Browser monitors in private locations

Private browser monitors are the perfect solution for testing your enterprise applications from inside your private network infrastructure.

This is an EAP feature available since Dynatrace version 1.162 and ActiveGate version 1.161. Register for the EAP to participate.

What are browser monitors?

It's either single-URL browser monitor testing the availability of a single page of your website or web application, or browser clickpath simulating the sequence of interactions.

What is a private synthetic location?

A location in your private network infrastructure where you install a synthetic-enabled Environment ActiveGate. With browser monitors executed on this ActiveGate, you can check the availability of internal resources that are inaccessible from outside your network.

Technical requirements for EAP

As this is an Early Access Program feature, we deliver it with some initial limitations and requirements that will be lifted once the feature becomes generally available.

  • The private browser monitors are executed on a clean installed Environment ActiveGate version 1.161 or later that is used exclusively for this task. Follow a simple procedure below to participate in the EAP. If you want to use an existing ActiveGate machine, uninstall it first.
  • We recommend that you use the synthetic-enabled ActiveGate exclusively to run synthetic monitors. The clean ActiveGate installation set to Synthetic monitoring will disable all other ActiveGate features, including communication with OneAgents. You can however enable select features using the custom.properties file. For more information on ActiveGate use cases, see When do I need to install an ActiveGate?.
  • For ActiveGate version 1.161 and 1.163, you have to configure ActiveGate manually so that it's exclusively running private browser monitors. This step isn't required as of version 1.165.
  • You need to make sure the Environment ActiveGate can connect to other Dynatrace components, as well as the resource you want to test.
  • Private Browser Monitors EAP is currently available only on an Environment ActiveGate installed on Ubuntu Server 16.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (ActiveGate version 1.165 and later), or CentOS 7 (ActiveGate version 1.165). Future updates will add support for Windows Server 2016.
ActiveGate Chromium
1.161 69
1.163 71
1.165 71
1.167 71
1.169 73

Limitations

  • You can create maximum of 200 private locations and maximum of 200 locations can be assigned to an individual synthetic browser monitor.
  • Private Browser Monitors EAP doesn't support a proxy. You must be able to establish a direct communication between both, the ActiveGate and the resource you want to test and between the ActiveGate and the Server. This limitation will be removed as of ActiveGate version 1.167.
  • In Dynatrace Managed offline deployments, you won't be able to save screenshots.

Hardware requirements

The Environment ActiveGate running browser monitors should meet the following hardware requirements depending on the number of tests executed per hour. The table below presents current limits of tests run from a single location and you won't be able to run more by scaling up the machine.

XS (2 vCPU) S (4 vCPU) M (8 vCPU) L (16 vCPU)
Min free disk 20 GB 25GB 30GB 40GB
Min RAM 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB
Min free RAM 3GB 5GB 8GB 12GB
Max number of tests/h1 300 650 1200 2200

1 As determined in our internal tests. The actual value may vary, depending on the complexity of your monitors.

Setting up browser monitors in private locations

To start executing browser monitors from a private location:

  1. Register for the EAP and wait for an email from Dynatrace confirming that you can proceed with the installation.
  2. Install all the required dependencies. Depending on your operating system, follow the steps for Ubuntu Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS.
  3. Install a clean synthetic-enabled ActiveGate and add it to your private synthetic location.

Installing dependencies

During the EAP, you have to manually manage the dependencies and proper versions of ActiveGate and Chromium required by the browser monitors engine. This is only required for the EAP and will be managed automatically when the feature goes GA.

Installing synthetic-enabled Environment ActiveGate.

Install a clean synthetic-enabled Environment ActiveGate and add it to a private synthetic location. For more information, see Installing synthetic-enabled ActiveGate. You must perform a clean ActiveGate installation in the Synthetic monitoring mode to use it for private browser monitors.

Troubleshooting

My private location doesn't work with Dynatrace 1.168

Dynatrace Server version 1.168 isn't compatible with ActiveGates earlier than version 1.167. If you're on Dynatrace version 1.168, you must manually update your ActiveGate to version 1.167.

We recommend at least 20 GB free disk space on the ActiveGate that you use for your private synthetic location. To free up some space, go to /var/tmp/dynatrace/gateway and delete supporttmp*.zip files.

  1. Download ActiveGate version 1.167 installer and run the installation with an additional --ignore-disk-test parameter to skip the verification of sizing requirements. Use root privileges. Replace ./Dynatrace-ActiveGate-Linux-x86-XXX.sh with the actual installer filename.

    ./Dynatrace-ActiveGate-Linux-x86-XXX.sh --ignore-disk-test
    
  2. After the installation is complete and your ActiveGate is up and running, verify if you receive data from your private synthetic location.

    If not, verify if the synthetic engine on your ActiveGate is updated to version 1.167.  Open /opt/dynatrace/synthetic/vucontroller/app.properties. Among other properties, you should find app.version. For example:
    app.version=1.167.0.20190508-120606

The ActiveGate installation failed due to missing dependencies

In such case, you must uninstall ActiveGate, satisfy the dependencies and run the installation again. For information, see Uninstall ActiveGate.

I can't see the browser monitors reference screenshots

We store the screenshots in Amazon S3. If you can't see them, it means that either your ActiveGate or the browser from which you access Dynatrace can't access the Amazon S3 service. Change your firewall configuration to allow the connections to *.s3.amazonaws.com on port 443.

Can I update an earlier ActiveGate to version 1.161+ and configure it to use with private browser monitors?

No, you need to run a clean installation in the Synthetic monitoring mode to enable your ActiveGate to execute browser monitors from private locations.