Manage Alarms

This article describes the alarm view for devices and interfaces and how to manage the alarms and to change the view to display the information that you need
uim203
manage_alarms
This article describes the alarm view for devices and interfaces and how to manage the alarms and to change the view to display the information that you need.
Overview
UIM monitors the system for system availability and operating parameters. If configured operating thresholds are exceeded, UIM generates an error message called an alarm. Alarms represent changes in device performance levels or complete device failures: for instance, high system loads or a loss of access. Knowing when specific system elements need attention, you can correct performance problems before they affect system availability.
The Alarms view in Operator Console displays a list of active alarms that are returned by the system along with the Alarm by Severity, Alarm by Probes charts, Top Alarming devices, with a history toggle button to view the history, and include/hide invisible toggle to include the invisible alarms or hide them. You can view details for individual alarms and can identify the devices that created them. You can distinguish between critical and non-critical alarms to prioritize alarm resolution. Also, you can easily access dashboards that display performance metrics over time to address patterns in low system performance.
The following video shows how you can quickly access some of the options in the UI:
The Alarm Lifecycle
UIM collects metrics on all monitored devices. If an operating parameter exceeds the threshold, UIM:
  1. Generates an alarm.
  2. Assigns the alarm an associated severity.
Alarms that meet default parameters for severity are automatically sent to the email account configured in the emailgtw probe.
If the alarm condition persists, the time of the latest event is maintained internally. The calculated duration of the alarm represents the persistence of the alarm condition.
If the alarm level changes (another alarm threshold is exceeded or the current threshold is no longer met), the alarm view displays the new severity. When the alarm condition is corrected, the alarm condition is cleared and the alarm is removed from the alarm display.
How the Alarms View Works
The Alarms view gives you a list of current alarms and details on those alarms. To open the Alarms view, click on Alarms in the left of the Home view or the alarm count in the navigation card in the Home view for a displayed group or inventory.
Alarm view links in the Home view
The view is context-sensitive. If you open the Alarms view without navigating to a specific group in the Home view, the Alarms view displays all system alarms. If you navigate to a group within the Home view, the Alarms view displays alarms for all devices in the group. If you navigate within the Home view to a specific device within a group, the Alarms view displays alarms for the selected device.
The alarm view is dynamic: On opening, the alarm list is automatically updated to show the latest alarms. Alarms that are cleared by the system are removed from the view.
An alarm is displayed so long as its device is operating outside of operating parameters. A condition that persists over time is represented by a single alarm, and the view displays the duration of the first instance of the alarm. Subsequent identical alarms are suppressed from the view. Any change in an alarm other than severity (for example, an alarm message revision) generates a new alarm.
All the alarms are displayed in the table but the Alarm count is based on the visibility set for alarms. The alarms for which visibility is set to false are not included in the count of alarms.
The Alarms view opens as a list. Some of the columns in the view are (for example):
  • Severity icons (!)
  • Actions
  • Device Name
  • Alarm Type
  • Alarm Message
  • Alarm ID
  • Arrival Date
  • Duration
Alarms view columns
Icons represent the alarm severity that you defined in the monitoring configuration.
Critical alarm icon - Critical
Major alarm icon - Major
Minor alarm icon - Minor
Warning Icon - Warning
Information Icon - Info
The number of alarms in the list is displayed at the top of the Alarm charts. When no filter is applied, the view displays the number of alarms for the view context. When a filter is applied, the view displays the number of alarms in the filtered list.
Alarm Table
The alarm table displays information about alarms in a table format for the selected group or device and is displayed with the alarms by severity, alarms by probes charts, and top alarming as a default view. You can view table information by selecting various elements within the table.
Follow these steps:
  • Click the Edit Columns in the Global
    Actions
    menu ( Inline menu.png ) at the top right of the Alarms view to add or remove columns in the display. Only options in the menu that apply to the display are active.
  • Click the checkbox next to an alarm to select the alarm.
