Goodbye Alert Storms, Hello Performance

by bluemedora_editor on July 21, 2017

By: Cameron Jones

A few years ago, McKinsey Global Institute conducted a study and found that workers spend 61 percent of their day managing work, lost in email and information, instead of performing actual tasks. For those of us working in IT, this isn’t a surprise.

With access — and reliance — on more information to drive our productivity, information overload can often derail our best intentions for productivity. Let’s take alerts, for instance. Alerts can be our best friend when it comes to analyzing and improving performance — but at the same time, it can quickly turn to an enemy.

For any IT organization, alert storms happen on the norm; particularly as you leverage system-defined thresholds that don’t make sense for your workflows or business requirements. As a result, your team spends hours mining through these alerts, trying to figure out which ones matter and which ones are like the sheep crying wolf.


How can you make your alerts matter?

To make your alerts matter, you need to ensure that you have access to how they are designed and established within your system. System-configured thresholds can be helpful, mostly because it takes the leg work away from your team. At the same time, these can be the culprit of alert storms if they aren’t configured appropriately.

Having the ability to set your own alerts with unique thresholds serves as the best scenario to ensure that you are pinpointing the important problems the minute that they arise — and mitigating the amount of time your team has to take to manage the alerts. In turn, they can immediately address the issue that caused the alert in the first place.

The benefits from this are threefold. For one, you simplify troubleshooting — instead of trying to decipher which alerts matter, you automatically understand where to focus your time. Secondly, quicker troubleshooting results in better performance, which is never a downside. And thirdly, the drive towards more meaningful productivity can help boost morale on the team — and research shows that happy employees naturally become more productive.


Real-world example: Alerts in New Relic

With the Blue Medora Plugins for New Relic, you can leverage instant alerts and notifications so that you can pinpoint problems as soon as they arise — instead of once they start to impact your application’s stack.

Example of alerts in New Relic with Blue Medora's plugins
Figure 1: Sample alert in Blue Medora’s New Relic Plugin


Within the solution, you can leverage the already-established alerts that are configured with system thresholds — which can also be modified to meet your system’s requirements.

In addition, take it to the next level with the option to create your own alerts — ensuring that prominent issues that impact your system performance come to the forefront. As a result, you can ensure that your alerts are working for you — giving your team time to focus on tasks they can execute — rather than managing the process.


Interested in learning more about the alerts in New Relic? Check out our series of plugins that seamlessly integrate with the New Relic platform; plus, try our plugins free for 14 days to see it in action.



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