Posting this in NPM but the same would go for SAM applications. There should be a way from the web UI to put an element in a "maintenance mode" in which the node is monitored but no alerts would go out. Another user Leon Adato developed a way to do this but I think it could be expanded upon (here is the original thread http://thwack.solarwinds.com/thread/41779 ). He referred to the concept as muting.
There are many times where this may be necessary. Let's say WAN routers for example, we receive dozens of notices from carriers saying that a circuit will be down for maintenance for 5 minutes between 12AM - 6AM. I don't want to unmanage the device and lose all of that information for what typically is short duration outage. I do on the other hand want to silence any alerts that may come up during that period.
For this idea to be truly effective I believe the following components must be included
1. The ability to put a Node/Interface/Volume/Application/Component in maintenance mode for a specific duration of time (just like we have for unmanaging)
2. The ability to schedule a recurring task for this mode (just like the unmanage schedule utility)
3. There should be a required note field that must be filled in by the user stating a reason for the maintenance mode
4. Would need more granular rights to allow a user to put a device in this mode without giving full node management rights.
5. Audit tracking of who made the changes similar to this idea (http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/1034)
6. The maintenance period should not be taken into account in availability reports.