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Instana-hosted Synthetic PoP is Live Now

By LI JING MU posted Sun March 24, 2024 11:16 PM


Instana-hosted Synthetic PoP is live now!

Instana Synthetic Monitoring provides an interactive simulation of end-user engagement that allows developers to test and experience the performance of an application. It uses scripts (Synthetic tests) for user interactions based on factors such as geographic location, network types, different devices, and more to gain insight into application uptime, system outages, or complications users may experience while using an interface.

Synthetic PoP (Point of presence) is the agent where the Synthetic tests are run. It retrieves the Synthetic tests from Instana backend and executes them to test target applications, then collects the result metrics and details, and sends them back to Instana backend.

Before, customers had to deploy, manage, and maintain Synthetic PoP by themselves (known as Self-hosted PoP). We were often asked the following questions regarding PoP:

    • How can I test the application from outside my network?
    • Is there an alternative that does not increase the team workload with PoP install and maintenance tasks?
    • How do I plan the capacity of PoP deployment to support increasing workload?
    • How do I monitor the health status of Synthetic PoP?
    • How do I scale up the PoP in a proper way to ensure the PoP is healthy with least cost?
    • When should I upgrade the PoP to ensure no impact on my running Synthetic tests?
    • What should I do if I need multiple PoPs from different locations around the world?

Now, we are excited to announce that Instana-hosted Synthetic PoP is available to relieve customers from the effort and details of PoP deployment and maintenance. Customers just need to choose “Managed” type instead of “Private” when deploying a PoP, then Instana will take from here and customers can get the PoP in up to 10 mins and start to use it immediately!

The Instana-hosted Synthetic PoP integrates the field knowledge and best practices from both engineering and SRE teams and addresses the following challenges for customers:

  • Upgrading: Instana publishes new releases of Synthetic PoP bi-weekly to deliver enhancements, fixes and new features. Instana will take care of the upgrading of Instana-hosted PoPs in all data centers as part of the bi-weekly release process. It’s transparent to customers.

  • Scaling: Scaling up properly when workload increases is very important to ensure Synthetic PoP's health and stability, which is a common challenge for customers. With Instana-hosted PoP, Instana will scale up the PoP components based on the workload and monitoring mechanisms dynamically to ensure the availability and stability of customers’ Synthetic tests.

  • Tuning: Instana can provide performance tuning on Synthetic PoP components for specific TUs to meet different requirements and provide best customer user experiences.

  • Security: Instana will take care of CVE patching, detecting and fixing vulnerabilities to ensure a secure hosted environment for Synthetic PoPs. Regression and compatibility tests will be performed to ensure no breaking changes.

  • Monitoring: A solution to monitor the health status of PoP is in place. All Instana-hosted PoPs in the production environment are monitored by Instana PoP sensors and Instana SRE will be alerted in case anything happens.

  • Extending: Two geographic locations are available now for Instana-hosted PoP: North Virginia, U.S. and Frankfurt, EU. The number of available geographic locations for deployment of PoPs will be increased based on customer demand in the future.

Before this feature became available to external customers, it was launched internally since 3Q2023. Instana-hosted Synthetic PoPs were provided to multiple IBM teams, and we helped them migrate successfully from NewRelic to Instana. During this course, we kept iterating and continuously improved the quality and usability based on feedback. For example, performance was greatly improved thanks to the extensive use by some teams:

    • The supported workload of Ping tests (API Simple) is increased from 2000 to 9000 tests per minute.
    • The capability of querying and scheduling Synthetic tests with credentials is increased from 800 to 9000 tests per minute.
    • The time for 5000 credential calls drops from 1200 ms to only 4 ms.
    • The response time of test result page for 20000 tests per minute drops from 35 s to 1 s.

As a result, we were able to summarize all these experiences and share a sum of best practices on the public GitHub and IBM communities to help our customers.

Contact the IBM sales representative to access the Instana-hosted Synthetic PoP now!


Li Jing Mu ( - Developer for Instana Synthetic PoP

Rui Yin ( - Tech lead for Instana Synthetic

Karen Gdaniec ( - Tech lead for Instana Synthetic

Dania Grave de Peralta Reyes ( - PM for Instana Synthetic