You might know the old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees”, meaning that you’re unable to understand a situation clearly because you are too involved in it. This can be particularly true of system monitoring. Obsession with ensuring that every minute process and detail is captured so that nothing is missed can cloud your judgement about what is really important.
Similarly, the time taken to analyze the ever-increasing amount of data that is produced as a result can divert you from undertaking more productive tasks in your business.
It can be very frustrating when, even though you have all this in place, important and potentially damaging events can still slip through unnoticed. That’s where Halcyon comes in. The Alert Intelligence feature included in IBM i Server Suite levels 3 and 4 is aimed at reducing the quantity and improving the quality of alerts from your environment.
What Is Alert Intelligence?
Alert Intelligence is a powerful utility that allows the linking of rules from the same or different rule groups across any of Halcyon rule-based products on IBM i so that only very specific instances of selection criteria raise alerts. This improves both the quality of the alerts generated and reduces the frequency of you having to deal with multiple, individual alerts.
The increased efficiencies gained by deploying this solution mean that checking tasks can be automated, drastically reducing the need for manual intervention and eliminating the requirement altogether, in some cases.
Combining Rules for Quality Alerts
In its simplest form, Alert Intelligence can combine two rules with an Alert Intelligence rule to provide a single point of alerting. For example, you may have two rules looking for the successful completion of critical overnight jobs.
- You want to be alerted when JOB2 has completed successfully, within an acceptable timeframe, but…
- You don’t want to be informed if JOB1 has failed or has exceeded a pre-defined duration.
By creating an Alert Intelligence rule using “IF” and “AND” relationships to process the criteria from the two jobs, an alert is only raised when the JOB1 and JOB2 have completed successfully, and on time.
In its most powerful configuration, Alert Intelligence can be used to build a chain of rules, each one based on the result of criteria in the preceding Alert Intelligence rule. Actions are applied as normal.
By building chains of Alert Intelligence across different rule groups and queues, you can create a very powerful alerting system that can pinpoint exact scenarios occurring in your IBM i environment.
The Alert Intelligence module also allows you to apply an Alert Intelligence action to existing rules, indicating that the rule can be referred to by new Alert Intelligence rules. The existing rule can still raise its own alerts as well as passing information into Alert Intelligence. This allows you to quickly apply Alert Intelligence across your existing environment without the need for a major reconfiguration of rules.
When setting Alert Intelligence rule actions, a degree of latency can be built in for “point-in-time” events to determine whether the event is still deemed current. This helps further eliminate the chance of a “false” alert being raised.
Integrating with Halcyon Monitoring Solutions
Alert Intelligence is included as standard with IBM i Server Suite levels 3 (Advanced Automation Suite) and level 4 (Operations Center Suite). As you would expect, Alert Intelligence seamlessly integrates with our existing product range. This allows you to view and respond to alerts using Enterprise Console, our centralized GUI, either from your desk or remotely using native mobile apps for both Apple and Android devices.
Interaction via Enterprise Console enables the automatic generation of help desk tickets and the ability to forward the alerts to email addresses or send as SMS messages to phones and pagers.
Alert Intelligence follows the same configuration and structure as the existing rules on your IBM i, so there is a very short learning curve.