Agent Management

The Agent Management page of the Kentik portal's Synthetics section is covered in the following topics:

Agent Management enables agent deployment and monitoring of agent status.

About Agent Management

Kentik’s synthetic testing capabilities are enabled by ksynth, a family of Kentik software agents that can be deployed within your infrastructure as well as elsewhere around the Internet. Kentik offers two distinct types of ksynth agents (see Synthetics Agent Types), each of which may be used in either public ("global") or private deployments (see Synthetics Agent Deployments).

The Agent Management page lets you see and manage all currently deployed ksynth agents, public and private. The location of these agents, filterable by type, is shown on the Agents Map. A filterable Agents List (table) provides information about each agent (including status) and allows you to activate an agent, edit its configuration, or remove it. You can also add private agents on this page using the Deploy Private Agent pane across the top.


Agent Status

A deployed agent can be in one of the following states, which are indicated by status icons at various places in the Synthetics UI:

  • Active (green checkmark circle): The agent is activated and current.
  • Pending: The agent has been installed but not yet registered or activated:
    - Network agent: See Network Agent Activation.
    - App agent: See Activate App Agent.
  • Update Available (blue up-arrow circle): The agent is not the latest version.
    Note: Starting with version 0.0.4 ksynth can be set to update automatically using the --update argument (see Agent Subcommand Arguments).
  • Offline (red caution hexagon): Either Kentik has never received test data from this agent or the agent has been offline (no results received) for 60 minutes or more.

Agent Management Page

Synthetics agents are managed in the Kentik portal on the Agent Management page, which you’ll find under Synthetics in the main navbar. The page includes the following main UI elements:

  • Export (on SubNav): A drop-down menu with two options for sharing agent details:
    - Export PDF: Export a PDF of the current state of the page. Kentik will prepare the report and display a notification indicating that the report is ready. When you click the provided link your browser will handle the download to your local machine.
    - Email Report: Opens a dialog in which you provide the name and email address of a recipient, as well as a subject line and a message for the email itself. Once you've entered the requested information, click the Send button to send the email.
  • Deploy a Private Agent: A pane used to activate a new private agent (see Private Agent Deployment). If the pane is collapsed you can expand it by clicking the Deploy a Private Agent button at the top right of the page.
  • Agents Map: Shows the physical location of ksynth agents, both public and private, throughout the world (see Agents Map).
  • Agents List: A tabbed table providing information about ksynth agents (see Agents List).
  • Filters pane: A set of filters that determine what’s displayed in the Agents List (see Agents List Filters).
  • Agent Details pane: A sidebar that slides out from the right edge of the p[age and provides details on an individual agent (see Agent Details Sidebar).

Private Agent Deployment

While public/global agents are deployed by Kentik for use by all customers, private agents are deployed by each customer for their own exclusive use (see Synthetics Agent Deployments). Deploying a private agent involves first downloading and installing the desired ksynth agent (see Synthetics Agent Types), then activating it from the Deploy A Private Agent pane. If the pane is collapsed you can expand it by clicking the Deploy a Private Agent button at the top right of the Agent Management page.

This pane includes the following buttons:

Private Agent Setup

The Private Agent Setup dialog provides setup procedures for ksynth agent deployment. The procedures vary depending on both the agent type and the deployment approach, which may be via package or Docker. The dialog opens with a choice between agent types, either network or app. After selecting the agent type, you'll be able to choose a deployment option, either Debian/Ubuntu package, RPM package, or Docker. You'll then be presented with step-by-step instructions for installation and registration.

The installation and activation tasks covered by the procedures in this dialog are also explained in the KB. For instructions, choose one of the following agent types:

Enter Challenge Code

Depending on your ksynth installation process, you may need to register each agent individually in the portal in order for it to be activated. To do so you get a challenge code from the agent and enter the code on the Agent Management page by clicking the Enter Challenge Code button, which opens the Register Agent dialog. When you enter the code in the dialog and click the Register button the agent instance corresponding to the entered code will be automatically registered and will appear in the Private Agents tab of the Agents List.

For specific information about activation for a given agent type, see:


Agents Map

The Agents Map shows the physical location of ksynth agents throughout the world, both public agents and private agents. Hovering on a shown agent opens a popup with identifying information about that agent. Scrolling or double-clicking on any point in the map zooms the display into the clicked area.

The Agents Map shows the location of global and private ksynth agents throughout the world.

