0 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2014 4:59 PM by nicole pauls

    Hey, Listen! Alert Central Office Hours Chat Transcript from Thursday, February 27

    nicole pauls

      Here's the transcript from Thursday, February 27th's Alert Central Office Hours session. As always, check out the schedule here: Hey, Listen! Alert Central Office Hours Schedule & Transcripts. We'll put up a Thwack event over in the Community Events, Webcasts & Training space and you can sign up for a handy reminder email by filling out this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9TNQKD3


      Highlights from this Office Hours include some good questions about the Alert Central Roadmap & What We're Working On (which I'll be updating shortly).


      I've marked the AC Team members below with (AC Team), (PM), and (Dev), so they are easy to distinguish. If you didn't get your question answered or have a new question after reading through, feel free to post it here in the Alert Central forum!


      Katie B (AC Team)Hi Charlie
      Katie B (AC Team)What brings you to office hours?
      charlieI was looking forward to the discussion.
      Katie B (AC Team)well you are a little early
      Katie B (AC Team)
      Katie B (AC Team)but the discussion will start soon
      charlieWe are implementing AC now and I wanted to ensure we are doing everything we can.
      Katie B (AC Team)this is the perfect place to get answers
      Katie B (AC Team)we will have folks from dev and PM
      Katie B (AC Team)so before the jump on do you mind if I ask you some questions?
      charlieNot at all
      Katie B (AC Team)When did you download AC?
      charlieJust this month
      Katie B (AC Team)What got you interested in it? and where did you find out about it?
      charlieWe recently implemented Orion and found it within Orion's web console.
      Katie B (AC Team)and what is the need you are looking to fill with AC or what made you think "this might be useful"?
      charlieWe have been thinking about hiring a NOC team to monitor our systems for non-working hours.
      Katie B (AC Team)and would this be a replacement
      Katie B (AC Team)or so you could hire a smaller team?
      Katie B (AC Team)or none of the above?
      charlieThis would be used as a tool for the team
      JohnIs this a free or supported product?
      Katie B (AC Team)This is a free product
      Katie B (AC Team)these office hour meetings are time to get support (other than just asking on the forum)
      JohnGotcha, thanks
      KevinTwe are starting to run AC and move from the advanced alerts. my question is - Is there a tool or script to convert the advanced alerts to aAC
      KevinI would like to be able to configure AC to send a confirmation email out when an alert is acknowledged.  For example to my help desk software (also Solarwinds) where the alerts originate.  Any plans for this?
      Katie B (AC Team)great question KevinT the team is checking
      Nicole (AC PM)Kevin, confirmation replies is actually a feature we're adding in our next release
      Nicole (AC PM)though that's in response to a confirmation you send - e.g. if Kevin acknowledges, AC will respond that an acknowledgement was sent.
      olharegarding advanced alerts, you mean somehow move existent ones to AC?
      Nicole (AC PM)also, we're adding the ability to copy someone on alert updates, though it'll be manual at first (so you could add Kevin as a 'subscriber' to an alert and he'll see all the updates even if someone else acknowledges)
      KevinT@olha yes that is correct move existing adv alerts to AC
      Nicole (AC PM)with the advanced alerts, you should be able to set up the Orion<->AC connection and by default they are shared/published to AC
      Nicole (AC PM)but that's for alerts now forward
      Katie B (AC Team)So Charlie, you are looking to implement AC to help your NOC team, will you just be sending orion alerts or alerts from other systems as well?
      charliethe majority of alerts will be from Orion, although there are a few one offs
      Katie B (AC Team)how far are you in the implementation process?
      charliewe have configured the "email alert sources" option and now I am wondering if it provides more detail...
      charlieand have played with Orion emailing alerts to AC vise the "configure Orion Alert Sources" option
      Nicole (AC PM)with the orion alert sources over email, you do get the original orion alert fields to use by name; though with email you can do some basic pattern matching
      Nicole (AC PM)also, with an orion alert source, stuff like acknowledgements and notes get shared back and forth
      charlieThe only thing I am running into is the alert email doesn't show the original alert
      JohnNicole -  is there an 'Alert Central Roadmap' available that's more recent than last May?
      Nicole (AC PM)ah, yeah, you'd have to make sure the outgoing alert includes all the important details so they get to AC
      Nicole (AC PM)i'm sure there's an emoticon for embarrassment, which is how i feel when you point out the roadmap hasn't been updated it's on my to-do list to make sure it gets updated soon.
      Nicole (AC PM)right now we're working on spiffing up the recurring on call scheduling since it's so confusing
      Johnok, thanks
      Nicole (AC PM)also the CC option, the subscription, adding an option to include the original alert email
      Nicole (AC PM)past that, we're looking at supporting SMS gateways natively rather than just using email with the carriers
      Nicole (AC PM)and some dashboard/reporting stuff to get a higher level view of what's going on with alerts
      Nicole (AC PM)lots of small stuff.
      charlieAwesome, SMS has been an issue with us too. When is the projected release date
      Nicole (AC PM)this release coming in march will include some fixes to issues with SMS via email, but SMS gateway support sometime in the next couple of months