    If at least one alarm is selected, the
    Actions
    menu is activated. You can also select
    select all
    and clear selected alarms.
    A menu of actions for an individual alarm can also be displayed from the
    Actions
    icon ( Action Icon ) in the table.
  • Click on the
    Alarm
    record in the table to display the overview.
    To return to the alarm list, close the overview.
  • Click a column header to sort the table data by that column.
You can change the columns that are displayed in the table by choosing
Edit Columns
from the Global
Actions
menu and select the columns that you want to display.
You can set values for the columns
Custom 1
through
Custom 5
by selecting one or more alarms and choosing
Set Custom
from the
Actions
menu.
View Alarm Details
Click the alarm record to view more information about the alarm in the
Overview, Device Details, Metric, and History
tabs. The details identify device and alarm attributes to help identify performance issues. For example, knowing what probe monitors the device might prompt you to check the probe status and log through the Admin Console view. Such details can help you determine whether the issue is in the device or in the probe.
  • The Overview tab displays alarm details.
  • Device Details displays the details about the device.
  • The History tab displays the history of the alarms that are created for the device.
  • The Metric tab displays performance metrics for the device. This tab only exists when an alarm is based on a metric.
The details view remains open for any selected alarm on the page but displays the details that are related to another alarm when another alarm is selected. You can close the details view and return to the list of alarms by clicking the
X
at the upper-right corner of the view. Multiple alarms can be selected in the Operator Console and can be performed with different actions like closing the alarms on the selected alarms.
View Device Metrics
You can view performance metrics for devices through the Alarms view. Metrics let you see the performance of the device for the last 24 hours. Device metrics are available in two places: under the Metrics tab in the Alarms view and in the dashboard for the device, accessible through the dashboards view. The Metrics tab is only available for alarms that are associated with metrics. Alarms for some conditions, such as an expired license, do not produce metrics, and no Metrics tab is generated. A link in the device name under the Device Details tab opens the dashboard view for the device. The dashboard view provides additional information about the device details. You can also open this view through the Dashboards view by drilling down through the group cards to the device.
Performance Metrics for Devices through Alarms View
For information about viewing dashboards for groups and devices, see View Your Dashboards.
UIM 20.3.3 has removed dependency on CA Business Intelligence (CABI) for rendering the native OC screens: Home page, Group view page, Device view page, and Monitoring Technologies (probes) view page. Custom and Out-of-the-Box dashboards and reports are still rendered by using CABI; that is, they have a dependency on CABI. However, the native OC screens are no longer dependent on CABI (Jaspersoft) and are rendered by using HTML5. For more information about the native OC screens using HTML5, see the Configuring and Viewing Monitoring Data article or the "Removing CABI Dependency (Native Operator Console)" section in the UIM 20.3.3 article.
Alarm Filters
There are times when all of the data available on alarms is too much information, either for you or for the user. You can filter alarm data either as part of a current analysis or as part of a designed view to filter out data that is not important. For example, data specific to an alarm severity or location or time might be easier to view and analyze when less-important data is removed from the display. You can change views dynamically by selecting different parameters in the current display, or you can create complex filters that can be applied to alarms and alarm views and modified according to want. You can apply filters to custom OC views to emphasize specific content each time the portal is opened and the list of alarms is viewed.
For each column in the Alarms view, you can use the additional filter options to narrow your search. Move the mouse pointer to the column to view the filter options. Some examples are as follows:
Column Name
Filter
Description
Alarm Severity
alarm_severity.png
Filter alarms based on the alarm severity:
  • View a sorted list based on the alarm severity (shown as 1 in the image). When all alarms are of the same severity, the alarms are displayed in random order and not on the alarm count.
  • Use specific alarm severity to view the related list of alarms (shown as 2 in the image).
Device Name
alarms_device_name.png
Filter alarms based on the device name:
  • View a sorted list based on the device name (shown as 1 in the image).
