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Level 7

Alerts by Shift Schedule

The company that I work for is thinking of implementing SolarWinds server and application monitoring.  Based on my experiences with ipMonitor, I think Server and Application Monitoring will meet our needs.  However, there is one thing I have noticed while using the demo version that I think is somewhat difficult to handle.

My company is a global corporation with data centers and support staff in Europe, Asia and North America.  We would like to have a follow-the-sun support policy for most of our systems (prod and dev).  We outsource our system operations, however most of our systems do not need 'operators' or 'monitors' per se.  Essentially everyone that is a company employee provides support 24-hours a day when required on the systems in their home data center.  Also, the support staff at the other data centers can often be called upon to support systems during their business hours if they can.  Most of the outsourced operations, therefore, are for basic hardware and OS issues.

This is where ipMonitor / Server and Application monitoring becomes important.  The monitoring is straight-forward and the alerts can be tuned fairly well.  What I don't see being very easy to manage are what I would call "shift schedules".  We have hardware people, OS people, DBAs, middleware web app people, and strictly app admin people.  Generally speaking we have the same sets of people in all of our data centers.  The each work a normal business day shift.  At any given time, the hardware people around the globe shift-schedule support for the hardware.  At any given time, our DBAs shift-schedule database support for our dbs.  That is the general idea.

When I set up alert monitoring in ipMonitor or Application / Server monitoring, I would like to be able to have more flexibility in assigning the "shift schedules" to a given set of alerts.  I can see that I can import a schedule over and over again for a given alert.  This is not flexible enough because a lot of times, the alerting needs to be change based on holidays, short-term company needs, etc.

Am I missing something -or- are there additional pages in Server / Application monitoring to support this kind of dynamic configuration?

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5 Replies
Not applicable

You may want to check this tool out.  We use the Alert Execute Program action to forward the notification message to TelAlert.

TelAlert 6e | MIR3 Emergency Notification and Mass Notification Software for the Enterprise

  • Plan and monitor the entire notification process
  • Designate personnel and groups
  • Create detailed on-call schedules including holidays and vacations across multiple time zones
  • Implement escalation plans to avoid delays caused by staff that can’t respond immediately
  • Keep track of all events in progress
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Product Manager
Product Manager

What many of our customers do today is duplicate their alerts based on shift coverage and configure each of them so they only notify the proper person during that time. For example they may have two configured alerts for "Alert me when a node goes down". One that notifies bob only during west coast business hours, and another that notifies bill if the condition occurs during Singapore business hours. Others are using services such as PagerDuty to handle on call rotation.This is also something Solarwinds is working on as well.

I think my hang-up right now is that setting up all of the multiple alerts (not just duplicate) would be a lot of work and not very dynamic.

I like the features I see in PagerDuty but I am not sure that that is the right answer for my company.

How long do you think it will be before Solarwinds announcement becomes a product ?

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We're happy to take volunteers for feedback or beta participation for the new product. The goal with the new product is to pull in alerts from many sources, route them based on who is on call for the hot potato or an escalation policy you might have set up to try one person then another, and provide you a dashboard where you can see/work with them. There will be an official beta sign-up once we're closer to that point, but we're constantly doing usability testing as we work through development, so there's still feedback opportunities in advance of that if you've got time. (We occasionally will do some surveys, too, so keep an eye out on the .)

It is something we're actively working on, but we can't make a delivery commitment, unfortunately. The beta will come well in advance of the release date, but neither are imminent (i.e. certainly not within the next 1-2 months).

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Honestly, I'm not sure. Your best bet would be to reply to the product blog posting or this one regarding this new products name. It may be possible to signup to participate in the beta, or participate in usability studies. These would all be excellent questions for nicole pauls, the product manager for this new product.

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