6.5 Customizing Alerts

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6 Performance Monitoring and Management : 6.5 Customizing Alerts

The PEM server comes with a number of pre-defined alerts that are actively monitoring your servers. You can also create custom alerts that will notify you when resource utilization exceeds user specified thresholds. Each alert uses metrics defined on an alert template. An alert template defines how the server will evaluate the statistics for a resource or metric. The PEM server includes a number of pre-defined alert templates, or you can create custom alert templates. For more information about creating a custom alert template, see Section 6.5.3.
Use the Alerting dialog (shown in Figure 6.17) to define or modify an alert. To open the Alerting dialog, right click on the name of a monitored object in the tree control, and select Alerting… from the context menu, or highlight the object name and select Alerting… from the Management menu.
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The Alert List displays a list of the currently defined alerts for the tree control node from which the dialog was opened.
The fields on the Definition tab (located in the right pane of the dialog) describe the properties of an alert. To define a new alert:
Use the drop-down listbox in the Template field to select an alert template that will specify the resource or metric evaluated by the alert.
Use the fields in the Alert Options box to define the properties of the alert:
Use the spin control in the Frequency field to specify how often the alert should check if the alert conditions are satisfied. When the spinner is set to the default (recommended) value for the selected template, the box next to Default is checked.
Use the radio buttons next to Enabled? to enable or disable the alert; select Yes to enable the alert, and No to disable the alert.
Use the History Retention field to specify the number of days that PEM will store data collected by the alert. By default, PEM will recommend storing historical data for 30 days.
The Comparison Operator and Threshold Values fields work together to define the triggering criteria for the alert. When the value specified in the Threshold Values fields evaluates to greater-than or less-than the system value (as determined by the Comparison Operator), PEM will raise a Low, Medium or High level alert:
Use the Comparison Operator drop-down listbox to select the operator that PEM will use when evaluating the current system values:
Use the Threshold Values fields to specify the values that PEM will compare to the system values to determine if an alert should be raised:
The Parameter Options box contains a table of the parameters that are required by the template; the table displays both parameters for which the system will provide a value and parameters for which the user will provide a value.
Use the fields on the Notification tab (shown in Figure 6.18) to specify how PEM will behave if an alert is raised.
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PEM can send an email notification or execute a script if an alert is triggered or cleared. You can use the SMTP Email Group dialog to define the address of the user or users that will be notified; to access the SMTP Email Group dialog, navigate through the PEM client Management menu to the Server context menu, and select Email Groups....
Use the fields in the Email Notification box to specify the user or user group that will receive an email notification if the alert is triggered at the specified level.
Use the Trap Notification options to configure trap notifications for this alert. Note that you must configure the PEM Server to send notifications to an SNMP trap/notification receiver before notifications can be sent:
Check the Send Trap checkbox to send SNMP traps or SNMP notifications when the state of this alert changes. Check the box next to Send Trap and select the v1 radio button to send SNMP v1 traps, or the v2 radio button to send SNMP v2 notifications to the receiver.
Use the Low Alert, Med Alert and High Alert checkboxes to specify the level of alert that will trigger the trap. For example, if you check the box next to High Alert, a notification will be sent when an alert with a high severity level is triggered.
Check the box next to Submit passive service check result to Nagios to instruct the PEM server to notify Nagios network-alerting software when the alert is triggered or cleared. For detailed information about configuring and using Nagios with PEM, please see the online help text available through the PEM client.
Use the fields in the Script Execution box to (optionally) define a script that will be executed if an alert is triggered, and to specify details about the script execution.
Check the box next to Execute Script to instruct PEM to execute the provided script if an alert is triggered.
Check the box next to Execute on alert cleared to instruct PEM to execute the provided script when the situation that triggered the alert has been resolved.
Use the radio buttons next to Execute script on to indicate that the script should execute on the PEM Server or the Monitored Server.
Provide the script that PEM should execute in the Code field. You can provide a batch/shell script, or SQL code. Within the script, you can use placeholders for the following:
When you have defined the alert attributes in the fields on the right side of the dialog, click the Add/Change button to add the new alert to the Alert List. To exit the Alerting dialog and save any changes to the Alert List, click Ok; to exit without saving additions or modifications to the list, select Cancel.
For detailed information about using the Alerting dialog, please see the PEM client’s online help text.
PEM provides alert templates that allow you to use the Alerting dialog to create an alert that will trigger when an ERROR or WARNING statement is written to a log file for a specific server or agent. To open the Alerting dialog, highlight the name of the server or agent in the PEM client Object browser tree control, and select Alerting... from the Management menu.
To create an alert that will notify you of ERROR or WARNING messages in the log file for a specific server, create an alert that uses one of the following alert templates:
To create an alert that will notify you of ERROR or WARNING messages for a specific agent, create an alert that uses one of the following alert templates:
[timestamp] PROCESS_SERVICE_CHECK_RESULT; host_name ; service_name ; service_status ;
timestamp is the date and time that the alert was triggered.
host_name is the name of the server or agent.
service_name is the name of the alert.
service_status is the numeric service status value:
0 if the service status is OK
1 if the service status is WARNING
2 if the service status is CRITICAL
3 if the service status is UNKNOWN
The Alert Templates dialog (shown in Figure 6.19) provides an interface that allows you to define a custom alert template or view and modify the definitions of existing alert templates. To open the Alert Template dialog, select the Alert Templates... menu option from the PEM client Management menu.
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To view or modify an existing template, highlight the template name in the Alert Templates list in the left pane. Fields on the Definition tab (located in the right pane) specify general information about the template:
Use the Name field to specify a name for the new alert template.
Use the Description field to provide a description of the alert template.
Use the Target type drop-down listbox to select the type of object that will be the focus of the alert.
Use the Applies to server drop-down listbox to specify the server to which the alert will be applied; you can specify a single server type, or ALL.
Use the Default Check Frequency field to specify the default number of minutes between alert executions. This value specifies how often the server will invoke the SQL code specified in the definition and compare the result to the threshold value specified in the template.
Use the Default History Retention field to specify the number of days that the result of the alert execution will be stored on the PEM server.
Use the Threshold Unit field to specify the unit type of the threshold value.
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Use the fields on the Probe Dependency tab (see Figure 6.20) to specify the names of probes referred to in the SQL query specified on the SQL tab:
Use the Probes drop-down listbox to select from a list of the available probes; highlight a probe name, and click the Add button to add the probe to the list of probes used by the alert template. To remove one or more probes from the selected probes list, highlight the probe name(s), and click the Remove button.

