0 Replies Latest reply on Oct 2, 2013 5:15 PM by nicole pauls

    Hey, Listen! Alert Central Office Hours Chat Transcript from Friday, September 13

    nicole pauls

      Hey everyone, here's the transcript from the most recent Office Hours.


      Next office hours is October 24  - a Thursday instead of Friday. For the latest schedule you can always check out this thread: Hey, Listen! Alert Central Office Hours Schedule & Transcripts


      Highlights from this Office Hours include lots of people interested in the recent Alert Central 1.1 upgrade. If you haven't yet filled out our survey about Alert Central features, be sure to check out this thread: (Please!) Take our survey on Alert Central features - what's most important to you?. And, if you're a user of On Call calendars you might check out this thread on feedback: Have you worked with on call calendars? Got lost, confused, or wish for a feature?.


      I've marked everyone from the AC team with "(AC" so you can identify who we are.


      Katie (AC Team)Hi Bob
      Nicole (AC PM)hooray!
      Katie (AC Team)Hello Everyone
      Katie (AC Team)Sorry for the delay
      dclickhello! Glad you guys got this working now.
      Bobha ha I'm not Bob
      Katie (AC Team)Hello everyone
      Katie (AC Team)welcome to office hours
      Katie (AC Team)sorry for the delay
      Katie (AC Team)feel free to start asking questions
      Nicole (AC PM)I haven't posted yet, we were waiting for the final changes to go out, but version 1.1 is officially released and live I'll post on thwack in a bit with the announcement.
      BobI have a question, does the integration between AC and Orion use port 17777?
      Nicole (AC PM)it's in the user guide - checking (it uses SWIS)
      KarlHave there been any significant changes to AC in the past 3 years (when we first implemented)?
      Bob17778 then thx
      dclickI would ask that we get a bit more detail on the email rule configuraiton in relation to the other Orion products - for example - perhaps examples showing what to configure in the Advanced Alert Manager of the Orion product and what we can do with "variables" in AC.
      Nicole (AC PM)i don't think that level of detail is in the video - but if you raise an alert with advanced alert manager, it automatically goes to alert central (once the link is set up)
      dclickthe issue we have is the alert from alert central is useless. "some node has a problem". what good is that?
      Nicole (AC PM)ah. the other half of that is that any fields you have in the alert from orion should be pushed to the "original orion alert" area in AC, and you can use those fields for configuring escalation policies. and i believe you can customize the alert text on the orion side. there might be some good orion advanced alert manager training we could pass on
      dclickTHAT would be asome.
      Nicole (AC PM)karl, AC hasn't been around for 3 years
      Seth:thumbs up:
      Nicole (AC PM)patrick, according to the doc the orion comm uses 443.
      Nicole (AC PM)i believe it's acserver:443 <-> orionserver:17778.
      KarlOK. Maybe it just seems like 3 years. I'm looking to see if there has been anything signficant done since we purchased it quite some time ago.  I'm really unhappy with the way it manages alert distribution compared to, say, WUG.
      DanSmartStill looking for the ability to capture key information in an incoming email using reg ex backreferences, then let us create subject lines and message bodies using a mixture of captured backreferences and fixed text.  The simple start reg ex and stop reg ex just doesn't do it.
      Nicole (AC PM)Karl, maybe you mean LEM?
      Nicole (AC PM)or SAM?
      KarlTo Dan's point - the problem is having to create 1 alert (and escalation logic and distribution logic) for every variation.
      Nicole (AC PM)ah, okay.
      Nicole (AC PM)make sure to upvote the feature request on the backreferences - but we're looking at what we can do to help provide more detail in the alert emails in some nearer term updates to AC
      EmilI'm new to AC. For some reason, I'm still getting email alerts from AC even thought I'm not the On Call person assigned. Is this a normal behavior?
      Nicole (AC PM)i know the orion team is working on improvements to how alerts are generated from orion. when it comes to AC, it depends on how granular you want to make the configuration for assignment and escalation.
      Nicole (AC PM)in AC, each group has an escalation policy, so there's really only one per group