  • Use specific device name text to view the filtered list (shown as 2 and 3 in the image).
Alarm Type
alarms_alarm_type.png
Filter alarms based on the source of the alarm:
  • View a sorted alarms list based on the alarm type (shown as 1 in the image).
  • Use specific alarm type text to view the filtered list (shown as 2 and 3 in the image).
Alarm Message
alarms_alarm_message.png
Filter alarms based on the alarm message:
  • View a sorted alarms list based on the alarm message (shown as 1 in the image).
  • Use specific alarm message text to view the filtered list (shown as 2 and 3 in the image).
Duration
alarms_duration.png
Filter alarms based on the time when they were raised:
  • View a sorted alarms list based on the duration (shown as 1 in the image).
  • Use specific duration to view the filtered list (shown as 2 in the image).
Arrival Date
Filter alarms based on the date when they arrived in the system:
  • View a sorted alarms list based on the arrival date. Click A->Z.
  • Use specific duration to view the filtered list. Click the filter icon and enter the required values.
The filter item appears above the filter list. Click the filtered item again to clear the filter.
Alarm Management Actions
Alarm Management actions menu in the Alarms table has the following options.
  • Acknowledge
    to acknowledge an alarm.
  • Set invisible
    icons to hide an alarm.
  • Launch URL action
      to select a URL action, if available.
  • Add Annotation
    to add an annotation to an alarm.
Set Custom Alarm Fields
Authorized users can enter text in five custom fields for selected alarms, and the text is displayed in the alarm list view. You can use these fields to enter information about who to contact when certain alarms occur, instructions on how to resolve the alarms or general notes about the alarms. Alternately, the UIM alarm_enrichment probe can be used to add information automatically, such as device information (serial numbers, for example) or contact information to the custom text fields. You must have the
Alarm Management
permission in your Access Control List (ACL) to enter text in the custom alarm fields. By default, in OC these fields are named
Custom 1
through
Custom 5
. Administrators can change the name of these fields in the Raw Configure window for the Alarm Server (nas). The text that you enter in the custom fields is viewed by clicking the
More
button in the alarm list view. Or, you can add the columns for the custom fields to the alarms table view.
The custom text fields are displayed in the alarms list view only if text has been entered for the field.
Click a custom field to filter alarms by that field. You can also group information in the alarm summary chart by custom fields by choosing a custom field from the pull-down list.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click the
    Alarms
    view.
    The alarms are displayed.
  2. Select one or more alarms by clicking the checkbox next to the alarms or by choosing
    Select All
    from the Alarms table.
  3. Choose
    Set Custom
    from the Global
    Actions
    menu.
    The
    Set Custom
    dialog is displayed.
  4. Select the fields that you want to enter a value for, then enter the desired text.
    Existing text for custom fields is not displayed in the Set Custom dialog. Text that you enter overwrites any existing text.
  5. Click
    OK
    .
  6. In the alarms table view, select
    Edit Columns
    from the Global
    Actions
    menu and select one or more custom fields
    The custom fields that you entered text for are now displayed.
Change Names of Custom Fields
The default names for the custom text fields for alarms are
Custom 1
through
Custom 5
in OC. Administrators can change the name of these fields in the Raw Configure window for the Alarm Server (nas).
Follow these steps:
  1. Use Infrastructure Manager to open the
    Raw Configure
    window for the nas probe:
    1. Select the nas probe.
    2. Press the
      Ctrl
      key and right-click on the nas probe.
    3. Choose
      Raw Configure
      .
  2. Add the
    setup
    >
    custom_headers
    folder, then open the folder.
  3. Click
    New Key
    .
    The New Key dialog is displayed.
  4. Enter the following values:
    • Key name =
      custom_1
      through
      custom_5
    • Value = The name you want as the label for the field
  5. Click
    OK
    , then click
    OK
    again to close the Raw Configure window.
