Working with alarms

  • Last updated on: 2017-08-26
  • Authored by: Constanze Kratel

Rackspace Intelligence provides a wizard that guides you through the process of creating an alarm for a check on an entity.

Before you can create an alarm, you must have created a check. The following table lists the alarms that are associated with each type of check in Rackspace Intelligence.

Check type Alarm name
agent.cpu CPU usage
agent.filesystem Filesystem usage
agent.load_average High load average
agent.memory Memory usage
agent.mysql Connected threads
agent.network Network transmit rate
Network receive rate
remote.dns DNS record address match
SPF TXT record
remote.http Body match - string found
Body match - string not found
Connection time
Status code
SSL certificate expiration time
remote.ping Ping packet loss
remote.ssh SSH fingerprint match
remote.tcp Connection time

Before you can create an alarm, you must have created a check.

Create an alarm

Use the following steps to create a new alarm:

  1. Log in to the Rackspace Intelligence interface.

  2. On the Monitoring page, click the entity for which you want to define an alarm.

  3. In the Monitoring Checks section of the entity details page, click the check for which you want to create the alarm.

  4. On the check details page, scroll down to the Monitoring Alarms section, and click Create Alarm. Rackspace Intelligence automatically suggests the appropriate alarm for the check type that you select. For example, if you want to create an alarm for the CPU check type, Rackspace Intelligence automatically guides you through the steps for creating a CPU alarm.

    Note: If you want to create an alarm for an agent check type, you must install the Rackspace monitoring agent on the server. Rackspace Intelligence creates an alarm without the agent installed, but you cannot view any metrics for this alarm. See Creating an alarm for an agent check type without an agent installed..

  5. In the Choose Alarm Type section, select the type of alarm or Write your own alarm criteria (Advanced), and then click Next Step.

  6. In the Alarm Details section of the next page, type a name for the alarm, and then select a notification plan from the Notification Plan list.

  7. If you selected a predefined alarm, set the criteria for it in the Alarm Settings section.

    You must define a threshold for when a Warning is issued and a threshold for when the situation becomes critical. For a CPU alarm, for example, the following settings are recommended:

    • Warning Threshold = 60
    • Critical Threshold = 80
    • Consecutive Count = 1
  8. If you selected to write your own alarm criteria, create a custom alarm script in the Write Alarm Criteria section. To view example criteria, expand the Help Guide and Example Criteria section.

  9. Click Test Alarm.

    • If you set the Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold values to a value that is greater than the Current value that is listed on the left side of the Alarm Settings section, the test alarm returns an OK result.
    • If you set the Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold values to a value that is less than the Current value, clicking Test Alarm returns either a Warning or Critical result.
  10. After you have tested your alarm, click Create Alarm.

The new alarm is displayed on the alarms details page.

Edit an alarm

To edit an alarm, navigate to the details page for the alarm and click the Actions menu.

You can perform the following editing actions for alarms:

Rename an alarm

  1. From the Actions menu on the alarm details page, select Rename Alarm.
  2. In the Rename Alarm dialog box, type a new name in the Alarm Name box, and click Save.

Edit a notification plan

  1. From the Actions menu on the alarm details page, select Edit Alarm Notification Plan.
  2. in the Edit Notification Plan dialog box, select a different notification plan from the Notification Plan list, and click Save.

Edit the alarm criteria

  1. From the Actions menu on the alarm details page, select Edit Criteria. The Edit Alarm Criteria dialog box opens in basic mode. If you want to edit the criteria in advanced mode, see the note at the end of this procedure.
  2. Update any of the values for Warning Threshold, Critical Threshold and Consecutive Count.
  3. Click Test Alarm to test the alarm, and then click Save to save the alarm.

Note: If you want to edit the script that was generated for the alarm, click the Edit in Advanced Mode link. On the Advanced Mode page, the alarm script that Rackspace Intelligence automatically generated is displayed. You can update the script by changing the values for your alarm criteria, or by adding new conditions. To view example criteria, click the arrow next to Help Guide and Example Criteria.