      Nicole (AC PM)but certainly your distribution/routing rules could get complex if you had one source sending you all kinds of alerts.
      EmilI removed all the groups in On Call Schedule to test. I'm still getting an email when Orion alert is triggered.
      Nicole (AC PM)maybe your orion source is configured to notify a different group? or, it's passing through the on call notification policy to the default?
      clmattesonI've had this same problem emil is referencing in the beta release
      EmilI have version installed.
      clmattesonemails get sent to people not on call, text messages get sent, in one case, quite some time after I had closed the alert.
      clmattesonmy web console crashes daily
      DanSmartAt the very least, store the captured text from the email in a variable, and allow the subject line to be a combo of fixed text, and captured text.  If I can carve out  time, I may reformat incoming email using Procmail recipes.  But what a pain.
      EmilIs there an RSS feed i can subscribe to to find out when a new release is out for AC?
      Nicole (AC PM)we just added upgrade notifications to AC
      Nicole (AC PM)so if you upgrade to 1.1.0 you'll get notifications in the product and the weekly emails
      Nicole (AC PM)going forward
      Nicole (AC PM)if you're on the beta, definitely upgrade.
      clmattesonI'm on the 1.1 beta, I'd have to downgrade
      Katie (AC Team)1.1.0 just got released last night
      Katie (AC Team)you can grab the upgrade file on the site
      Katie (AC Team)http://www.solarwinds.com/alertcentral/alert-central-community-and-support.aspx
      Nicole (AC PM)i'm just updating thwack now with the refs to 1.1.0 final - it was late last night when everything got switched over
      clmattesonok cool!
      Nicole (AC PM)hmm, i thought there was a feature request related to using the regexes to extract info for the alert emails, but i'm still digging
      Nicole (AC PM)here we go: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/2177
      Nicole (AC PM)capture information from email into variables
      clmattesonwhere is this feature request page that was mentioned earlier?
      Nicole (AC PM)the general feature request page is: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/tools_tht/alert-central/alert-central-feature-requests
      clmattesonupdate installed, I feel better already; I just got four alert emails that were from alerts from last night..... the console is running.  Thank you!
      Nicole (AC PM)yay!
      Nicole (AC PM)if you see the "update available" banner that tells you an old version is available, just dismiss it and it'll fix itself.
      clmattesontime of alert says this morning, but the timestamp from NPM is last night, we'll just close those out.
      clmattesonyeah I noticed it was doing that in the beta
      Nicole (AC PM)yeah - one more time
      Nicole (AC PM)it will be a satisfying click of the dismiss button, not a disappointing one
      Nicole (AC PM)anyone else have AC questions? we can pepper you with some of our favorites if nobody needs help
      clmattesonI'll hold you to that
      Nicole (AC PM)so, out of curiosity, for anyone out there, what is the most important feature of alert central for you?
      Nicole (AC PM)on call calendars? auto escalation? replying to alerts via email? having alerts all in one place? shoveling snow guy icon?
      Nicole (AC PM)... something else?
      Nicole (AC PM)not everyone all at once
      dclickI like having the on-call schedule, but it seems quirky to me - perhaps I need to revisit it, but if I put someone on call for a month, and set a recurring, it only shows the event for one day, not everyday.
      dclickif I remove the "recur" option, it shows them everyday.
      Nicole (AC PM)we have had some requests/discussion around the recurring on call stuff, it seems quirky.
      Nicole (AC PM)or, counter-intuitive perhaps
      Nicole (AC PM)i guess that leads me to: feel free to also tell us what would make Alert Central awesome-r, if you think it's missing something critical (we discussed the extraction/email customization which is a popular topic)
      Nicole (AC PM)...and now the on call recurring calendar, which i think some people on thwack would agree with
      Nicole (AC PM)Top 5 feature requests on thwack right now: Push Notification app for mobile devices, support for MAPI (we just released support for EWS, which should help), support for paging/SMS without using email, limiting visibility of alerts to only your group, and being able to create/edit an outage page from within AC
