An alert profile is a set of performance thresholds, the purpose of which is to continuously monitor for undesirable performance. Alert profiles can be used to monitor for a variety of path metrics including network connectivity, utilized capacity, and dscp changes. Choose a system-defined profile or create your own, and then apply one or more to a path. AppNeta Performance Manager (APM) will then annotate performance charts, generate logs, and notify you by email and/or SNMP any time performance is not up to par.

Path alert profiles are comprised of one or more conditions; generally, conditions follow the format ‘Condition A violates if greater/less than B for C minutes, and clears if greater/less than D for E minutes.’ You can see that the basic components are a violation clause, a clear clause, and an evaluation period. The violation clause describes poor performance, the clear clause describes acceptable performance, and the evaluation period confirms that the condition is persistent before declaring a violation or clear event.

Connectivity profile

The connectivity alert profile/condition monitors the monitoring point connection to the target, and is unrelated to the monitoring point availability event, which refers the monitoring point connection to APM. Loss of connection to the target is marked by a red circle because that’s a violation of an alert condition. On the other hand, APM always monitors for the monitoring point availability and no additional alert condition is required. Loss of that connection is denoted by a purple diamond .

Evaluation periods

Some conditions have an evaluation period, e.g., ‘for 5 minutes’. This period is how long a condition must exceed its threshold before it triggers a violation or clear event. During this period, any single measurement non-conforming to the condition will cancel the evaluation, and the 5 minutes will start over the next time the threshold is crossed.

pv-alert-eval.png

Alert status

Quickly find out the state of the paths in your organization from the home page. Service quality compliance shows the percentage of each hour that any monitored path was in violation; violations by type shows the total number of violations per hour; and path tree shows the current state of each path in the organization.

Status icons are used throughout APM to tell you at a glance something about the current state of the path, including when the path is in violation. The path details panel uses 50x50_trans.png and 50x50_trans.png to indicate the status of each condition in the currently applied alert profile.

Custom alert profiles

When making a custom profile, you can either use a system-defined profile as a template, or start from scratch. In either case, if you add a condition that is already used, the new condition replaces the old one.

Before you start creating an profile, it’s helpful to know the target type and instrumentation for the paths to which you’ll apply it because these details affect which conditions you include. For example, a MOS condition is not applicable to a path with target type ‘Server: WAN Webserver’ because MOS is a voice condition. Therefore, the profile will be filtered from the drop-down when you try to apply it. Likewise:

  • data loss; data jitter; and total, available and utilized capacity are data conditions.
  • voice loss, voice jitter, and MOS are voice conditions.
  • total capacity symmetry and conditions with directional components are for dual-ended paths.
  • connectivity, QoS change, route change, latency, and RTT are general conditions and can be applied to any path.

If your target type is auto, you can use data and voice conditions.

To create a custom profile from scratch:

  1. Navigate to > Manage Alert Profiles.
  2. Select ‘delivery alerts’.
  3. Click ‘new’.

To create a custom profile based on a system-defined one:

  1. Navigate to > Manage Alert Profiles.
  2. Select ‘delivery alerts’.
  3. Find a system-defined profile that you want to start from.
  4. Click ‘edit’.

Apply an alert profile

Alert profile selection is part of the Add Network Path process. To apply a profile to an existing path or change the profile that is already applied:

  1. Navigate to Delivery > Network Path List.
  2. Select 50x50_trans.png > Configure Path.

The profile selection drop-down does not contain every system-defined and custom profile; this is because your choices are narrowed based on path target type and instrumentation. If all conditions in the profile are not applicable to the path target type and instrumentation, the profile is filtered from the list.

Apply multiple profiles

Path alert profiles can be either system-defined or custom, and you can apply one or more to a path. But, APM can only alert according to one profile at a time. So, in order to apply multiple profiles to a path, each profile has to be paired with a time range so that APM knows when to start and stop alerting. The default profile, ‘connectivity’, is paired with the one system-defined time range, ‘always’. You can define more time ranges and mix and match them with profiles at any time. If time ranges overlap, there is an order of precedence to time ranges that determines which profile is applied.

Edit an alert profile

You may only edit custom alert profiles.

  1. Navigate to > Manage Alert Profiles.
  2. Select ‘delivery alerts’.
  3. Select a custom profile from the list.
  4. Click ‘edit’.

Alerts in action

The application of an alert profile is immediately reflected in the performance charts. A black vertical line marks when an alert profile is applied or changed. If an alert profile contains a threshold, it appears as a horizontal line on the corresponding chart. If more than one profile is applied to the path, faint vertical lines mark the beginning and end of the time range.

If performance crosses the threshold in the violation direction, the area of the chart beyond the threshold and the threshold line are colored red. The threshold line might remain red even after performance subsequently crosses the threshold in the clear direction because performance must be acceptable for the amount of time specified in the definition before the violation clears.

If the profile time range expires while a condition is in violation, the condition is cleared, and the event log cites ‘threshold suppressed’.

Violations that occur while a monitoring point is disconnected from the service don’t raise an event until the connection is restored.

Alert threshold violations and clears are events:

  • Events are marked on the events chart using colored circles: a red circle indicates a condition violated. A green circle indicates the condition cleared. Every violation triggers a path diagnostic, if one is not already in progress. Its completion is a test status event and is also marked using a pink circle .
  • Events are logged. Navigate to Delivery > Events to display all events for all paths in an organization. Click on the events tab on a path performance page to display all events for a path.
  • Events trigger notifications based on your notification profile.