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Policies let you anticipate problems and take actions to address those problems before they cause a severe slowdown or outage.

Policies provide a mechanism for automating monitoring and problem remediation. Instead of continually scanning metrics and events for the many conditions that could suggest problems, you can proactively define the events that are of greatest concern in keeping your applications running smoothly and then create policies that specify actions to start automatically when those events occur.


Health Rules and Policies
from AppDynamics 6 minutes

Policy Structure

A policy connects two things:

  • evaluated event triggers
  • actions to be taken in response to those triggers

Policy Triggers

Policy triggers are events that cause the policy to fire. The events can be health-rule violation events or other types of events, such as hitting a slow transaction threshold or surpassing a resource pool limit. See Health Rules, Troubleshoot Health Rule Violations and Events.

The triggering events can be broadly defined as affecting any object in the application or very narrowly defined as affecting only specific objects. You can create a policy that fires when an event involving all the tiers in the application occurs, or one involving only specific tiers. You can create a policy that fires on events affecting only certain nodes, or only certain business transactions or certain errors. You can very finely tune policies for different entities and situations.

For example, this very broadly-defined policy would fire whenever a resource pool limit (> 80% usage of EJB pools, connection pools, and/or thread pools) is reached for any object in the application. 

On the other hand, this narrowly-defined JVMViolationInWebTier policy fires only when existing health rules on JVM heap utilization or JVM garbage collection time are violated.

Here the triggering events for this policy are configured:

and here the affected object is limited to a specific tier - the ECommerce Server.

A policy is triggered when at least one of the specified triggering events occurs on at least one of the specified objects.

Policy Actions

The second part of creating a policy is assigning one or more actions to be automatically taken in response to the policy trigger.

For example, for the resource pool violation, you want to take a thread dump and then run a script to increase the pool size.

Other common actions include restarting an application server if it crashes, purging a message queue that is blocked, or triggering the collection of transaction snapshots. You can also trigger a custom action to invoke third party systems. See Build an Alerting Extension for information about custom actions.

See Actions for more information about the different types of actions.

See Actions Limits for information about limits on the number of actions that the Controller will process.

Because the definition of health rules is separate from the definition of actions, and both health rules and actions can be very precisely defined, you can take different actions for breaching the same thresholds based on context, for example, which tier or node the violation occurred in.

Policy List

To access the list of policies in an application, select Alert & Respond ->Policies.

The policy list lists all the policies created for your application, with its triggers and actions taken. You can view and edit an action assigned to a specific policy by clicking the action in the policy list.

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