4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 1, 2012 10:42 AM by vhcato

    Send Alerts to Customers?


      As a service provider we give our customers access into our Orion system to see the systems that they have hosted with us.  We restricted them using a custom node property that is their CustomerID.  This allows them to go in at any time to see the performance of their systems and run reports against that.  Our 24x7 NOC receives alerts on any potential issues with the managed systems and responds accordingly.


      One of the more common requests I am receiving is to have the alerts we receive sent directly to the customers as well.  Below is a list of the concerns I have...


      • How to best empower customers to manage the list of emails that the alerts go to
        • I am currently leaning towards sending them to a distribution list via a custom node property and letting the customer manage that distribution list on their side
      • As soon as I start sending alerts to customers they are going to want to have a way to define their own alerts


      I would be very interested to hear any thoughts or feedback on this, especially from other service providers.

        • Re: Send Alerts to Customers?

          Byrona, we are looking at making changes to alerting in the long term and I have logged this specific request to make sure we consider it as part of the new design (no promises if and when though).


          Unfortunately, there isn't going to be a good way to manage alerts for your customers other than for you to manually build each of them out as you described with the distribution list.


          In the meantime, we are also working on a product to help manage alerts across multiple systems. This might help with what you are looking for. I sent a note to the PM for that product to review this thread and add anything if appropriate.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Send Alerts to Customers?


            We too are acting in somewhat of a service provider capacity for our internal customers across multiple companies, and are sending alerts to them for their respective devices. Like you, we opted to send them to a distribution list populated in a custom property instead of individuals wherever possible. Fortunately, we have been able to contain them to a common set of alerts for devices within each functional area (WAN/VPN routers, LAN switches, APs, WAN accelerators, etc) and across all customers, so we don't have to build and maintain alerts with specific thresholds per customer. That's not to say we may not have to go down that path in the future.


            Basically, we have (for ex.) a single alert set up for high percentage of available optimized connections in use on our Riverbed appliances to alert both our NetOps staff and the associated customer to this condition. The email recipient addresses are housed in two separate custom node properties (one for NetOps and one for customers) and called via macros in the trigger and reset actions. Just about everything we do is tied to custom properties, so as we receive new requests to receive the alerts for devices, we simply populate the DL in the custom property for customer alerts. Works pretty well, and only requires a single alert to be configured.


            I have given some thought (though not fully vetted) to the possibility that we may be forced to configure differing criteria per customer, and potential options around a mechanism to allow the customers to at least alter some of the conditions around their alerts, but still hope we don't have to go down that road. I believe it could be done via some creative use of custom properties and some custom web resources, but plan to put up a fight first...   It would be relatively simple to employ a mechanism for customers to edit the email recipient address for their devices, but the idea of customers updating things on our system just doesn't sit well with me; at least at first reaction and without giving it serious consideration.