SLA Pre-Breach Indicators

SolarWinds Service Desk is excited to announce that one of our most anticipated roadmap features is now available, with this capability you’ll be able to define pre-breach thresholds for each of your SLAs.

These threshold settings are used for the Pre-Breach Indicators, which are shown both in each relevant incident and in a new column (‘Next Breach’) in the Incident’s Index page. This allows you to:

  • Easily visualize when the SLA breach will occur with a color-coded, countdown mechanism that gives you better visibility into potential breaches

  • Sort incidents based upon time-to-breach, helping your agent prioritize their work to reduce the overall amount of SLA breaches

Customer Testimonials: 

We exposed this functionality to a small group of early adopters, here are two examples of the customer feedback we received: 

“We have implemented and are using this feature. We really like the feature, as it is helping us to better manage our ticket workload” - Lee Weekley | Director of IT Service Management | Cognosante

“I am a huge fan of this feature. It has already started helping us with our ticketing triage process” - Chris Aitken  | Operations Analyst | MediQuant

Setting It Up:

The administrator will need to manually define the indication thresholds per each SLA of interest. Without these thresholds, you won’t see the SLA Pre-Breach Indicators. 

To do so:

  1. Go to: Setup→ Automations→ Service Level Management → Either create a new SLA or edit an existing one.

  2. Check the ‘Set Timer Indication Threshold’ checkbox.

  3. [Optional Step] Set an Initial Pre-Breach Indication Threshold, which is how much time prior to the breach would you like to get the initial indication.

  4. [Optional Step] Set a Final Pre-Breach Indication Threshold, which is how much time prior to the breach would you like to get the final indication. Note: Make sure that your Initial time is bigger than your Final time!

  5. Press the Create / Update-Role button. 

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The Incident’s Index page:

  1. Go to the Incidents Index page, where the ‘Next Breach’ column should appear by default to all users. You can choose to remove this column if you desire.

  2. Sort according to the ‘Next Breach’ column. The sorting order is based on the Indicator Color (red/orange/green/blank) followed by the time till breach, and the focus is always on the nearest to be breached SLA.

  3. The ‘Next Breach’ indicator color (shown in the circle) is:

    • Red: when the time is between the Final Pre-Breach Threshold and the SLA Breach.

    • Orange: when the time is between the Initial Pre-Breach Threshold and the Final Pre-Breach Threshold

    • Green: when the time has yet to reach the Initial Pre-Breach Threshold

    • Blank: This means that the incident doesn’t have SLAs with thresholds applicable to it.

    • Note: In addition to its color, notice the Circle indicator expresses the time passed from Incident creation until the foreseeable SLA breach. For example, when you set the following: SLA to 'Resolved in 10 hours' with Initial Pre-Breach Threshold of 3 hours and a Final Pre-Breach Threshold of 1 hour.  The following circles will appear in the respective colors:

      • 5 hours after a relevant incident is created (or 5 hours until the SLA is breached), the circle will be 50% full and Green in color.

      • 7 hours from incident creation (or 3 hours until the SLA is breached), the circle will be 70% full and Orange in color.

      • Finally, 9 hours from incident creation (or 1 hour until the SLA is breached), the circle will be 90% full and Red in color.

    • The indicator will be clickable once it is either Orange or Red. When clicking on it, the next pre-breach timers (up to three total) will be shown. 

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  1. You can use ‘Next Breach’ in the filter to filter by the three threshold levels. 


The Incident’s Page:

You can also see the Pre-Breach Indicators in the Incident preview mode and on the Incident page, under the SLA section in the right panel.  

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Important Notes: 

  • Setting SLA indication thresholds will only affect New or Updated incidents! This means that existing incidents will not show these indicators until they have a qualifying event such as a State change.

  • The ‘Next Breach’ data will be shown only for Active Incidents (not for Resolved/Closed Incidents) which have Active SLAs (SLA timer isn’t suspended), to which SLA indication threshold was set.

  • If the SLA uses business hours, so will the pre-breach timer.  However, once the SLA is breached, the timer will convert to the actual time and be shown in the ‘SLA Breaches’ column, this column used to be known as the ‘SLM’ column.

  • In certain scenarios, pre-breach timers may be sorted out-of-order due to SLAs with different business hours per site, or for SLAs on incidents associated with sites that have different time zones. However, the value shown for these pre-breach timers is always an accurate time until the SLA breach occurs.

As we continue to improve SolarWinds Service Desk, we really appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you think about this feature by adding a comment below.