The Agents Map is filterable using the checkboxes in the Markers pane, which enables you to show or hide agents by type. Within the global agents type you have the option of showing or hiding sets of public cloud agents based on the cloud provider. When all cloud providers are unchecked the remaining global agents are those that Kentik has installed in data centers in key Internet hubs worldwide (Hosted agents). As various types of agents are shown or hidden the map will zoom automatically to include all of the agents that are still shown.


Agents List

The Agents List, a tabbed table providing information about ksynth agents (both public and private) is covered in the following topics:

The Agents List includes tabs showing private agents and global agents, including those hosted by key cloud providers.
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Agents List Labels

Kentik's labeling feature enables you to create a label (essentially a property whose value is text) and apply it to one or more of your synthetic tests, creating a group of tests that can be referred to (e.g. filtered for) collectively rather than individually. The controls for this feature of the Agents List are the same as for the Label Controls in the Test Control Center.

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Agents List Tabs

The Agents List tabs are included for each of the following types of agents:

  • Private Agents: Every Kentik customer can deploy as many instances of ksynth as they care to in their own on-prem and/or cloud infrastructure (no additional license required). These private agents are for the exclusive use of the customer who deploys them (not available to other Kentik customers).
  • Global Agents: All agents in the Kentik Global Agent Network, a worldwide network of Kentik-maintained ksynth agents (hosted in data centers and public clouds) that enables performance testing to and from key Internet hubs worldwide.
  • App Agents: A subset of our Kentik-maintained global agents, app agents run an instance of Headless Chromium, which allows Google Chromium to run in a headless/server environment. App agents are capable of performing advanced web-layer tests including full browser page load.
  • Broadband Agents: A subset of our Kentik-maintained global agents, broadband agents are connected to broadband service providers to provide a true "end-user view" of network performance. Many are running in real end-user homes and as such may be less reliable than our Global and Public Cloud agents, which run in data centers or public cloud regions.
  • Public Cloud Agents: A subset of global agents, showing only agents deployed in the infrastructure of key cloud service providers (AWS, GCP, Azure, OCI, etc.).
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Agents List Columns

The columns of the Agents List, which vary depending on the tab of the table, provide the following information for each of the above types of agents:

  • Name: Three pieces of information are displayed in this column:
    - Name: For public agents, this is the Kentik-assigned name. For private agents, this is by default the name of the agent's host, but you can assign a different name with the ksynth CLI (see Agent Subcommand Arguments).
    - Status: The current status of the agent (see Agent Status).
    - IP Address: The IP address for all synthetic traffic on this agent.
  • Location: The location where the agent is deployed, typically either a datacenter or a cloud region.
  • Private IP: The private (local) IP address, if any, assigned to the agent in the Configure Agent Dialog.
  • ASN: The name and number of the Autonomous System in which this agent is located.
  • Region: The cloud provider region (e.g. "US West") in which the agent is located.
  • Tests: The number of tests currently defined in your organization for this agent.
  • IP Version: The IP version(s) tested by the agent.
  • Version: The ksynth version number of the agent (green if latest, orange if out of date).

The table below shows which columns appear in the tab for each type of ksynth deployment.

Columns Private Agents Global Agents App Agents Broadband Agents Public Cloud Agents
Name Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Location Yes No No No No
Private IP Yes No No No No
ASN No Yes Yes Yes No
Region No No No No Yes
Tests Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IP Version Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Version Yes No No No No

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Agents List Filters

The Filters pane to the right of the Agents List enables you to filter the list using the following fields and controls:

  • Clear all: Clear all currently applied filters. Appears only when filters are currently applied.
  • Search (magnifying glass icon): Filters the Agents List to show only those agents whose name, IP address, or site name contains the entered string.
  • ASN: A drop-down from which you can choose an ASN for which agents will be shown in the Agents List. Multiple ASNs can be selected.
  • Region: A drop-down from which you can choose a region for which agents will be shown in the Agents List. Multiple regions can be selected.
  • Country: A drop-down from which you can choose a country for which agents will be shown in the Agents List. Multiple countries can be selected.
  • Labels: A drop-down list of labels from which you can choose (or remove) one or more labels.
  • IP Version: A drop-down list of IP versions from which you can choose (or remove) one or more version.

