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PEM continually monitors registered servers, and compares performance metrics against pre-defined and user-specified thresholds that constitute good or acceptable performance for each statistic. Any deviation from an acceptable threshold value triggers an alert. An alert is a system-defined or user-defined set of conditions that PEM compares to the system statistics. Alerts call your attention to conditions on registered servers that require your attention.
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PEM also provides an interface that allows you to create customized alerts. A custom alert 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 6.5.2.3.
Use the Dashboards menu (on the Monitoring tab) to access the Alerts Dashboard. The Alerts Dashboard (see Figure 6.31) displays a summary of the active alerts and the status of each alert:
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The Alerts Dashboard header displays the date and time that the dashboard was last updated, and the number of current alerts.
The Alerts Overview section displays a graphic representation of the active alerts, as well as a count of the current high, low and medium alerts. The vertical bar on the left of the graph provides the count of the alerts displayed in each column. Hover over a bar to display the alert count for the selected alert severity in the upper-right hand corner of the graph.
The Alert Details table provides a list of the alerts that are currently triggered. The entries are prioritized from high-severity to lower-severity; each entry includes information that will allow you to identify the alert and recognize the condition that triggered the alert. Click the name of an alert to review detailed information about the alert definition.
The Alert Errors table displays configuration-related errors (eg. accidentally disabling a required probe, or improperly configuring an alert parameter). You can use the information provided in the Error Message column to identify and resolve the conflict that is causing the error.
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Figure 6.32 - Customizing a table.
Use fields on the Personalize chart configuration dialog (Figure 6.32) to provide your display preferences:
Use the Auto Refresh field to specify the number of seconds between updates of the data displayed in the table or chart.
If applicable, use the Download as field to indicate if you would like a chart to be downloaded as a JPEG image or a PNG image.
If applicable, use the Colours selectors to specify the display colors that will be used on a chart.
If applicable, set the Show Acknowledged Alerts switch to Yes indicate that you would like the table to display alerts that you have acknowledged with a checkbox in the Ack'ed column. Set the field to No to indicate that the table should hide any acknowledged alerts. The switch acts as a toggle; acknowledged alerts are not purged from the table content until the time specified in the alert definition passes.
To save your customizations, click the Save icon (a check mark) in the upper-right corner; to delete any previous changes and revert to the default values, click the Delete icon. The Save and Delete drop-down menus allow you to specify if your preferences should be applied to All Dashboards, or to a selected server or database. Use the Close icon to close the Personalize chart configuration dialog without preserving your changes.
Use the PEM Client's Manage Alerts tab to define, copy, or manage alerts. To open the Manage Alerts tab (shown in Figure 6.33), select Manage Alerts from the Management menu.
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Use the Quick Links toolbar to open dialogs and tabs that will assist you when managing alerts:
Click Copy Alerts to open the Copy Alert Configuration dialog and copy an alert definition. For more information about copying an alert, see Section 6.5.2.4.
Click Alert Templates to open the Alert Template tab, and modify or create an alert template. For more information about creating an alert template, see Section 6.5.2.2.
Click Email Groups to open the Email Groups tab, and modify or create an email group. For more information about creating an email group, see Section 6.5.2.6.
Click Server Configurations to open the Server configuration dialog and review or modify server configuration settings. For more information about managing server configurations, see Section 4.1.
Use the table in the Alerts section of the Manage Alerts tab to create new alerts or manage existing alerts.
You can use the Alert Templates tab (shown in Figure 6.34) to define a custom alert template or view the definitions of existing alert templates. To open the Alert Templates tab, select the Manage Alerts... menu option from the Management menu. When the Manage Alerts tab opens, select Alert Templates from the Quick Links toolbar.
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Use the Show System Template drop-down listbox to filter the alert templates that are displayed in the Alert Templates table. Use the listbox to select a level of the PEM hierarchy to view all of the templates for the selected level.
To define a new alert template, use the Show System Template drop-down listbox to select None, and click the Add icon (+) located in the upper-right corner of the alert template table. The alert template editor opens as shown in Figure 6.35.