  6. Restart the OC webapp in the wasp probe:
    1. In Infrastructure Manager, double-click on the wasp probe to launch its configuration GUI.
    2. Click the
      webapps
      tab.
    3. Right-click
      OC
      .
    4. Click
      Stop
      .
    5. Click
      Start
      .
Delete Text from Custom Fields
You can delete text from a custom alarm field.
Follow these steps:
  1. In the
    Alarms
    tab, select one or more alarms by clicking the checkbox next to the alarms or by choosing
    Select All
    from the
    Actions
    menu.
  2. Choose
    Set Custom
    from the
    Actions
    menu.
    The Set Custom dialog is displayed.
  3. Select the fields where you want to remove text.
  4. Delete the text.
    Existing text is not displayed in the Set Custom dialog. Leaving it blank removes any existing text.
  5. Click
    OK
    .
  6. In the Alarms list view, click
    More
    for one of the alarms you selected.
    The custom fields that you removed the text for are no longer displayed.
Sort Alarms
You can change the sorting of alarm data in the alarm list and alarm table. To change the sorting of data in the alarm list or alarm table, select an item from the pull-down menu in the toolbar above the alarm list or table. The sorting you select is retained when you switch between the alarm list and alarm table.
Follow this step:
  • In the Table view, click a column header to sort by that column.
    This updates the
    Sort by
    pull-down menu and also sorts the list.
  • In the List view, pull down the Sort button and click on an item in the alarm description.
Clicking on the same sorting criteria for the third time removes the applied sorting and displays the results without sorting.
Change Alarm States
You can accept, assign, unassign, or acknowledge (clear) alarms in the OC
Alarms
table.
You must have the
Acknowledge
,
Accept
,
Assign
, or
Unassign
permissions set in the Access Control List (ACL) to take those actions on alarms.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click an alarm in the
    Alarms
    table.
  2. In the table view, do the following:
    • Click the checkbox to select one or more alarms, then select
      Accept
      ,
      Assign
      ,
      Unassign
      , or
      Acknowledge
      from the table
      Actions
      menu and the Owner column actions.
Configure Invisible Alarms
Administrators can set whether an alarm is visible to other users. You might want to set some alarms to invisible to hide them if they are not relevant to other users. You can quickly set a single alarm to invisible (or visible) by clicking the appropriate
Set invisible or Set visible
, or you can select multiple alarms and can set them to invisible (or visible) by choosing a menu item.
You must have the
Invisible Alarms
permission to set alarms as invisible and to view invisible alarms.
Set a Single Alarm to Invisible
You can quickly set whether a single alarm is visible by clicking an icon in the alarms list view.
You must have the
Invisible Alarms
permission to set alarms as invisible and to view invisible alarms.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click the
    Alarms
    view.
    The alarms information is displayed.
  2. Select an alarm.
  3. Click the
    Set invisible
    or
    Set visible
    from the table, Actions menu to set whether an alarm is hidden for users who do not have the
    Invisible Alarms
    permission.
Set Multiple Alarms to Invisible
Administrators can filter or sort to find certain types of alarms and then set multiple alarms to invisible (or visible).
You must have the
Invisible Alarms
permission to set alarms as invisible and to view invisible alarms.
To see what other users (who do not have the
Invisible Alarms
permission) will see, select
Hide Invisible
. All invisible alarms are hidden. Choose
Include Invisible
to include the invisible alarms in the list. In the Table view, you can add the Visibility column to the table (select
Edit Columns
from the
Actions
menu). As with all columns in the table, click the
Visibility
header to sort the table by that column.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click the
    Alarms
    view.
    The alarms information is displayed.
  2. Select the alarms you want to set to invisible. You can do this by:
    • Clicking checkboxes next to the alarms
    • Choosing
      Select All
      from the
      Actions
      menu
  3. Choose
    Set Invisible
    from the
    Actions
    menu.
To view the visible and invisible data in the Alarms table, you must add the Visibility column from Edit Columns in the Actions Menu. You can select true or false in the Visibility column filter to view the visible and invisible alarms.
