Speedway Site Monitoring

Important Update! Loadster’s site monitoring features have recently moved to Speedway, powered by Loadster. You can log in to Speedway with your existing Loadster account, and either reuse your Loadster scripts for monitoring, or create new ones. With Speedway, you’ll get free hourly monitoring with an option to upgrade to a monitoring plan for more frequent monitoring.

Even if you’ve load tested your site and have a high degree of confidence in its performance and scalability, it could still go down due to human error or something out of your control. Even if it doesn’t crash, someone on your team might push a breaking change that introduces a bug.

When that happens, you’ll want to be the first to know about it!

The word monitoring can mean a lot of things, but we’re actually talking about synthetic monitoring, which means generating traffic to simulate real user traffic hitting your site and evaluating the responses to make sure it’s all working right.

With help from Speedway, this is pretty easy: run your Loadster scripts on a schedule (with a single bot) and notifying you of any errors. If you’ve already created load test scripts simulating realistic user behavior, you can reuse these very same scripts for monitoring.

What kind of things can Speedway monitor?

Speedway monitors do a lot more than just check if the site is up and accepting requests. They also evaluate its functionality and performance with transactional flows.

In fact, anything you can do in a Loadster script, you can do in a monitor. For example:

  • Test your login sequence with a different username and password each time, pulling from a dataset
  • Test your registration flow with randomly generated data
  • Monitor an ecommerce site by shopping for items and adding them to the shopping cart
  • Make a sequence of correlated requests against your API, using the output from one in the subsequent request

Continuously monitoring your site’s functionality and performance (as well as uptime) gives you a big head start when it comes to quickly detecting and fixing all sorts of problems!

Nice, so how do I set up a monitor?

You can sign in separately to Speedway with your Loadster username and password, or you can click the Speedway link on your Loadster dashboard to sign in to Speedway automatically.

From there, you can select an existing Loadster script to use for monitoring, or create a new monitoring script. You’ll also configure the monitoring frequency (every hour, every 5 minutes, every minute…), and one or more regions where you’d like the monitoring traffic to originate from.

When you create the monitor, it will typically start running the first cycle within seconds, and subsequent cycles according to the frequency you specified.

After the monitors have been running for a while, you can quickly eyeball how they’re all doing on your Speedway dashboard.

No need to watch the dashboard obsessively. You’ll also receive email notifications if any of your monitors fail.

How does Speedway determine if a cycle is a pass or fail?

Monitor cycles will be deemed a FAIL if any step in the script results in an error. This can be any type of error:

  • Socket or network error (such as a connection timeout or failure to connect)
  • HTTP error (a response status code greater than or equal to 400)
  • Validation error (one of your validation rules failed)
  • Internal error (not very common)

It’s usually a good idea to add your own validation in addition to the default criteria, to make sure the responses look just like you’d expect. This can reduce the chance of false positive outcomes.

If a script runs and no errors are reported, it will be considered a PASS.

Who gets notified when a monitor fails or recovers?

By default, all users on your team (including yourself) will receive email notifications when a monitor fails, and again when a monitor that was previously failing recovers.

You can change your personal notification preferences on the Account page of your Speedway dashboard. Anyone on your team can do the same.

You can also create Notification Policies for your monitors at the account level, to configure different notification and escalation procedures for each of your monitors.