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Use fields on the General tab to specify general information about the template:
Use the Template 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 type (EDB Postgres Advanced Server or PostgreSQL) to which the alert will be applied; you can specify a single server type, or ALL.
Use the 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.
Use the 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.
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Use the fields on the Probe Dependency tab (see Figure 6.36) 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 a probe from the selected probes list, highlight the probe name, and click the Delete icon.
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Use fields on the Parameters tab (see Figure 6.37) to define the parameters that will be used in the SQL code specified on the SQL tab. Click the Add icon (+) and:
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.
Use the SQL tab (shown in Figure 6.38) 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.
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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 Save icon to save the alert template definition and add the template name to the Alert Templates list. After saving a custom alert template, you can use the Alerting dialog to define an alert based on the template.
To view the definition of an existing template (including PEM pre-defined alert templates), use the Show System Template drop-down listbox to select the type of object monitored. When you select the object type, the Alert Templates table will display the currently defined alert templates that correspond with that object type.
Highlight a Template Name in the list, and click the Edit icon (at the left end of the row) to review the template definition.
Use the tabs on the Alert Templates dialog to view detailed information about the alert template:
To delete an alert template, highlight the template name in the alert templates table, and click the Delete icon. The alert history will persist for the length of time specified in the History Retention field in the template definition.
The Manage Alerts tab displays a table of alerts that are defined on the object currently selected in the PEM client tree control. You can use the Alerts table to modify an existing alert, or to create a new alert (see Figure 6.39).
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To open the alert editor and create a new alert, click the Add icon (+) in the upper-right corner of the table. The editor opens as shown in Figure 6.40.
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Use the fields on the General tab to provide information about the alert:
Use the drop-down listbox in the Alert template field to select a template for the alert. An alert template is a function that uses one (or more) metrics or parameters to generate a value to which PEM compares user-specified alert boundaries. If the value returned by the template function evaluates to a value that is within the boundary of a user-defined alert (as specified by the Operator and Threshold values fields), PEM raises an alert, adds a notice to the Alerts overview display, and performs any actions specified on the template.
Use the Alert enable? switch to specify if the alert is enabled (Yes) or disabled (No).
Use the controls in the Interval box to specify how often the alert should confirm if the alert conditions are satisfied. Use the Minutes selector to specify an interval value. Use the Default switch to set or reset the Minutes value to the default (recommended) value for the selected template.
Use controls in the History retention box to specify the number of days that PEM will store data collected by the alert. Use the Days selector to specify the number of days that the data will be stored. Use the Default switch to set or reset the Days value to the default value (30 days).
Use controls in the Threshold values box 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 specified with the Operator), PEM will raise a Low, Medium or High level alert:
Use the Operator drop-down listbox to select the operator that PEM will use when evaluating the current system values:
The Parameter Options table contains a list of parameters that are required by the selected template; the table displays both pre-defined parameters, and parameters for which you must specify a value. Please note that you must specify a value for any parameter that displays a prompt in the Value column.
PEM can send a notification or execute a script if an alert is triggered, or if an alert is cleared. Use the Notification tab (see Figure 6.41) to specify how PEM will behave if an alert is raised.
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Use the fields in the Email notification box to specify the email group that will receive an email notification if the alert is triggered at the specified level. Use the Email Groups tab to create an email group that contains the address of the user or users that will be notified when an alert is triggered. To access the Email Groups tab, click the Email Groups icon located in the Quick Links menu of the Manage Alerts tab.
To instruct PEM to send an email when a specific alert level is reached, set the slider next to an alert level to Yes, and use the drop-down listbox to select the pre-defined user or group that will be notified.
Use the Trap notification options to configure trap notifications for this alert:
Set the Send trap slider to Yes to send SNMP trap notifications when the state of this alert changes.
Set the SNMP Ver slider to v1 or v2 to identify the SNMP version.
Use the Low alert, Med alert and High alert sliders to select the level(s) of alert that will trigger the trap. For example, if you set the slider next to High alert to Yes, PEM will send a notification when an alert with a high severity level is triggered.
Use the field in the Nagios notification* box 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 Section 6.5.3.
