Cut Out Alert Noise

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BIGGEST PROBLEM

Sending every alert to everyone was great—until it wasn’t.

We’re a small IT support shop, so we’ve always kept things simple by sending all of our alerts to everyone. However, as we got more monitoring systems, added team members, and inevitably received more alerts, things started falling apart. Team members assumed someone else was handling alerts and technicians set up their own filters and often missed alerts entirely. Ultimately, our staff ends up wasting time and getting few, if any, issues fixed.

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ALERT CENTRAL SOLUTION
We hear you. Sending all alerts to everyone usually works fine, but as you add systems, alerts, and people with particular specialties, this method doesn’t scale. For example, why should the person who primarily handles firewalls get alerts related to email? Eventually, when everyone looks at everything, everyone starts to ignore everything. Forget that.
Use Alert Central to automate your alert routing and escalation processes and send alerts to only the right people in a specified order. Then set up a fallback plan for when a particular technician is unavailable. Automate and streamline the mechanics of your alerts and stop wasting everyone’s time.
Read more about Alert Central filtering, routing, and escalation features >>

Reduce Impact of Alerts

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BIGGEST PROBLEM

One mistake with a monitoring system update equals two days of downtime.

We work with a 3rd-party vendor at our remote sites to maintain our connection back to our home office. The contractors have access to some of our monitoring systems, but they rely on receiving alerts when problems occur. We had an issue on a firewall that caused an outage, leaving us high and dry for almost two days. It turns out that the network engineer responsible for our site had changed his primary email address, but missed updating one of our monitoring systems. Naturally, it was the system that was sending him the firewall alerts.

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ALERT CENTRAL SOLUTION
Expanding the scope of your monitoring and alerting system is a good thing. However, this requires updating the alerting process, contact information, and configuration settings on every monitoring system every time you add staff, change schedules, or implement a new system. This is a total pain. Miss just one of these processes and you possibly violate your SLAs, experience unnecessary downtime, or watch helplessly as a security breach travels through your network.
With Alert Central, you manage all of your settings, schedule availability, and add monitoring systems, staff, and contact information without having to duplicate configuration processes—all from one location.
Find out what systems Alert Central works with and how >> Read more about Alert Central filtering, routing, and escalation features >>

No Babysitting Your Team

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BIGGEST PROBLEM

Micro-management keeps me informed, but it’s counter-productive.

I manage a 15-member team responsible for all aspects of IT (networking, servers, peripherals, etc.). I hate feeling like I have to look over everyone’s shoulder or constantly ask if they are taking care of a certain issue. I want to help the staff make their jobs easier and be more productive—not continually ask them what they’re working on and if they got the memo about the cover sheet for their TPS reports. The problem is, it really is the fastest way to stay informed about the staff’s productivity.

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ALERT CENTRAL SOLUTION
With an assortment of monitoring systems and lots of alerts, it’s hard to keep track of who’s handling what. Even if you can make sure that the right people get the right alerts, being able to track response times, see comments, and simply make sure someone is handling all the issues requires chasing down a ton of information.
With Alert Central, you handle all alerts from one centralized system. You can quickly ensure that alerts get to the right people, but also have insight into what’s happening with your staff and alert statuses. Use the Alert Central interface to view alerts by different criteria like user or system and drill down into the alert history. Retrieve reports that show performance metrics like response time and total alerts handled that week.
Learn more about Alert Central’s UI and reports >>

Detect Patterns From Alerts

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BIGGEST PROBLEM

Data patterns often go unnoticed when alerts come from all directions.

We experienced a controller failure on one of our disk arrays that managed to stay hidden. Unaware of the failure, we often got what we thought were random system outages that we fixed one at a time. The problem was it took us a long time to manually connect the dots and discover the controller issue. Hindsight tells us that once we knew what the problem was, the pattern of outages made sense.

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ALERT CENTRAL SOLUTION
With a seemingly infinite amount of alerts and high priority tasks coming from all directions, it’s easy to overlook commonalities or patterns. Even when you think you have a pattern, collecting all of the data can be hard when that data exists in so many different systems.
Alert Central lets you centralize and manage alerts, which gives you the ability to easily see the bigger picture. View alerts by source, system, or severity, search for different historical events, and drill down into past resolutions, all from the Alert Central interface. Use that information to improve processes, redistribute alerts, and find common issues faster.
Learn more about Alert Central’s UI >>

One On-Call Calendar

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BIGGEST PROBLEM

Our on-call rotation works, but it’s cumbersome to manage.

Over time, we’ve developed a pretty fair and reliable on-call rotation. Local staff takes priority over remote staff, salaried staff takes priority over hourly staff. Then we’ve got backups for our backups. The downside? The rotation system is reliable, but complex. The most efficient way to use it is to have at least one or two people receive everything and use a mess of calendars (or at one point, a big whiteboard) to make sure that all alerts get assigned to the right people.

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ALERT CENTRAL SOLUTION
Developing on-call schedules is difficult enough without the challenges of maintaining them and making sure that all of your monitoring systems are functioning properly. Managing on-call scheduling is usually external to monitoring systems and are cumbersome to set up—especially if you have to repeat the process for every system.
Use the Alert Central on-call scheduling to ensure that the right on-call staff members receive the alerts before anyone else. Each team has multiple calendars that give you an at-a-glance view of who’s on call now and in the future. With Alert Central’s easy, on-call scheduling, your whiteboard, spreadsheet, or mess of calendars are a thing of the past.
View more information about using on-call scheduling with Alert Central >>

On-Call For Global Teams

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BIGGEST PROBLEM

Going global is great, but we need to understand the on-call schedule and time zone of support team.

We have 5 global sites that let us handle alerts 24x7—theoretically. I’ve been woke up in the middle of the night more times than I can count for problems at a site where a local IT staff is on duty, wide awake, and ready for action. With a global operation, our monitoring systems are difficult to configure. This often leads to regular cases of mass or incorrect alert distribution. Everyone gets woke up when something happens which is totally unnecessary.

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ALERT CENTRAL SOLUTION
Global operations are becoming more common, which poses the challenge of making sure you have the staff available to handle alerts based on their expertise. If that isn’t difficult enough, you’re also tasked with ensuring that you have the right staff available during working hours instead of calling on technicians after hours. Often, you end up having to make tough decisions, such as having to wake someone up, burning out your support staff, or allowing a costly outage to go unfixed longer than necessary until the right person is available to fix the issue.
With Alert Central’s on-call calendaring, you can configure multiple calendars for each group. This makes it easier to specify staff timeframes and alert priorities. It also enables you to set up a fallback to notify off-site staff in the event of coverage gaps due to technicians being out or occupied with a serious outage.
Learn more about Alert Central’s On Call Calendars >>
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