      JohnI'm looking forward to that too. We have multiple Internet paths, but still on have rare instances of SMS  email gateways being unreachable (last week)
      charliewhat about adding the option to include the original alert within the email
      Nicole (AC PM)that's coming in the next few weeks
      Nicole (AC PM)mid-march
      Nicole (AC PM)you will be able to include it inline, or attached rich/HTML
      charlieThat is great!
      Nicole (AC PM)going backward to KevinT's question about getting current orion alerts pulled into AC - we'll have to do some digging to see if it's possible, we've not had to adventure in that direction to date.
      charlieOne other issue I was running into that could be a fault on my part is when I imported groups via Active Directory AC would regularly drop emails.
      KevinTThank You Nicole..
      charlieWhen I recreated the groups manually I had no issues.
      Nicole (AC PM)strange
      charlieI re synced the users within the imported groups and as one would user began receiving emails another would not receive emails
      Oleg (AC Dev)charlie:  Did you post this issue on thwack ?
      charlieI did not. I suppose I should.
      Katie B (AC Team)Bringing it up here is good as well, but posting it helps us document
      Katie B (AC Team)
      Oleg (AC Dev)Interesting case, we need to check this one. Could you post this with attached logs?
      TerranceKennedyAny word on the EWS fix?
      Nicole (AC PM)alas, EWS. the only issue we could find will be rolled up in our next release, related to credentials, but MS uses the same exception for everything so it's hard for us to tell environmental issues vs. credentials (possible bug) vs. something we haven't tracked down yet.
      TerranceKennedySadFace [Emotion=emsad.gif]
      Nicole (AC PM)i can give you the hotfix if you'd like to try it out and see if that's your issue (a couple of people have tried it with mixed results). we're also hoping to document our troubleshooting steps to see if we can rule out certain paths and get to a better conclusion
      Nicole (AC PM)also, we're looking at implementing direct MAPI support as an alternative
      Nicole (AC PM)since EWS has proven to be so much fun
      TerranceKennedyI'm sure it can't hurt
      TerranceKennedyMAPI would be awesome [Emotion=emteeth.gif]
      MarkDoes anyone know if you can modify the email alert to add more information? I would like to include the same information in the email to match what would normally come from Orion in the body of the message.
      Nicole (AC PM)no - but we are adding an option to include the original orion alert in the body
      Nicole (AC PM)we're looking at ways we could template-ize the emails downstream, though
      Nicole (AC PM)including the original alert is a stopgap to at least get the details in
      Nicole (AC PM)yeah - within the next few weeks
      Katie B (AC Team)what other questions do you all have?
      charlieFor the Thwack post we discussed earlier, which logs were you speaking of? The logback-config.xml?
      Nicole (AC PM)instructions for collecting logs - http://thwack.solarwinds.com/docs/DOC-170983
      TerranceKennedyNicole do you need my SWID for the patch?
      Nicole (AC PM)going to send you a thwack message
      TerranceKennedyokay cool and thank you
      Nicole (AC PM)sent
      Katie B (AC Team)For those who just joined, thanks for stopping by, is there anything we can help you with?
      DavidStumphIs there a way we can see what discussions have already been had so we don't re-ask questions?
      Katie B (AC Team)unfortunately there is not. Unless I just copy and paste everything back it (which I think would be too much to read) but feel free to ask whatever you need
      Katie B (AC Team)it is okay if we duplicated questions
      Katie B (AC Team)that is also a signal to us that an issue is more important if more people ask
      DavidStumphOK - the last few patches to alert central have been mostly bug fixes, are there any planned feature enhancements for the next version and is there a tentative time frame for such a release?
      Nicole (AC PM)yes! the next release includes a few features and is scheduled for mid-March
      DavidStumphI was really looking for the ability to use SSL Certificates from a CA
      Nicole (AC PM)ah
      Nicole (AC PM)that's not in the very next release, for sure, but is something we're looking at
      Nicole (AC PM)generally we are releasing at minimum once every 3 months, but usually about once a month. mixture of bugfixes, small features, and larger features.
      DavidStumphgood, thats pretty important to us
      Katie B (AC Team)Just for my own curiosity...Is that issue keeping you from using AC right now? Or will it stop you from using it in the future?
      DavidStumphis there a chance that we will be able to specify in the alert sources to deliver 1 alert to two groups at once
      DavidStumphwe are using AC right now, it is the only product that comes close to what we need
      Nicole (AC PM)there's a good feature request for that on thwack that we're looking at implementing in the short term, though not imminently
      Katie B (AC Team)what were your requirement for an alerting product?
      Nicole (AC PM)the suggestion was to allow a routing rule to send to another group's policy in the interim to being able to send one alert 2 places
      DavidStumphanything with alert logic? supress multiple online/offline alerts from the same device for like a specified period of time?
      DavidStumphI have just been adding people to all the groups we have to get around the lack of that feature - it causes a ton more in alerts for people, but it makes sure they see what they need
      Nicole (AC PM)there's some de-duplication and suppression feature requests up, too. we'll get there, though it'll be a bit.
