0 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2013 1:54 PM by nicole pauls

    Hey, Listen! Alert Central Office Hours Chat Transcript from Friday, June 14

    nicole pauls

      Here's the transcript from this week's office hours chat. If you didn't get a chance to chat with us, you can always post your questions here in the Alert Central forum and your feature requests in the Alert Central Feature Requests forum, and there will be another chat in July. 


      All future schedule and past transcripts are here: Hey, Listen! Alert Central Office Hours Schedule & Transcripts


      I've marked the participants from the AC Team, Dev, and PM, so you can tell where our questions and responses are.


      6/14/13 10:19 AMKatie B (AC Team)Hello Everyone, we will be starting in about 10 minutes.
      6/14/13 10:25 AMKatie B (AC Team)Greetings All, thanks for coming. We will be starting in about 5 minutes.
      6/14/13 10:27 AMKatie B (AC Team)Quick note we will be posting the transcript from this session when we are done.
      6/14/13 10:27 AMNicole P (AC PM)and remember, the NSA is always watching.
      6/14/13 10:30 AMKatie B (AC Team)Alright, let's get started. We have our Product Manager, Nicole Pauls here ready to answer all your implementation and upgrade questions.
      6/14/13 10:30 AMKatie B (AC Team)Feel free to come and go as needed, we will be posting the transcript on thwack after the session
      6/14/13 10:31 AMNicole P (AC PM)Just as a reminder, we put up v1.0.1 last week with the fix for some of the issues people were experiencing during the last office hours (and a couple of other things) - http://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/product-blog/blog/2013/03/05/alert-central-version-10-now-available
      6/14/13 10:33 AMNicole P (AC PM)Also, we put up some thwack doc-uments that have handy videos in them. Let me dig up the links, these videos will hopefully help with some of the questions around stuff like escalation policies and source rules.
      6/14/13 10:34 AMNicole P (AC PM)the first two are more around installing and getting started: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/docs/DOC-170949 (getting started), http://thwack.solarwinds.com/docs/DOC-170950 (basics/overview)
      6/14/13 10:34 AMNicole P (AC PM)the third one includes all of the configuration videos and some doc links: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/docs/DOC-170951
      6/14/13 10:36 AMNicole P (AC PM)NOT EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE!!
      6/14/13 10:36 AMNicole P (AC PM)i don't have any good icebreaker questions like when you go to your first day at camp
      6/14/13 10:37 AMNicole P (AC PM)sweet, now everyone all at once
      6/14/13 10:37 AMRickOne issue I am running into is I have set up my Orion connection, but I am not getting any alerts in AC.  I have checked and my core versions are goo
      6/14/13 10:37 AMNicole P (AC PM)have you ever seen alerts from orion in AC, or did it stop working at some point?
      6/14/13 10:38 AMRickI saw inital alerts, but then they all just stopped
      6/14/13 10:38 AMNicole P (AC PM)ah - did you upgrade to the 1.0.1 version yet?
      6/14/13 10:38 AMRickI did not realise that 1.0.1 was out, I am D/L now.....
      6/14/13 10:38 AMNicole P (AC PM)perfect, i believe that'll fix it
      6/14/13 10:38 AMJasonI have just started using the SMS alerting function on Alert Central and I see the validation replies getting funneled into the dash. I haven't had a chance to look through the logs to see confirmation of the validition response but assume the validation didn't go through since the mobile device didn't get an affirmative response from Alert Central
      6/14/13 10:39 AMRickcan you upgrade and keep the settings, or is it a new install?
      6/14/13 10:39 AMJohnIs there a way to change the password on a local account?
      6/14/13 10:40 AMJohnRick - it's an upgrade
      6/14/13 10:40 AMNicole P (AC PM)upgrade and keep the settings - beta post includes instructions (they should also be in the download): http://thwack.solarwinds.com/message/203206#203206
      6/14/13 10:41 AMNicole P (AC PM)jason - right now the only way to really tell if an account is validated is when that user fails to get routed an alert, but we're working on a bunch of validation fixes/improvements for our next release.
