Getting started with Rackspace Intelligence for the cloud

  • Last updated on: 2016-01-26
  • Authored by: Constanze Kratel

Note: This guide is for Rackspace Intelligence on a standard cloud account. If you have a dedicated account, click here for the applicable getting started guide.

Rackspace Intelligence provides a data panel, called a dashboard, that shows actionable insights into infrastructure health. You can use these insights to improve system performance and availability.

The Rackspace Intelligence dashboard performs different functions than control panels such as the Cloud Control Panel. You use a control panel to create the actual entities, such as cloud servers and cloud databases. For entities that already exist and are known to Rackspace Intelligence, you use the Rackspace Intelligence dashboard to monitor and visualize the status of the entities.

You can use Rackspace Intelligence to help you understand the following kinds of entities:

  • Rackspace cloud servers
  • Rackspace cloud databases
  • Other entities, which need not be hosted at Rackspace and need not be servers or databases

Only data available to Rackspace Intelligence can be gathered and acted on. For example, if you define a website that is hosted outside Rackspace as an entity, then you might be able to usefully place a check on its ping time, but you probably won’t to be able to check the space available in its file system.

Note: Early publications about Rackspace Intelligence referred to it as Cloud Intelligence. Because the service is meant to be useful for both cloud and dedicated devices, it is now named Rackspace Intelligence. The Rackspace Intelligence team is working to add support for dedicated accounts.

Before you begin using Rackspace Intelligence

You can use Rackspace Intelligence most effectively if you prepare yourself by learning its terminology and exploring its user interface.

Learn Rackspace Intelligence vocabulary

To be able to fully use the features Rackspace Intelligence offers, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts about entity monitoring and metrics. See Learning the Rackspace Intelligence vocabulary for more details.

Explore the Rackspace Intelligence user interface

Actions that you can perform in the user interface are grouped into four sections: Monitor, Suppress, Notify, Visualize. Within each section, you can drill down to get details. See Understanding the Rackspace Intelligence user interface for more details.

Every time you use Rackspace Intelligence

If you have a Rackspace cloud account, you are authorized to use Rackspace Intelligence.

Before you can use Rackspace Intelligence, you must be logged in to your Cloud Control Panel account. Log in to Rackspace Intelligence explains how that works.

When you begin working with a new entity

As soon as it becomes aware of an entity, Rackspace Intelligence can discover and display basic status information about it. Rackspace Intelligence can give you deeper insights about an entity if you configure that entity to provide more information. See Preparing to use Rackspace Intelligence for suggestions on steps that you can take to maximize the information available to Rackspace Intelligence.

When you manage how Rackspace Intelligence monitors your infrastructure

You can use the Monitor, Suppress, Notify, and Visualize sections of the interface to identify infrastructure to be monitored and examine events in your configuration.

Use the Rackspace Intelligence dashboard

You can use the Rackspace Intelligence dashboard to examine and manage how Rackspace Intelligence interacts with your infrastructure. The Rackspace Intelligence dashboard provides information about the following items:

  • Entities monitored by Rackspace Intelligence
  • Open alerts
  • Notifications
  • Notification plans
  • Current suppressed notifications
  • Notifications that were suppressed in the past

You can also use the Rackspace Intelligence dashboard to generate graphs to visualize infrastructure status.

Monitor entities

The list of entities identifies all entities known to Rackspace Intelligence. While displaying the list of known entities, you can perform management functions such as defining new entities.

Monitor open alerts

The list of open alerts identifies all entities that are currently in a status for which you have asked Rackspace Intelligence to trigger alarms. Depending on the notification plans that you have defined, appropriate communications and actions might have already occurred in response to these alerts. Examining the list directly means that, whether or not you were automatically notified of a status change, you can investigate infrastructure status in context.

When you change how Rackspace Intelligence communicates its findings

You can manage how you are notified of status changes. You can also manage
which notifications are suppressed. You can examine a log to investigate changes that occurred while notifications were suppressed.

Report infrastructure status

When Rackspace Intelligence detects a status change, it can report its findings by sending email or a text message. Rackspace Intelligence can also respond to a status change by executing a policy that was defined by a webhook.

To customize how Rackspace Intelligence responds when it detects a status change, perform the following actions:

Suppress reporting of infrastructure status

Rackspace Intelligence enables you to suppress notifications for cases when notifications are temporarily inappropriate, such as during scheduled maintenance activity.

Examine the suppression log

To investigate alerts that were muted but ordinarily would have prompted notifications, you can examine the suppression log.

When you want to see what Rackspace Intelligence sees*

Visualize infrastructure status

Rackspace Intelligence can report its findings visually with predefined or custom graphs:

  • With basic graphs, you can observe changes in the status of an entity during a time range.
  • With custom graphs, you can compare multiple entities and multiple metrics.

When you want to create checks and alarms for your entities

Create and manage checks and alarms

Rackspace Intelligence provides a wizard that lets you create monitoring checks to collect metric data for your infrastructure. You can set up alarms for your checks to get notified when certain metric data meet criteria. You can also perform management functions, such as editing your checks and editing your alarms.

Continue the conversation in the Rackspace Community.