Set the Submit passive service check result to Nagios switch to Yes to instruct the PEM server to notify Nagios when the alert is triggered or cleared.
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.
Set the Execute script slider to Yes to instruct PEM to execute the provided script if an alert is triggered.
Set the Execute on alert cleared slider to Yes 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:
%AlertName% - this placeholder will be replaced with the name of the triggered alert.
%ObjectName% - this placeholder will be replaced with the name of the server or agent on which the alert was triggered.
%ThresholdValue% - this placeholder will be replaced with the threshold value reached by the metric when the alert triggered.
%CurrentValue% - this placeholder will be replaced with the current value of the metric that triggered the alert.
%CurrentState% - this placeholder will be replaced with the current state of the alert.
%OldState% - this placeholder will be replaced with the previous state of the alert.
%AlertRaisedTime% - this placeholder will be replaced with the time that the alert was raised, or the most recent time that the alert state was changed.
When you have defined the alert attributes, click the edit icon to close the alert definition editor, and then the save icon (in the upper-right corner of the Alerts table). To discard your changes, click the refresh icon; a popup will ask you to confirm that you wish to discard the changes.
Use the Alerts table to manage an existing alert or create a new alert. Highlight an object in the PEM client tree control to view the alerts that monitor that object.
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The Alert name column displays the name of the alert; to change the alert name, simply replace the name in the table, and click the save icon.
The Alert template column displays the name of the alert template that specifies properties used by the alert. You can use the drop-down listbox to change the alert template associated with an alert.
Use the Alert enable? switch to specify if an alert is enabled (Yes) or disabled (No).
Use the Interval column to specify how often PEM should check to see if the alert conditions are satisfied. Set the Default switch to No and specify an alternate value (in Minutes), or return the Default switch to Yes to reset the value to its default setting. By default, PEM will check the status of each alert once every minute.
Use the History retention field to specify the number of days that PEM will store data collected by the alert. Set the Default* switch to No and specify an alternate value (in Days), or return the Default switch to Yes to reset the value to its default setting. By default, PEM will recommend storing historical data for 30 days.
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Use fields on the Alert details dialog (see Figure 6.43) to modify the definition of the selected alert. When you've finished modifying the alert definition, click Save to preserve your changes, or Cancel to exit the dialog without saving any changes.
To mark an alert for deletion, highlight the alert name in the Alerts table and click the delete icon to the left of the name; the alert will remain in the list, but in red strike-through font (see Figure 6.44).
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To copy alerts from an object, highlight the object in the PEM client tree control on the main PEM window, and select the Copy Alerts... option from the Management menu. When the Manage Alerts tab opens, click the Copy Alerts icon (located in the Quick Links toolbar) to open the Copy Alert Configuration dialog (see Figure 6.45).
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The Copy Alert Configuration dialog copies all alerts from the object highlighted in the PEM client tree control to the object or objects selected on the dialog. Expand the tree control to select a node or nodes to specify the target object(s). The tree control displays a red warning indicator next to the source object.
Check the Ignore duplicates radio button to prevent PEM from updating any existing alerts on the target objects with the same name as those being copied. Use the Replace duplicates option to replace existing alerts with alerts of the same name from the source object.
Click the Configure Alerts button to proceed to copy the alerts from the source object to all objects of the same type in, or under those objects selected on the Copy Alert Configuration dialog.
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:
Use the Email Groups tab to configure groups of SMTP email recipients. To access the Email Groups tab, select Manage Alerts... from the PEM client's Management menu; when the Manage Alerts tab opens, select Email Groups from the Quick Links toolbar.
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The Email Groups tab displays a list of the currently defined email groups (see Figure 6.46). Highlight a group name and click the Edit icon (at the far left end of the row) to modify an existing group.
To define a new email group, click the Add icon (+) in the upper-right corner of the Email Groups table. The Email Group definition dialog opens, as shown in Figure 6.47.
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Use the Email Group dialog to define an email group and its members:
Click the Add icon (+) in the group members table to open the Options tab, and add the member addresses that will receive notifications for the time period specified:
Use the Subject prefix field to provide a message that will be added to the start of each subject line when a notification is sent.
