As strange as it sounds, there are types of software applications that are designed for users to NOT spend each minute of every day within the application (where the goal of so many software applications is to attract as many “eyeballs” for as long as possible to their applications). Environment monitoring software (i.e., network, database, security, grid operations, etc.) is one example of that type of application that is designed for users to not spend their day staring at the user interface of that application. These applications are commonly referred to as “set and forget” brands of software.
Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) is one of these “set and forget” pieces of software. And, it is the alerting functionality that enables that set and forget approach. The entire premise of PMM is for a user to let the system know what metrics are critical for that user and what thresholds are acceptable for each metric so that the system can automatically detect and warn the user when the environment needs the user’s attention before their customers or users have to point it out.
PMM has had alerting capabilities but not natively built into the application. Instead, PMM has relied upon third-party integrations with alerting functionality in either Grafana or Prometheus’ Alertmanager. Now, Percona is introducing a technical preview1 of “Integrated Alerting” as part of v2.13, slated to release before the end of December to simplify the initial alert setup process for PMM users and to provide far more robust alerting options.
By default, integrated alerting will be set to “off”, at least while the functionality is still within a technical preview. To enable integrated alerting, go to PMM Settings > Advanced Settings and you’ll find a toggle switch for Integrated Alerting.
An alert is comprised of three core elements:
- The business rule – which metric(s) should the system follow and what aspect of that metric is important for the system to care about
- The trigger – what value of the above business rule should trigger the alert when a threshold or predictive algorithm is met
- The communication – when the trigger on the business rule has been met, how should the system communicate this information to the user(s) and over what channel(s) of communication
For this initial release of Integrated Alerting in PMM, Percona is enabling alert rules to be created, read, updated, and deleted (“CRUD”) via the PMM user interface (UI). Users are also able to upload, read, or edit alert rule templates to simplify the rule creation process. Once an alert rule is triggered, the system notifies impacted individuals or groups via notification channels. Email, Slack, and PagerDuty notification channels are all included, along with the ability to silence an alert notification in this initial release.
Future releases of Integrated Alerting will add in complex business rules, implement threshold ranges, provide a full complement of communication preferences, and enable reporting as well as predictive analysis to improve a user’s productivity while managing their database environment.
With Integrated Alerting, PMM users will have a more complete picture of the metrics the system is monitoring on behalf of the user as well as the alerts the system is tracking on those metrics, all from within PMM itself. This added capability should lead to more efficiency for PMM users.
Visit our user guide “how to” documentation page and learn more about the technical preview functionality of Integrated Alerting.
1Technical Preview Features – Release Candidate or General Availability releases can include features that are not yet ready for enterprise use and are not providing support via SLA (supported by product/engineering on a best-effort basis). These features will be fully documented and described as a technical preview so that customers can try them out and provide feedback prior to the full release of the feature in a future GA release (or removal, if the feature is deemed not useful). This functionality can change (APIs, CLIs, etc) from Technical Preview to GA – there is no guarantee of compatibility from Technical Preview to GA or between different Technical Preview versions.