      jwilson2013What is new in AC v1.1? Is there a real need to upgrade?
      Nicole (AC PM)http://thwack.solarwinds.com/docs/DOC-171085 has a what's new in it - let me bottom line
      Nicole (AC PM)* upgrade notification
      Nicole (AC PM)* support for exchange web services (not just IMAP/POP)
      Nicole (AC PM)* tons of improvements to how validation is done for email addresses (including manually overriding)
      Nicole (AC PM)* lots of bugfixes
      Nicole (AC PM)for the bugfixes alone, it may be worth upgrading.
      Nicole (AC PM)the session timeout got bumped from 10 to 60 minutes which is a popular one
      Nicole (AC PM)and email replies to notes were getting truncated at 60 chars
      jwilson2013I was thinking the exchange web services is reason enough.
      Nicole (AC PM)yeah, we heard that for some people AC was the ONLY reason they had IMAP/POP on
      jwilson2013How is the upgrade? Do we just install over the old appliance or is there more to it?
      Nicole (AC PM)it's a zip of an ISO you download and mount ot the appliance, then use the appliance management interface to scan and update
      Nicole (AC PM)not too bad
      Nicole (AC PM)someone did it during chat earlier, took about 5 minutes
      jwilson2013sounds simple enough
      Nicole (AC PM)there's a full PDF in the download, or some quick instructions in the 'how to upgrade' on the page i linked (or a few other places)
      Nicole (AC PM)10 minutes for more questions or thoughts!
      FernandoSOrry all, I'd just arrived at he chat, not sure if somebody already asked this question...
      Nicole (AC PM)our fingers can use the exercise
      FernandoI'd like to know if there are management reports at Alert Central, that can be used to check the average ticket duration per agent and per type.
      FernandoThe idea is to use this reports as goals for the team
      Nicole (AC PM)there aren't yet - but if there are reports in particular that you would like to see, please let us know what they are - we're discussing what dashboards and reports would look like in AC and trying to figure out where to fit them in
      Nicole (AC PM)we do have the "weekly report" but it's very group-based
      Nicole (AC PM)though the per-user weekly report may have those statistics for each user
      Nicole (AC PM)it's pretty limited right now, so take a look at what's there, think about what you'd like, and either start a discussion or file a feature request (or tell us directly) about what you'd like to see, it would be most helpful
      Fernandobasic ones: ticket duration (per agent, per group, per alert type), on a time basis (day, week, month)
      Nicole (AC PM)i know "time to close" per user/group is one thing we show in the weeklies, so we were on the right track
      Nicole (AC PM)just needs more granularity and time
      Nicole (AC PM)anything else?
      Nicole (AC PM)would you consider alert type the source of the alert or the description of the alert?
      Nicole (AC PM)also - would you like to see it in a dashboard, or in more of a traditional PDF/HTML report type thing?
      Fernandowell, that a good question. But I'll assume that both are desired. So based in the top sources or top description I can pursue the most painfull alerts...
      Nicole (AC PM)thanks, took some notes on that one.
      Fernandodashboard, for sure
      Nicole (AC PM)awesome
      ClintDoes AC work with Lotus Notes?  I haven't had any success with it.
      Nicole (AC PM)it should - we use IMAP/POP to receive the alert emails, then standard SMTP to send outbound
      Nicole (AC PM)if you can't get it to work, be sure to post on the forum
      Fernandoplease let us know if/when this report feature will be available. We'd tested the product - it's fine - but without management reports I feel that something's missing...
      ClintActually I did post, about a week ago ... no response ...
      Nicole (AC PM)we'll keep updating our "what we're working on" and make sure there are feature requests tracking
      Nicole (AC PM)ah, i see it
      Nicole (AC PM)i'll check with our dev team, clint
      ClintOK, thx.
      Katie (AC Team)Thank you all for coming out today! We will post the entire convo from today's session.Our next office hours will be help Thursday, October 24 at the same time 10:30 CT to Noon. If you have any questions between know and then feel free to post them on thwack and we will get them answer ASAP
      Nicole (AC PM)thanks, all!
      Fernandoyou're welcome