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Alert and Respond: Quick Tour

Alerts let you know when problems exist and help you anticipate problems that might be developing. Responses let you automate preventative actions to address those problems before they cause a severe slowdown or outage. Think of alert and respond as the automation of your runbooks.

The alert and respond system is made up of four parts:

The system provides for the creation of email templates and HTTP request templates. These templates can be re-used to create actions for various applications in the account as well as facilitating integration of the alert and respond system with third-party email and HTTP APIs.

Sample Use Cases

The AppDynamics platform recognizes some broad-based health issues commonly experienced by applications, such as "Business Transaction response time is much higher than normal" or "Memory utilization is too high". These are configured as default health rules, which define how high is "much higher than normal" or "too high". Use policies to attach these rules to alerts (whom to notify) and responses (what to do) when these problems exist. You can use these rules "as is" or modify them for your environment. See Default Health Rules.

In addition to the broad-based rules, you can customize precise automatic alerts and responses for narrowly circumscribed situations. This lets you fine-tune your system, ensuring that the right alert goes to the right person, the right action is taken for the right problem on the right cluster or server.

For example:

Products that Alert and Respond

Policies, health rules, actions, and email digests can be created for databases and analytics as well as for applications. Where not otherwise qualified, this documentation describes the features as they are applied to instrumented applications because these use cases offer the richest set of features and choices for configuration. Alert and Respond features for other AppDynamics products are more limited.

The policy triggers for applications can be health rule violation events or a variety of other types of events. The policy triggers for databases and analytics must be health rule violation events,

The types of actions that you can create for an application include notifications, diagnostics, remediation, HTTP requests, custom actions and cloud auto-scaling. The types of actions that you can create for a database or analytics are limited to notifications, HTTP requests and custom actions.

The types of entities affected by a health rule are more limited for databases and analytics than for applications.

Scope and Access

Typically different types of users with different types of roles set up and use different alert and respond features.

Email templates, HTTP request templates, and Email/SMS configuration are account-level features. The scope of these features, once set up, is the entire AppDynamics account. The items created at the account level are available to all the applications in that account. Account-level items are created and managed by users who have account-level roles that include permissions to create them.

By default these roles are account owner and administrator, although custom roles could be created that include some of these permissions. For example, an account owner or administrator could create an email template manager role that could be assigned to other users to give them the ability to create and modify email templates.

Policies, health rules, actions and email digests are application-level features. The scope of these features is the application in which they were created. Only roles with application-level permissions are required to create and manage these items.

Email Digests

In addition to specific actions that are triggered by specific events, you can create an email digest that reports a summary of specific events to a recipient list on a schedule.

This is a sample of an email digest that is sent every hour:

To create an email digest:
  1. Click Alert & Respond in the menu bar.
  2. Click Email Digests either in the right panel or the left navigation pane.
  3. Select the context for the digest from the pulldown menu.
  4. Do one of the following:
  5. In the CONTENTS tab, select the events to be reported in the digest.
  6. In the RECIPIENTS tab provide the email addresses of the digest recipients.
  7. In the HOW OFTEN tab enter how often the digest should be sent.
  8. Save your edits.