Nobody likes alerts. But they are a fact of life in IT operations. Not only are alerts a necessary evil but are critical for helping operations, system administrators and support personnel to prioritize and plan work to be performed. The biggest problem has been dealing with things like alert storms, clearing unimportant alerts and getting to what is really critical. With the launch of vRealize Operations 6.4, that problem has been solved!
Now alerts can be grouped for easier review, bulk actions and sorting. That solves a lot of problems in managing alerts, but what about those pesky alert definitions that trigger alerts you really do not need to see? In this blog post we will cover how to leverage alert groups and how to disable alert definitions globally or per one or more policies.
Alert Grouping – Cut Through the Fog
Let us assume the role of Ethan, a member of the Network Operations Center. Ethan needs to be able to quickly respond to problems in the environment and make sure the right people are involved to get things fixed. He has to coordinate messaging to management, activities and communications between IT staff, application owners, vendors and more. To summarize, Ethan does not have a lot of time to dig through a console and determine where to focus his efforts.
In the past, Ethan may have started his shift by combing through a list of issues presented as a bunch of alerts – for example in the screen below.
Where does he begin? Notice the filter settings are for alerts opened within the last 24 hours but that still leaves 181 alerts for Ethan to work through. He can do some sorting and filtering, but that takes precious time. Luckily for Ethan, vRealize Operations was just upgraded to version 6.4, so with a single click he can quickly organize these alerts.
Now, this list of alerts is much cleaner, clearer and easier to manage. Alerts grouped by definition, with the criticality and count of alerts for the definition shown. Right away, Ethan can see where noise is coming from, what the hot issues really are in the environment and where he should spend his time.
Filter Out the Noise
Ethan can interact with these alert groups in a couple of different ways. First, he can cancel alerts that may be a result of a widespread issue that has been repaired. For example, he has gotten confirmation from Brian, the Infrastructure and Operations Admin, that a switch reset caused several hosts to disconnect from vCenter but all should be well now. Ethan can cancel all alerts in that group just as he would individual alerts.
Sometimes, alerts triggered for things we just do not care about. Not all alerts apply to every environment. For example, Brian, our Infra and Ops Admin has several environments to maintain between production, development and a lab environment. In the lab environment, things like virtual machine disk space are just not a concern – no need to be alerted to something that isn’t impacting the business.
Now Brian can disable alerts in one or more policies right from the Alerts page. That really helps with reducing the unnecessary alert volume. Below, you can see an example of Brian disabling the “One or more virtual machine guest file systems are running out of disk space” alert definition for the “Non Prod” policy.
Get Alerts Under Control
With these new capabilities, you can quickly and easily take control of alerting in vRealize Operations. Group alerts for easier identification and filtering. Disable undesired alerts, permanently. vRealize Operations 6.4 gives you control!