I am trying to set up an alert for a remote site admin.
We would like this alert to alert if anything in network x.x.x.x is down UNLESS the core switch is also down.
or put otherwise
alert if anything in network x.x.x.x is down ONLY if the core switch is up.
What you're looking for is the out-of-the-box group & dependency function of SolarWinds. To do what you're describing you'd want to create a group that contains all the devices (dependents) and then create a dependency where the core switch is the parent and that newly-created group is the dependent.
Once that's in place, the devices in the group would be set to "Unreachable" instead of "Down" which would keep them clear of your Node Down alerting.
This is easier done with dependencies. Create a group for everything in the branch EXCEPT the core switch (and possibly the router). Then create a dependence of the group of non-core on the core. This way if the core is down, you won't get a flood of alerts on the "child" objects.
SolarWinds solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base in the THWACK® online community. More than 150,000 members are here to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly contribute to our product development process.