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Use fields on the Parameters tab (see Figure 6.21) to define the parameters that will be used in the SQL code specified on the SQL tab:
Use the Name field to specify the parameter name.
Use the Data Type drop-down listbox to specify the type of parameter.
Use the Unit field to specify the type of unit specified by the parameter.
When you've defined a new parameter, click the Add/Change button to save the definition and add the parameter to the parameter list.
To modify an existing parameter definition, highlight a parameter name in the list, modify the parameter values in the fields at the bottom of the tab, and click Add/Change to preserve the changes. To remove one or more parameter definitions, highlight the parameter name(s) and click the Remove button.

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Use the SQL tab (shown in Figure 6.22) to provide the text of the SQL query that the server will invoke when executing the alert. The SQL query will provide the result against which the threshold value is compared; if the alert result deviates from the specified threshold value, an alert will be raised.
Within the query, parameters defined on the Parameters tab should be referenced sequentially by the variable param_x, where x indicates the position of the parameter definition within the parameter list. For example, param_1 refers to the first parameter in the parameter list, param_2 refers to the second parameter in the parameter list, and so on.
Click the Add/Change button to save the alert template definition and add the template name to the Alert Templates list; then click OK to save your work and exit.
After saving a custom alert template, you can use the Alerting dialog to define an alert based on the template. For more information about creating a custom alert, see Section 6.5.1.

6 Performance Monitoring and Management : 6.5 Customizing Alerts

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