Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/transmogrify-devops-alerts-avoid-downtime/
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It sounds like something you might remember from the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. But instead of helping with mind reading and shape-shifting, the VictorOps Transmogrifier tool is designed to help engineers resolve application alerts and minimize downtime.
By bringing automation to key stages of an alert lifecycle, the Transmogrifier is unrivaled in both range of use and user satisfaction. Engineers no longer have to sift through irrelevant alerts, while hunting for documentation related to the ones that are of actual importance. That’s because the Transmogrifier can handle those tasks on its own, leaving the important part, resolving the issue, to the engineer on-call.
Why you need a Transmogrifier
If you’ve managed to successfully integrate an alert monitoring system into your workflow, you may have started to notice two things. The first being that, at the slightest hint of an error (valid or not), an alert is sent. This can add up to a lot of alerts in a short time period, especially when you begin to consider all of the different pieces of an application that might require monitoring.
The second issue you may notice is that, as a result of these alerts, your devops team may begin to start feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s called alert fatigue, and it’s an issue that plagues on-call teams whose responsibility it is to respond to all of these alerts getting sent to them.
These two issues can lead to an environment of constant business and disorganization, as teams struggle to filter through alerts and gather the relevant information needed to actually solve them.
Using the VictorOps Transmogrifier is like adding another member to your devops team. It removes the problem of alert fatigue by adding a number of key features to your alert notification process. With the Transmogrifier you can filter through irrelevant alerts, delivering only the important ones to your team.
To cut down on development time, you can make sure relevant documentation is attached to to every alert, so that your developers don’t have to hunt down a solution to a commonly occurring problem. You can even change the status of alerts on the fly, so that specific alert patterns go on to notify the right members of your team.
The Transmogrifier helps to transform your current alert monitoring strategy so you’re not left in the dark to fight every random alert that comes your way.
So how does it work?
By way of a simple drag-and-drop interface, the Transmogrifier gives you a number of features that you can add onto your alerts, transforming them into miniature programs that can do a lot of important work for you and your team. Let’s go over those features and explain how you can customize them to help your team.
Setting up an alert rule using the Transmogrifier resembles an IFTT (If This, Then That) pattern. Designating a match between an alert field and specified value will enable the user to attach specific notes, links, and documentation to the alert.
You can set as many alert rules as you’d like, with each rule being tested on every alert that comes through the pipeline. If you’d like the Transmogrification to stop after a specific rule is matched, you can specify that with the cunningly-named “Stop after this rule has been applied” option.
These rules can be very flexible, especially when wildcard characters are used in the alert value field.
When host\_name matches db\*.victorops.com
Note the use of the ‘’ in the value field. You can use the ‘’ and ‘?’ characters for simple wildcards, representing any string of characters or any single character, respectively.Continue reading this article on SitePoint