      6/14/13 10:42 AMJasonthanks
      6/14/13 10:42 AMNicole P (AC PM)if you do try to route them an alert, the alert in the dashboard will give a message like 'failed to route to the user because they are not validated'
      6/14/13 10:42 AMJasonI will start a panic in the other teams by routing a bunch of test alerts to them [Emotion=emteeth.gif]
      6/14/13 10:43 AMRickhow about a way to report?  If a tech consistently ignores alerts I would like a way to be able to report to find that out
      6/14/13 10:43 AMNicole P (AC PM)john - you should be able to change the password from the users area for a local accoun
      6/14/13 10:43 AMNicole P (AC PM)t
      6/14/13 10:44 AMNicole P (AC PM)just edit that user
      6/14/13 10:44 AMNicole P (AC PM)or for a user themselves, they can change their password from their profile similarly
      6/14/13 10:44 AMKatie B (AC Team)Just a quick reminder, feel free to come and go as needed, we will be posting the transcript on thwack after the session.
      6/14/13 10:44 AMNicole P (AC PM)yeah, reporting is another one of those things on our list to understand how people use and need. BUT for validation we're going to add it to the users grid so you can quickly see who is/isn't validated on their primary
      6/14/13 10:44 AMNicole P (AC PM)and sort by that
      6/14/13 10:45 AMNicole P (AC PM)ALSO to manually validate a user so Jason could just make it work
      6/14/13 10:45 AMJohnOk, it was greyed out so I thought I couldn't change it. Thanks.
      6/14/13 10:45 AMJohnIs there any new development on addition of 'push notifications' to mobile devices?
      6/14/13 10:46 AMmarI'm having trouble using custom fields to route the emails.  If someone could answer http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/2024 would be great.
      6/14/13 10:46 AMNicole P (AC PM)not yet - it's on our list, but not the short list yet
      6/14/13 10:46 AMNicole P (AC PM)mar, we had another person reporting difficulty using orion custom properties - chris, can you check out his question?
      6/14/13 10:47 AMKevinIt would be nice to have AC confirm the assignment with the tech when the alert is acknowledged.  Also some control on alert content
      6/14/13 10:47 AMNannoifHey there.  I'm having an issue with setup of the mailbox during the initial configuration.  My e-mail admin has verified all the account information using Windows Messaging but when I try to set it up through Alert Central I keep getting "Failed to login: Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password". Just wondering if this is a general, known about issue or something I should log a call about?  Thanks.
      6/14/13 10:47 AMChris J (AC Dev)yes, ill check it out
      6/14/13 10:47 AMChris J (AC Dev)bah
      6/14/13 10:48 AMNicole P (AC PM)kevin - by alert content, i'm guessing you mean in the email that goes to the user?
      6/14/13 10:48 AMChris J (AC Dev)ill take a look at your thwack post
      6/14/13 10:48 AMRickI am glad to hear that you are working on the reporting, that would be our main use - to validate that the on-call person is answering issues, not just leaving them for the secondary
      6/14/13 10:48 AMKevinYes and the ability to send it to my ticketing software to update a ticket
      6/14/13 10:48 AMNicole P (AC PM)ah yes - the weekly report has some of that information (like how long it's taking people to respond to issues) but NOT stuff like how many steps it took to get to someone that finally helped
      6/14/13 10:49 AMmarThanks Chris!!
      6/14/13 10:49 AMRickI am assuming that the weekly report is in the admin guide?  I am just putting AC into production now
      6/14/13 10:50 AMNicole P (AC PM)nannoif, if it's reporting unknown user/password, it's legit (we're getting that error back from the mail server). sometimes i've seen that you have to specify the domain (or not) when authenticating against exchange.
      6/14/13 10:50 AMNicole P (AC PM)the weekly report comes automatically on sundays to your validated primary address - admin gets the full report, then each user in the group gets one about their group
      6/14/13 10:50 AMKevinI would also like to filter who gets the weekly report.  I don't need all techs getting it.
      6/14/13 10:51 AMNicole P (AC PM)kevin, definitely something we're hearing - i don't think we'll quite get to it in the next release, but it's something we want to address. some people want everything in the email, some people (and for ticketing systems) want to format the bare minimum.
      6/14/13 10:51 AMNicole P (AC PM)we've had that request as well - i think there might be a feature request to vote on
      6/14/13 10:51 AMNicole P (AC PM)the exclude from weekly report thingy.
      6/14/13 10:52 AMChris J (AC Dev)i should be working
      6/14/13 10:52 AMChris J (AC Dev)s/i/it/
      6/14/13 10:52 AMChris J (AC Dev)and you would need to post a thwack post - there is no customer support via phone for AC
      6/14/13 10:52 AMNannoifHi Nicole.  Yeah, I've played around a bit with the username / domain thing as mentioned on a post somewhere but had no luck either way. The fact the windows messaging was liking the account was pointing me back to it being and Alert Central thing.
