IBM’s new alert service helps DevOps solve issues before they affect users

One of the ongoing challenges for IT operations is getting to the root of a problem quickly so it can be sorted it out, so it makes sense that IBM would introduce its Alert Notification Service on IBM Cloud.

The new service, available in beta on Bluemix, enables DevOps teams to rapidly receive and respond to early, critical alerts about potential issues affecting their applications, before users are affected. IBM Alert Notification Services works in conjunction with the company’s Netcool Operations Insight and leverages its real-time and historical network analytics.

Notifications can be received by email, SMS or voice by DevOps team members whenever their attention is required; developers are able to use the REST API to integrate the service to teams to create customized notification policies, ensuring alerts are routed immediately to the right team members.

When an alert is created, it is bound to a specific application, and must have a least one rule applied to. Predefined rules that account for severity are available, and custom rules can be created. The IBM Alert Notification Service also works with on-premise solutions for clients who want to deploy it across hybrid environments.

There are plenty of tools that can display problems affecting IT environments and their end users, but most enterprises are reactive in their approach and find themselves in perpetual firefighting mode. Many tools are focusing on reducing the time it takes to find the cause of the problem.

Despite all of these choices, alert fatigue got worse for IT staff on-call in 2015, according to this year’s State of On-call report from VictorOps Inc., so it may be that more alerts are not what developers and IT operators need. The annual survey of more than 600 respondents found that alert fatigue is the number one pain point, with 70 per cent saying it was an issue in their organization – up 10 per cent from last year. In addition, the survey found that the number one way IT is informed about problems is through emails from users.

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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