Use the From Time and To Time time selectors to specify the time range for notifications to the group member(s) that are identified on this row. Provide the From Time and To Time values in the locale of the PEM client host, and the PEM server will translate the time into other time zones as required.
When you've identified the member or members that will receive an email during a specific time period, click the Add icon to add a row to the table, and specify another time period and the email addresses that will be notified during those hours. When you've finished defining the email group, click the Save icon.
To delete an email group, highlight the name of the group in the Email Group table and click the Delete icon (located to the left of the group name).
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The group name will be displayed in the Email Group table in red; click the Save icon to make the change persistent and remove the group from the table (see Figure 6.48).
After creating the email group, you can use the Manage Alerts tab to set up the Notification details for an alert that will direct notifications to the group.
[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
If the PEM alert level is CLEARED, the warning message will read OK.
If the PEM alert level is LOW, the warning message will read WARNING.
If the is_nagios_medium_alert_as_critical flag (specified in the PEM server configuration dialog) is set to FALSE and the alert level MEDIUM, the warning message will read WARNING.
If the is_nagios_medium_alert_as_critical flag (specified in the PEM server configuration dialog) is set to TRUE and the alert level is MEDIUM, the warning message will read CRITICAL.
If the PEM alert level is HIGH, the warning message will read CRITICAL.
The PEM server maintains a unique set of notification properties for each enabled alert. Use the Notification tab of the Manage Alerts tab to specify that (when triggered), a given alert will send an alert notice to Nagios.
To modify the notification properties of an alert, right-click on the name of the object monitored by the alert, and select Manage Alerts... from the Management menu. When the Manage Alerts tab opens, locate the alert, and then click the edit button to the left of the alert name in the Alerts list. When the edit pane opens, select the Notification tab (shown in Figure 6.49).
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To enable Nagios notification, move the slider next to Submit passive service check result to Nagios to Yes; before exiting the Manage Alerts tab, click the save icon to preserve your changes.
You can use the Server Configuration dialog to provide information about your Nagios configuration to the PEM server. To open Server Configuration dialog (see Figure 6.50), select Server Configuration... from the PEM client's Management menu.
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Use the nagios_cmd_file_name parameter to specify the location of the Nagios pipeline file that will receive passive check alerts from PEM. The default value of this parameter is /usr/local/nagios/var/rw/nagios.cmd. If your nagios.cmd file resides in an alternate location, specify the file location in the Value field.
Move the slider in the nagios_enabled parameter to Yes to instruct the PEM server to send passive check alerts to Nagios.
Use the nagios_medium_alert_as_critical slider to specify the warning severity that the PEM server will pass to Nagios if a medium alert is triggered:
If the is_nagios_medium_alert_as_critical flag is set to FALSE and the alert level is MEDIUM, the warning message will read WARNING.
If the is_nagios_medium_alert_as_critical flag is set to TRUE and the alert level is MEDIUM, the warning message will read CRITICAL.
Use the nagios_spool_retention_time parameter to specify the number of days of notification history that will be stored on the PEM server. The default value is 7 days.
The templates.cfg file (by default, located in /usr/local/nagios/etc/objects) specifies the properties of a generic-host and generic-service. The properties specify the parameters used in the hosts.cfg and services.cfg files.
In most cases (when PEM is installed in a default configuration), you will not be required to modify the templates.cfg file before creating the hosts.cfg and services.cfg files. If necessary, you can modify the templates.cfg file to specify alternate values for parameters or to create new templates.
Before modifying the Nagios configuration file, use the following command to create a hosts.cfg file that contains information about the PEM hosts that reside on the local system:
Then, use the following command to create a services.cfg file that contains information about the PEM services that reside on the local system:
If you wish to use a custom template.cfg file entry, specify the entry name in place of generic-host or generic-service in the above commands.
After creating the host.cfg and services.cfg files, you must specify their location in the Nagios configuration file (by default, /usr/local/nagios/etc/nagios.cfg). Modify the configuration file, adding entries that specify the location of the files:


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