4 Tips for Dealing with All Those Event Alerts
July 10, 2013

Ariel Gordon

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IT operations handles hundreds, or even thousands, of console messages day in and day out – including weekends. It’s an ongoing 24x7 battle. Data centers keep expanding and increasing in complexity, yet operations is still expected to manage the flood of event alerts pouring in.

Compounding the problem of the sheer volume of events, these alert notifications typically uses technical language that can only be understood by domain experts and come entirely without context.

So, let’s have a look at some tips that will help IT operations personnel deal with all of this by focusing on important events, while understanding their impact on delivery of business services.

1. Add meaning with enrichment rules

Turn cryptic technical messages into meaningful information with text to describe the event including severity prioritization, owner, and if known the service(s) impacted. The illustration below provides an example. This helps to clarify impact of the event alert and provides guidance about the next steps to be taken.

2. Apply correlation rules

Apply correlation rules to help reduce redundant events displayed on the console. Use filtering rules to remove events below a specific impact level – or events that impact less important components such as test servers. It’s also possible to use de-duplication rules to reduce noise related to the same event.

3. Apply tools that define all business service infrastructure components and their interrelationships

Then, you’ll be able to understand the links between IT events and their associated context and impact on business services.

4. Be proactive to understand the impact of changes in the IT infrastructure

It’s a truism in IT that 80 percent of problems originate from changes. Get in front of those event alerts caused by change so you understand “will an upgrade to that problematic switch port take down the customer portal, or does it only affect ordering supplies?” Ensuring safer changes can eliminate many event alerts.

Ariel Gordon is Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Neebula.

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