      6/14/13 10:53 AMNannoifNothing extra that might need to be running on our Exchange server or anything like that?
      6/14/13 10:53 AMNicole P (AC PM)if you want to paste the full text of the error with a thwack post we could probably narrow it down - is it failing on the "verifying account information" or "contacting SMTP server" step?
      6/14/13 10:54 AMChris J (AC Dev)yea, make a thwack posting and we can take a look
      6/14/13 10:54 AMJohnAre there any none issues with notifications going to alternate user alert destinations? I have a second notification destination (SMS) configured, but never receive those.
      6/14/13 10:54 AMChris J (AC Dev)might be that you need to try user@yyy.zzz for the username field value if you have not already tried that
      6/14/13 10:54 AMNicole P (AC PM)you do have to validate it, so it's possible that address never got validated?
      6/14/13 10:55 AMNannoifIt's account verification rather than contacting the SMTP.  I'll stick it in Thwack so.  Thansk very much.
      6/14/13 10:55 AMNicole P (AC PM)try the user@domain thing, then let us know what all you've tried on thwack, and what environment you're connecting to. thanks!!
      6/14/13 10:58 AMmarI've had several other unanswered posts. For instance, when an alert is acknowledge, it seems to acknowledge too many instances of the same error in alert central.  See http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/2023 .  Do I need to split this into multiple posts?
      6/14/13 10:58 AMChris J (AC Dev)checking
      6/14/13 10:59 AMChris J (AC Dev)ah, that is in the feature request area
      6/14/13 11:00 AMChris J (AC Dev)we(devs/qa) really only follow the main AC thwack forum
      6/14/13 11:00 AMChris J (AC Dev)the feature request area is more for PM
      6/14/13 11:00 AMNicole P (AC PM)if you are having an issue in a feat req thread feel free to start another in the main forum and link back
      6/14/13 11:00 AMmarAhh.  Good to know.
      6/14/13 11:00 AMNicole P (AC PM)sometimes i send them over to dev but it's easier for them to track in the main forum
      6/14/13 11:00 AMChris J (AC Dev)yea, nicoles comment is good idea
      6/14/13 11:02 AMChris J (AC Dev)i read the FR area but not very often and usually just to see what we might get to implement for the customers
      6/14/13 11:04 AMNicole P (AC PM)fun fact: all of the alert central releases are named after superheroes
      6/14/13 11:04 AMNicole P (AC PM)and it's superhero friday
      6/14/13 11:05 AMChris J (AC Dev)I have Aquaman on today
      6/14/13 11:05 AMNicole P (AC PM)i chose the somewhat non-traditional powerpuff girls
      6/14/13 11:06 AMChris J (AC Dev)is Man of Steel out today?  ok off topic but ...
      6/14/13 11:06 AMNicole P (AC PM)i think so, saw some buzz about the midnight showings last night
      6/14/13 11:07 AMmarIt's still unclear how I go about referencing the field.  What is the syntax?
      6/14/13 11:08 AMNicole P (AC PM)while chris helps mar, anyone have a #1 feature or #1 pet peeve about alert central they'd like to share? (not like group therapy, don't worry)
      6/14/13 11:09 AMChris J (AC Dev)an orion field?
      6/14/13 11:09 AMChris J (AC Dev)ah yes
      6/14/13 11:09 AMNicole P (AC PM)feature request forum top 5: push notification, SMS/paging support, MAPI/OWA (non-IMAP) for Exchange, group alert visibility restrictions, and the surprise intriguing choice of an outage page
      6/14/13 11:11 AMNicole P (AC PM)the top things we're working on other than bugfixing and addressing your issues: validation improvements, upgrade notification, MAPI/OWA for exchange, SMS/paging
      6/14/13 11:13 AMNicole P (AC PM)okay chat, really, doc-umentation is not a bad word.
      6/14/13 11:14 AMNicole P (AC PM)we're also looking at improving our doc-umentation, we've had reports that people aren't finding what they are looking for there. if any of you have feedback there, pass it on
      6/14/13 11:18 AMNicole P (AC PM)feel free to ask help questions, feature questions, anything at anytime
      6/14/13 11:19 AMNicole P (AC PM)while we're waiting for questions...
      6/14/13 11:19 AMNicole P (AC PM)are you guys using alert central in production, still testing it, or just getting started?
      6/14/13 11:21 AMNicole P (AC PM)just to play along at home so i'm not so greedy, our internal teams are still ramping up
      6/14/13 11:21 AMChris J (AC Dev)looks like you want some routing and workflow feature we dont have just yet
      6/14/13 11:22 AMJohnWe're in limited production. We're having some issues with users that are in multiple AD domains, groups - there's a transition going on here that's making it difficult. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.
