARM
  • Configurable test frequency down to sub-minute intervals
  • Intelligent alerting and diagnostics
How to See Cloud Networking Problems Before Users Do
More Info
Kentik Synthetic Monitoring: Learn More and Try it Free
Synthetic Testing 101: How to Proactively Monitor Network Performance
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