Set up Baseline Agents

Baseline agents can reduce spikes and average load times in monitoring data due to network latency. Baseline agents gather most monitoring samples from specific agents while still taking advantage of monitoring from a worldwide perspective using the GlobalWatch Network.

When configuring baseline agents, choose agents that are geographically closest to the host of your site or application. For example, if your site is hosted in New York, NY, you could set your baseline agents to New York, NY; Newark, NJ; and Scranton, PA. You can then set the additional agents to include other locations. The most up-to-date list of all monitoring agents is available here.

When baseline agents are configured, most samples are taken from the baseline agents; non-baseline agents take samples at a less frequent interval. All alerts are verified by a baseline agent before delivery. Without baseline agents, one sample could be taken from Scranton, and the next from Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong is farther away from New York than Scranton, it may take longer to connect to the site due to network latency, which could create a spike in the data and/or increase average load times, despite the fact that the site itself did not experience any performance issues.

Compare these two Load Time by Period graphs below. These graphs came from two Site Monitoring FullPage Gold services which both monitor the same web site on the same monitoring interval with the same agents. The only difference is the one on the top uses baseline agents, while the one on the bottom does not. Note that the average load time is overall much lower for the service which uses baseline agents and the graph is much smoother.

To set baseline agents

To use the Baseline Agents feature, your service's monitoring method must be set to sequential (Settings sub-tab > Monitoring Settings option) and you must select a number of baseline agents equal to or greater than your strike count.

  1. Click the name of the service from either the Dashboard or Services tab.
  2. Open the Settings sub-tab.
  3. Click Monitoring Agents.
  4. The Configure Monitoring Agents page includes an agent map and three lists: Baseline Agents, Additional Agents, and Excluded Agents
    1. You can specify up to four baseline agents, and any number of additional agents. As new agents are added to the GlobalWatch network, they are initially added to the Excluded Agents list; you may move them to the other agent lists at any time.
    2. You can add baseline agents directly from the lists, or you can click the map pin icon for the location you want to enable/disable. Clicking the map pin adds the location to either the Additional Agents or Excluded Agents list. Click << to move the agent to the Baseline Agents list.
  5. For individual services, underneath the Baseline Agents list is an link. Click this link to run a small diagnostic that will determine the optimal baseline agents for the service. It will take several minutes to run and will automatically set the baseline agents when it completes.

Graphs that use Baseline Agents

The following graphs will use data collected from available baseline agents:

  • Load Time by Period (Website Monitoring) and Complete Transaction over Time (Application Monitoring)
  • Transaction Step Averages (Application Monitoring)
  • Fullpage Breakdown
  • Uptime Table
  • Worst Hour/Worst Day (Average Performance)

If a graph is using baseline data, (Baseline Agents) will appear in the title of the graph.

See also