      DavidStumphI have seen those request, just was curious on the timeframe, if there isnt one now.. thats ok
      Nicole (AC PM)ah, good.
      Nicole (AC PM)it seems like routing to multiple groups is coming up more and more, so that'll probably be in the mix in the next few months.
      Nicole (AC PM)hey david, how did you find AC? are you already a solarwinds customer?
      charlieThe last option while configuring groups, "If all notification steps... have been exhausted:" allows me to mark the as "acknowledged" or "closed". Can I route an alert to a group and keep the alert status... active?
      Nicole (AC PM)not currently, but that's the suggestion we've got on being able to route to another group
      Nicole (AC PM)like a group escalation
      DavidStumphsorry - I got disconnected from the chat
      DavidStumphwere there any responses after "I have seen those request, just was curious on the timeframe, if there isnt one now.. thats ok"
      Nicole (AC PM)just a couple - i said "ah, good" and "it seems like routing to multiple groups is coming up more and more, so that'll probably be in the mix in the next few months"
      Nicole (AC PM)then asked how you found AC
      DavidStumphI like AC overall
      DavidStumphintuitive to setup alerts
      DavidStumphit actually works once you get decent alerting rules in
      DavidStumphI had a question though
      Nicole (AC PM)are you a solarwinds customer already or did you discover AC some other way?
      DavidStumphI knew of solarwinds from their TFTP product
      Nicole (AC PM)ah
      DavidStumphused it a number of times to upload firmware to routers
      DavidStumphI saw alert central after I searched around for alert management products (there is next to nothing else like this on the market, everything else seems tailored strictly for on-call escalation)
      DavidStumphare alert templates something that will be changing in a soon upcoming release?
      Nicole (AC PM)meaning, the email messages?
      DavidStumphI would like to be able to better sort and display the email messages
      DavidStumphyes - so the AC-Notify and AC-assign status in the subject would be nice to modify to either remove or insert what product (source) the alert is coming from
      DavidStumphwould be nice to pick or modify what info is shown in the body
      Nicole (AC PM)we're hoping to template-ize the messages so you can customize what appears where, in the very short term the only change we're making is adding the ability to include the original alert email so you can at least get back to the details.
      DavidStumphor show a list of everymember who has received the alert, right now it only shows one persons name (at random)
      DavidStumphthats very nice Nicole
      DavidStumphthat was next on my conversation
      DavidStumphsometimes if the rule wasnt setup to parse the message properly - you would be left in limbo not knowing what device it came from or what the detailed issue was if it made it to a group
      DavidStumphas if it got delivered to a group, it doesnt show in the alerts section
      DavidStumphwhen searching
      DavidStumphat the console
      Nicole (AC PM)yeah, we're including the option to include it inline or attached, in case you also need to preserve the original alert formatting
      DavidStumphthank you - thats a huge thing
      TerranceKennedyI don't know if there is a feature request to search for alerts that are no longer active or have the option to auto close inactive alerts. \n\nBut that would ROCK!
      TerranceKennedyI can put one in if it's not on the list
      Nicole (AC PM)hmm - good question. you can filter with the console to only show alerts that are assigned and then use a timeframe to only show older stuff... there's no automated way though.
      Nicole (AC PM)can't find a related feature request
      DavidStumphis there a way to have all alerts show in the console window? (Assigned and unassigned?)
      TerranceKennedyOkay so I will create a feature request for that then
      DavidStumphif someone is getting alerts via email, they dont apear to show in the console, its like only alerts that are not handled by a rule, are shown
      DavidStumphwould help with searching for trends in alerts
      Nicole (AC PM)default is 'all - except closed' which should show acknowledged and new (shovel and fire)
      Nicole (AC PM)but i think it may default to My Alerts rather than All Alerts
      Nicole (AC PM)which you can toggle at the top
      DavidStumphok - I will look into that
      Nicole (AC PM)the 'group by' should let you filter or change view based on different fields (like all from a certain source, for example)
      DavidStumphI have seen that
      Nicole (AC PM)and the timeframe and 'my alert' vs. 'all alert' is above that
      DavidStumphit just seemed like I was missing some alerts in the console if it was routed to a mailbox - it would be seen by someone, it just wasnt showing with all the other alerts.... it might be me though
      DavidStumphnot a deal breaker, it was just odd
      DavidStumphin all - AC has saved us from our crazy exchange rules that were very limiting - that is how we managed alerts from the 100+ companies (and all their equipment) we receive alerts from  (We are an MSP)
      Nicole (AC PM)nice.
      Nicole (AC PM)david, can we ask you some questions about your AC offline? (i found your firefighting thwack ID ;))
      Nicole (AC PM)also - just a couple minutes left if anyone else has last minute questions!
      Katie B (AC Team)Alright everyone, thank you so much for stopping by today
      Katie B (AC Team)if you have any questions that didn't get answered here, feel free to post them on the forum and we will get them answered for you
      DavidStumphSure, I would like to be involved with the AC product, we have it in live deployment
      Katie B (AC Team)Thanks David! We will be in contact
      DavidStumphhave a nice day
      Katie B (AC Team)you too