Is anyone using WHD for on call notifications? I know theres a lot of theories on how it could be done but I'm wondering if anyone is actually doing it. I have to come up with a solution for this and right now I'm not seeing any good options. I've been looking at Alert Central and I think it could become a nice tool but right now there are bugs and its too basic for what I need. If you have on call notifications (with escalation) and aren't using WHD then what are you using?
At the company I just left, we were using a product called Attention for our alert SMS and Voice Call needs with regard to escalation. We used the Attention NS (Notification System) as well as the Attention AM (Alarm Manager) systems. This gave us the ability to set up escalation and email groups, and also use Rosters and Calendars, which would potentially enable Follow the Sun alerting. Attention has agent services running, so we were able to set up alerting for systems that could output email directly to the account we had set up for Orion.
The product is fairly lightweight and we installed it on our primary poller alongside the Solarwinds installs. Attention is based out of Colorado, and their support was always top-notch, just like Solarwinds (never had an issue with either one).
No I haven't found a satisfactory solution for this. SW has a new product called Alert Central which gets me there some of the way and has some nice features but my big issue with it is it has no way to communicate back to WHD so I'm left with two places to track on-call tickets. My other option is to use a portion of the ticketing solution I'm moving to WHD from. I can send notifications to it from WHD and have it update the tickets when the on-call notifications are acknowledged. So my choices are to have two places to track notifications or use part of the software I'm trying to migrate from.
After I posted my reply, I realized that this posting was in the WHD forums. I have never used that product, but was just trying to provide info on the environments that I have worked with. I should have also elaborated a bit on the Help Desk or ticketing portion of what we were doing. At my previous company, along with the alerting options I listed, we were using the Symantec/Altiris product, which includes Altiris HelpDesk. We used this for all of our ticketing tasks, and as part of our alerting, an email was generated into the HelpDesk program, thereby creating a trackable ticket. The ticket needed to be addressed before it could be closed, so it was also another measure to make sure things didn't slip between the cracks. In the system, we also had some priority and routing rules set up so that tickets would route correctly and be assigned a priority based on the issue or node.
Now, to answer your newest question. At the place I am now, the environment is much newer, and in fact is not completed yet. For alerting, right now the Solarwinds out of the box alerting is being used and that is it. The alerting system doesn't have any escalations set up, just basic alerts to system admins or those responsible for the node. The environment is far less complex than my previous employer with regard to sites and locations, but I still have some ideas on how I would like to see things, and will have to see how things go moving forward. I am still so new here (2 weeks now) that I am still trying to get the lay of the land. I definitely want to take a look at Alert Central. Based on what I have seen so far and the environment here, I think it might work for us. My previous company had about 46 sites in 4 major regions of the world, with different management groups at each, so I had a lot of different escalation groups to keep track of. Here is much more limited so AC will probably work.
As far as ticketing and the like, this company is using a free Help Desk product from a company called kayako, but is nearly complete with a Remedy implementation. I have never worked with Remedy but know of it a bit, and I am expecting a full featured incident management system and CMDB. I have some ideas of what we can do with automatic ticket creation for alerts and I am hoping we can get that implemented after the Remedy go-live. Hope this information helps a bit. Still, if you would like me to elaborate more on anything I mentioned, please let me know.
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