      6/14/13 11:22 AMChris J (AC Dev)i shared your link with tech lead and we discussed it
      6/14/13 11:22 AMmarThanks!!
      6/14/13 11:23 AMChris J (AC Dev)the AC alert does get the whole email from orion or so i assume.  Other emails (non-orion) are put put into the AC alert
      6/14/13 11:23 AMJohnAlertCentral only supports one AD domain. We're moving in that direction, but not there yet.
      6/14/13 11:24 AMKellie M (AC Team)Anyone have any comments about UI, or, related to doc, anywhere in the UI that little snippets of contextual help would be useful?  Enquiring minds want to know!
      6/14/13 11:24 AMChris J (AC Dev)with enough interest in supporting multiple domains we could add support for it
      6/14/13 11:24 AMmarWe have multipe domains too.
      6/14/13 11:25 AMNicole P (AC PM)multiple domains: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/2042
      6/14/13 11:25 AMNicole P (AC PM)upvote!
      6/14/13 11:25 AMChris J (AC Dev)thx nicole
      6/14/13 11:25 AMChris J (AC Dev)bah
      6/14/13 11:26 AMNicole P (AC PM)ideas forum needs a big search box to make it easier to find ideas
      6/14/13 11:27 AMmarI'm trying to fix a Orion report scheduler issue.  If you can update my posts when you get a chance would be great.  Thx again!
      6/14/13 11:28 AMJohnHave to leave, but this has been helpful, thanks. Hope there are more of these in the future. (I'll save up my ideas, problems).
      6/14/13 11:28 AMRickis there any way that we could send an email to acknowledge the alerts?  If not, is that on the roadmap anywhere?
      6/14/13 11:29 AMNicole P (AC PM)yes! every 6 weeks!
      6/14/13 11:29 AMNicole P (AC PM)you can send an email to acknowledge alerts! you just have to reply with the right keyword and make sure the ACNID stuff is in the subject/body
      6/14/13 11:29 AMRickawesome are the details in the admin guide?
      6/14/13 11:29 AMNicole P (AC PM)the keyword hints should be in the alert email at the bottom
      6/14/13 11:30 AMNicole P (AC PM)SHOULD be in the admin guide, but if not, let us know so we can add it
      6/14/13 11:30 AMNicole P (AC PM)HTML alert emails also have handy buttons that auto-create the reply
      6/14/13 11:31 AMNicole P (AC PM)oh, that reminds me, another common request we're looking into is where the ACNID string is and what characters it uses (i.e. not in the subject, at the start of the subject, body only, both, use [ instead of {, etc)
      6/14/13 11:39 AMRickI will look now....
      6/14/13 11:41 AMNicole P (AC PM)still 50 minutes for anyone to ask questions, if anyone's just joining us or thinks of anything, i promise chris and i are still here
      6/14/13 11:41 AMNicole P (AC PM)and matt and katie
      6/14/13 11:43 AMKatie B (AC Team)We are open to feedback to
      6/14/13 11:43 AMKatie B (AC Team)too*
      6/14/13 11:43 AMRickI dont see any details about what can be manipulated through email.  That would be a nice addition to the guide.  I am also assuming that you can add notes to an alert through the same method
      6/14/13 11:43 AMKatie B (AC Team)We want to make sure that this free product bring value to y'all
      6/14/13 11:44 AMKatie B (AC Team)and we need your help to make it the best it can be
      6/14/13 11:45 AMNicole P (AC PM)yep, you can reply and add notes, reassign, acknowledge, decline
      6/14/13 11:45 AMNicole P (AC PM)effectively same as UI
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)ack = acknowledge
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)ref = refuse
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)rea [name] = reassign to group with name
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)(or user)
      6/14/13 11:47 AMRickOK, I am getting the inafamous "failed to assign and/or notify" error.  My email account for AC works how can I fix this??
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)close = close
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)and
      6/14/13 11:47 AMNicole P (AC PM)note [note note note] = add a note.
      6/14/13 11:48 AMNicole P (AC PM)failed to assign and/or notify - does it mention the 'user is not validated' thing?
