So, you've deployed the virtual appliance, and you've gone through the Getting Started Wizard, and you kind of get how it works, but... now what?
There's basically 2 major areas you'll need to work through to get everything set up and running. The order isn't exactly important - and truthfully, you'll probably end up visiting each area more than once as you ramp up - so if you're not comfortable adding your users or creating groups right away, you can come back and do it later. You can always come back to an area and iterate on it again after you've got a better idea of what you want.
- Users and groups, and everything related (escalation policies, on call calendars, notification preferences)
- Alerts are assigned to groups, each group has its own escalation policy (which can use on call calendars), and each user has their own notification preferences.
- Alert sources, and everything related (routing rules, message extraction, filtering)
- Email and Orion alerts that are received by Alert Central are processed against your sources, which tells Alert Central whether you care and which group to send the alert to.
Users and Groups and Policies, Oh My
You'll want to create groups that represent the teams you want to send alerts to, and escalate things inside of. For example, if I need a networking alert to go to Alice, then Bob, then Jim, they would make a good networking group. If I need to send alerts for production servers over to whoever is on call of Jim, Fred, and Steve, they'd make a good production servers group. Users can be in more than one group.
Within the group, you define the members, on call calendars that represent them, and what happens to an alert when it's assigned to that group (how it's escalated and what happens if nobody handles it). We've created a video that describes the process of configuring escalation policies and on call calendars in this video:
Each user also has notification preferences, configured in their user profile, so they can decide what address is their primary address (notified first), whether there are other addresses to try, and provide contact information in case someone else in the system needs to get in contact with them.
You can receive alerts from SolarWinds Orion platform products (e.g. NPM and SAM), and you can receive alerts from anything that can send email alerts to the Alert Central appliance. Within the sources, you decide what information you care about and where alerts should go once they're into the system. We've created a couple of videos that should help you get going with source creation and configuration - one specific to integrating Orion platform products, and the other for integrating email-based products:
When configuring Alert Central, these documentation and other resources will help:
- The User Guide (HTML, or PDF) covers all of the Alert Central configuration areas in detail
- The Alert Central FAQ has sections for:
As always, you can ask here in the Alert Central forum if you've got questions!
This document is part of the 3-part Alert Central resources series, each of which provides you quick links to relevant video and documentation for that stage of your installations.