Agent Details Sidebar

The Agent Details sidebar, which appears when you click on an agent in the Agents List, is covered in the following topics:

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Details Sidebar UI

The Agent Details sidebar includes the following main UI elements:

  • Agent ID: The Kentik-assigned unique ID number of the agent.
  • Agent type: An indicator showing if the agent is global (Kentik icon) or private (private agent icon).
  • Agent name: The name of the agent, either globally (public agents) or within your organization (private agents).
  • Activate (only for a private agent that isn’t yet activated): A button that opens the Activate Agent Dialog, which is the same as the Configure Agent Dialog.
  • Configure (activated Private agents only): A button that opens the Configure Agent Dialog.
  • Remove (activated Private agents only): A button that opens a confirming dialog allowing you to remove the agent from your organization’s collection of deployed agents.
  • Agent tab: Details about the agent (see Agent Details Tab).
  • Tests tab: A list of the agent’s currently active tests (see Agent Tests Tab).
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Agent Details Tab

The Agent tab of the Agent Details sidebar provides the following information related to this agent:

  • Version (private agents only): The ksynth version of this agent.
  • IP Address: The agent’s public IP address and its private IP (if any has been assigned to a private agent via the Private IP field in the Configure Agent Dialog).
  • Host OS: (private agents): The type (e.g. Linux Ubuntu) and version of the server on which the agent is deployed.
  • ASN: The name and number of the AS in which the agent is deployed.
  • Activated: The date on which the agent was activated (see Private Agent Deployment) and the Kentik user who activated it.
  • Location: The location of the agent:
    - Private agents: Name and location (city, country) of the site where the agent is deployed.
    - Global agents: Name (set by Kentik) and, if applicable, cloud region where the agent is deployed.
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Agent Tests Tab

The Tests tab of the Agent Details sidebar provides a list of the currently active tests involving this agent. Click on a test to go to the Test Details Page for that test in the Test Control Center.


Configure Agent Dialog

The Configure Agent dialog and the nearly identical Activate Agent dialog enable you to set certain properties of a ksynth Private agent. The dialog is covered in the following topics:

Note: This dialog is accessed via the Configure button in the Agent Details Sidebar.

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Configure Agent UI

The Configure Agent dialog includes the following UI elements:

  • Close button: Click the X in the upper right corner to close the dialog without saving changes to the agent settings.
  • Properties: The basic properties of the agent (see Agent Property Fields).
  • Cancel button: Close the dialog without saving changes. All elements will be restored to their values at the time the dialog was opened.
  • Save button: Save changes to agent settings and exit the dialog.
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Agent Property Fields

The following fields set basic properties of the Private agent (network agent or app agent):

  • Name: Your organization's name for the agent. By default, this is the name of the agent's host.
    Note: This property can also be set at installation via the ksynth CLI (see Agent Subcommand Arguments).
  • Site: Choose a site (see About Sites) to which to assign the agent, which would typically be the location of the ksynth agent's host, whether that’s a data center or a VPC in a cloud provider.
  • Create a New Site: If a site hasn't yet been defined for the location where the agent host is located, click the button to create a new site (see Configure Site Fields).
  • Cloud Provider: If the agent is hosted in a cloud resource (e.g. AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.), specify the cloud provider (otherwise leave as "None").
  • Cloud Region (only if Cloud Provider is specified): The region where the agent is hosted within the specified cloud provider.
  • Cloud VPC (only if Cloud Provider is specified): A description of the VPC in which the agent is deployed.
  • Private IP: An optional private (local) IP address for the agent. A private IP allows you to establish agent-to-agent or agent mesh tests using your internal network via the Use Agent Private IPs setting in the Target and Agents tab of a test's settings page.
  • IP Versions Supported: Determines the type of IP addresses that will be supported by the agent: IPv4 only, IPv6 only, or both (default). This is particularly useful for agents that will be used for tests of type Hostname or ASN, where there could be a mix of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
  • Labels: A drop-down list of labels from which you can choose (or remove) one or more labels (see Agents List Labels). The Add/Edit link takes you to the settings page for Labels, where you can create a label to apply to this agent.

Configure Site Fields

When you click the Create a New Site button, the following fields are added to the Configure Agent dialog to enable you to enter the information required to create a new site:

  • Site Name: The name of the new site.
  • Street Address: The physical location of the site given as a street address.
  • Use an Existing Site: If you decide not to create a new site, click this button to hide the Configure Site fields and instead choose a site from the Site drop-down.
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