      6/14/13 11:48 AMChris J (AC Dev)or that no one is oncall in the calendar
      6/14/13 11:49 AMRickno, in the details of the alert, it just says failed to assign
      6/14/13 11:49 AMRickit is assigned, it just did not notify
      6/14/13 11:49 AMNicole P (AC PM)2 possibilities - policy doesn't reference a user or uses a calendar with nobody in it right now, OR, something with that specific user, depending on how far it got
      6/14/13 11:50 AMRickok, will take a look, thanks
      6/14/13 11:50 AMMattMatheusSorry I'm late, I'm not sure if this has been asked, but is there any way to install Alert Central as an application rather than a VM image?
      6/14/13 11:51 AMChris J (AC Dev)there is only a vm
      6/14/13 11:51 AMChris J (AC Dev)for VmWare and HyperV
      6/14/13 11:51 AMNicole P (AC PM)usually the message before that will give you additional info, too, rick - like "could not find any users"
      6/14/13 11:52 AMMattMatheusI saw the options for VM / Hyper V, but I would prefer to use a physical box.  So if that's not possible, then we'll probably just skip AC
      6/14/13 11:52 AMMattMatheusNo big deal
      6/14/13 11:53 AMChris J (AC Dev)what, someone with a virtual environment
      6/14/13 11:53 AMRicknow that I think back, I never got a validation email......
      6/14/13 11:54 AMNicole P (AC PM)matt, we've seen people deploy to Hyper-V on windows 2012 without special virtual hardware. but, you still have to provision something and manage it, so it's not exactly "free"
      6/14/13 11:54 AMMattMatheusI have a virtual environment, but we've deployed our SW products to physical machines to improve performance
      6/14/13 11:54 AMRickMatt I would take a look, this product is worth the effort.....
      6/14/13 11:54 AMNicole P (AC PM)so i guess in that sense you could deploy a win 2012 box, use hyper-v, and still have it be dedicated, it's just an extra layer
      6/14/13 11:55 AMChris J (AC Dev)matt that makes sense
      6/14/13 11:55 AMChris J (AC Dev)some sw products would be better served on dedicated hw
      6/14/13 11:55 AMRickagreed, but with this one, you cannot even tell it is an appliance....
      6/14/13 11:56 AMMattMatheusHmm, I'll have to see about getting our VM guys to provision something for me
      6/14/13 11:57 AMRickhow can I make sure that the email address to my account is validated??
      6/14/13 11:58 AMChris J (AC Dev)internally we talked about running some service in VmWare but dedicating a whole box for it - extra layer but useful for snapshots and migration to different hw later if needed.
      6/14/13 11:58 AMNicole P (AC PM)the alert history is really the only thing that will reliably tell you that someone isn't validated - looks like "Failed to notify user because the user has no validated notification preference"
      6/14/13 11:58 AMChris J (AC Dev)rick: yea, we are working on that for the next release
      6/14/13 11:58 AMChris J (AC Dev)
      6/14/13 11:59 AMRickis there a way to froce validation?
      6/14/13 11:59 AMRickforce
      6/14/13 11:59 AMChris J (AC Dev)not yet
      6/14/13 11:59 AMChris J (AC Dev)but that is coming
      6/14/13 11:59 AMRickok
      6/14/13 12:00 PMChris J (AC Dev)you can check you inbox and still reply to the original validation email if its there
      6/14/13 12:00 PMRickI never got one, I think that is the root of myu issue
      6/14/13 12:00 PMNicole P (AC PM)or, change your address and change it back :/ no easy way to resend
      6/14/13 12:01 PMChris J (AC Dev)or you can trick AC and change the email address to something else, save, change it back to original address, save and see if new validation message is sent
      6/14/13 12:01 PMChris J (AC Dev)doh
      6/14/13 12:01 PMRickis there a way to have the acknowledged/closed alerts be acknowledged/closed in orion?
      6/14/13 12:02 PMNicole P (AC PM)not automagically closed at least, not right now
      6/14/13 12:02 PMNicole P (AC PM)i believe the acknowledgement info is shared as notes between the two
      6/14/13 12:03 PMRickok. thanks
      6/14/13 12:04 PMNicole P (AC PM)last call for questions - thanks to everyone for showing up to office hours, next one is July 19! same bat time, same bat channel! transcript will be up tomorrow.
      6/14/13 12:04 PMNicole P (AC PM)if we didn't get your question answered or something comes up, feel free to post here in the forum, too
      6/14/13 12:05 PMRickthanks for all the help today.
      6/14/13 12:05 PMNicole P (AC PM)thanks to chris, matt, katie, and Kellie M (AC Team) from the AC team for helping, too.
      6/14/13 12:05 PMNicole P (AC PM)thanks for coming