Important: If you update an alarm in advanced mode, you can no longer view the alarm criteria in basic mode.

Delete an alarm

  1. From the Actions menu on the alarm details page, select Delete.
  2. In the dialog box, click Delete Alarm.

The alarm is deleted.

Create alarms for different check types

This section provides examples of how to use Rackspace Intelligence to create alarms for different check types.

Create an alarm for a remote check type

This example provides steps for creating an alarm for an HTTP check. This alarm is remote and does not require a monitoring agent to be installed. These steps assume that you already created an HTTP check.

  1. On the Monitoring page, click on the entity for which you want to define an alarm.
  2. In the Monitoring Checks section of the entity details page, click an HTTP check for which you want to create an alarm.
  3. On the check details page, click Create Alarm.
  4. In the Choose Alarm Type section of the Create HTTP Alarm page, select Connection time, and then click Next Step.
  5. On the next page, in the Alarm Details section, type a name for the alarm and select a notification plan from the list.
  6. In the Alarm Settings section, specify values for Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold. Use the value that is displayed for Current value on the left side of the section for guidance. To obtain a test result of OK, you must specify values that are greater than the current values for Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold.
  7. Click Test Alarm to test the alarm.

    Note: If your warning threshold is less than the value that is displayed for the current value, you receive a Warning result when you test the alarm. If you click Create Alarm after receiving a test result of type Warning or Critical, a warning message appears. You can still create the alarm, but creating the alarm will trigger an alert that is associated with your selected notification plan. If the current value is less than the values that you have specified for Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold, you receive an OK result when you click Test Alarm.

  8. After you have tested your alarm, click Create Alarm.

The new alarm is displayed on the alarm details page.

Create an alarm for an agent check type with an agent installed

This example provides steps for creating an alarm for a file system check. This alarm is an agent-type alarm and requires a monitoring agent to be installed. These steps assume that you already created a file system check.

  1. On the Monitoring page, click on the entity for which you want to define an alarm.
  2. In the Monitoring Checks section of the entity details page, click a file system check for which you want to create an alarm.
  3. On the check details page, click Create Alarm.
  4. In the Choose Alarm Type section, select Filesystem usage, and then click Next Step.
  5. On the next page, in the Alarm Details section, type a name for the alarm and select the appropriate notification plan.
  6. In the Alarm Settings section, enter the appropriate values for Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold, and then click Test Alarm. To obtain a test result of OK, enter values that are greater than the Current value that is displayed on the left side of the section.
  7. After you have successfully tested your alarm, click Create Alarm.

    The new alarm is displayed on the alarm details page.

Create an alarm for an agent check type without an agent installed

This example provides steps for creating an alarm for a CPU check. This alarm is an agent-type alarm and requires a monitoring agent to be installed to generate metrics. In this example, however, the agent is not yet installed. The steps assume that you already created a CPU check.

  1. On the Monitoring page, click on the entity for which you want to define an alarm.
  2. In the Monitoring Checks section of the entity details page, click a CPU check for which you want to create an alarm. The check details page displays a warning that you need to have a monitoring agent installed to generate metrics.
  3. Click Create Alarm.
  4. In the Choose Alarm Type section, select CPU usage, and then click Next Step.
  5. On the next page, in the Alarm Details section, type a name for the alarm and select the appropriate notification plan.
  6. In the Alarm Settings section, enter appropriate values for Warning Threshold and Critical Threshold.

    Note: No current value is displayed to use as a basis for defining your threshold. Rackspace Intelligence does not display a current value because no monitoring agent is installed. A warning message also appears explaining that Rackspace Intelligence cannot generate any metrics until a monitoring agent has been installed on the server. You can still create the alarm, but you must install an agent before you can use the alarm.

  7. Click Create Alarm.

    A warning is displayed that you do not have a monitoring agent installed.

  8. Click Create Alarm Anyway.

The new alarm is displayed in the alarm details page. Because no monitoring agent is installed, no monitoring metrics are displayed.

Continue the conversation in the Rackspace Community.