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This topic introduces health rules, the policy statements that define triggers in AppDynamics policies.

What is a Health Rule?

Health rules let you specify the parameters that represent what you consider normal or expected operations for your environment. The parameters rely on metric values, for example, the average response time for a business transaction or CPU utilization for a node.

When the performance of an entity affected by the health rule violates the rule's conditions, a health rule violation occurs. The health statuses are represented as critical, warning, normal, and unknown. 

When the health status of an entity changes, a health rule violation event occurs. Examples of health rule violation events are, a health rule violation

The health statuses of entities and health rule violations are surfaced in the controller user interface. A health rule violation event can also be used to trigger a policy, which can initiate automatic actions, such as, sending alerting emails or running remedial scripts.

You create health rules using the health rule wizard, described in Configure Health Rules. The wizard groups commonly-used system entities and related metrics to simplify setting up health rules. You can also use the default health rules provided by AppDynamics, as-is or modify them.

Default Health Rules

AppDynamics provides a default set of health rules for some products, such as, applications and servers. These default health rules vary depending on the entity. To see the default rules, before any health rules have been added to your AppDynamics installation:

  1. Select the Alert & Respond tab from the top navigation bar.
  2. Click Health Rules in the left panel.
  3. From the drop-down list in the right panel select the entity.
    The default health rules for the selected entity are displayed.

If any of these predefined health rules are violated, the affected entities are marked in the UI as yellow-orange if it is a Warning violation and red if it is a Critical violation.

In many cases, the default health rules may be the only health rules that you need. You can edit and customize the health rules to suit your application. You can also disable the default health rules.

Health Rule Scopes

The health rule scope determines the set of default health rule types. You can choose the scope to get a set of default health rule types for applications, servers, or databases. For example, when you define a mobile application as the scope, the default health rules such as, crash rates and HTTP/network error rates are displayed. Similarly, if you define the health rule scope for an application, the health rules would be for business transactions, CPU/memory utilization, so on.

From Alert & Respond > Health Rules, you can select one of the following health rule scopes from the drop-down list:

You can also create new health rules to add to the default set for each scope. You may want to add the health rule app starts to your mobile application. This health rule is not part of the default set of health rules in the mobile app scope, so you would just need to add a new health rule.

Heath Rule Types

The health rule wizard groups health rules into types that are categorized by the entity that the health rule covers. This allows the wizard to display appropriate configuration items during the health rule creation.

The health rule types are:

When you select one of these health rule types, the wizard offers you the metrics commonly associated with that type in an embedded browser.

How to Set Up Health Rules?

AppDynamics recommends the following process to set up health rules for your application:

  1. Identify the key metrics (performance indicators) on the key entities that you need to monitor.
  2. Click Alert & Respond > Health Rules to examine any default health rules that are provided by AppDynamics.
  3. If default health rules do not cover all your requirements or if you need finely-applied health rules to cover specific use cases, create new health rules.
    1. Identify the type of health rule that you want to create. See Health Rule Types.
    2. Decide which entities are affected by the new rule. See Entities Affected by a Health Rule.
    3. Define the conditions to monitor. See Create and Configure Conditions.
  4. If you want the health rules to be evaluated according to a pre-defined time schedule, create a health rule schedule. In some situations, a health rule is more useful if it is evaluated at a particular time. See Health Rule Schedules.

After you set up health rules you must configure policies and actions to be executed when health rules are violated. See Policies and Actions.

Additional Considerations