Add Annotations
Annotations can only be added; previous annotations cannot be edited or deleted. Each entry in the Alarm Annotations editor is time-stamped and tagged for the user. HTTP or HTTPS addresses become active links when the annotation is saved. Annotations are automatically added when alarm ownership changes. The added annotation is visible in the Overview tab of the selected alarm:
Any notes that are attached to alarms using the nas API are displayed as annotations in OC.
Use Alarm ID or Host Name to Directly Access Alarms
You can use an alarm ID as a filter to directly access the associated alarm. Similarly, you can use a host name as a filter to access only those alarms that are related to that host.
  • Use Alarm ID
    To use an alarm ID as a filter, enter the alarm ID value in the URL:
    http://<OC_server>/operatorconsole_portlet/uim-alarms?alarmId=<value>
  • Use Host Name
    To use a host name as a filter, enter the host name value in the URL:
    http://<OC_server>/operatorconsole_portlet/uim-alarms?hostname=<value>
Create a Custom URL Action
A custom URL action provides a shortcut from an alarm to a third-party application by launching the URL in a new browser tab. You can use parameters in the syntax of the URL action so that alarm attributes are substituted in the URL. For example, you can use the parameter
${MESSAGE}
to include
alarm messages in the URL that can be consumed by a third-party service desk application. As another example, you can use a custom URL action to launch a Remote Desktop session to a system that is generating an alarm, using the format
rdp://${SOURCE}
.
More configuration steps are required on the system where Remote Desktop is launched.
To create or edit custom URL actions, you must have the
Edit URL Actions
permission set in the ACL. To launch a custom URL action, you must have the
Launch URL Actions
permission set in the ACL. With this permission, you can select an alarm, then launch an alarm action from the
Actions
menu.
Follow these steps:
  1. Select
    Alarms
    View in the left Navigation of the Operator Console (OC).
  2. Select
    Edit URL Actions
    from the
    Actions
    menu
    The
    Edit URL Actions
    dialog opens.
  3. Select
    New URL action
    .
  4. Specify a name and a valid URL.
  5. (Optional) Click the
    argument
    ( Argument Button Icon ) button and select an argument from the list. Repeat this step to add more arguments if desired.
  6. Make a selection from the
    Visibility
    menu.
    The
    Public
    option makes the URL action available to both bus users and account contact users. Select
    account > No Account
    to restrict the URL action to bus users only.
  7. (Optional) Click
    New variable
    to define a POST variable. If desired, click the
    argument
    ( Argument Button Icon ) button to use parameters in the POST variable.
  8. Click
    Save
    to exit the dialog.
Export Alarms to Excel
You can export a list of current alarms to a .csv file from the alarms table of a selected group or device. You can also export specific alarms to a .csv file. To export a list of alarms, click on the Global
Actions
menu above the list or table, and select
Export to Excel
. To export only selected alarms, click the box next to the alarm in the table, click on the
Actions
menu, and select
Export to Excel
.
Historical Alarms
You can view the historical data of the alarms in the Alarms table, by clicking the toggle for the historical data located on the top of the Alarms view page. This displays all the alarms for the devices till date including the cleared alarms.
The following items are common questions and their answers.
What happens to the view when a new alarm occurs?
The list of alarms is "paused" by default: that is, new alarms are held apart from the list. Pausing keeps the alarms list static while you view the current alarm data. When a new alarm is logged or an alarm is cleared, a message appears in the header of the view. You can update the alarm list by clicking the update message to view the new alarms and drop the cleared or expired alarms. The page contents change accordingly but keep a currently selected alarm visible.
Can I sort the alarms list? Can I filter alarms?
You can sort the view by any column by clicking the column title and then the sort icon for ascending or descending sort order. Strings are sorted alphabetically. If no alarm is selected, the sort opens to the first page of results. You can filter alarms. Click next to the Filter icon ( Filter icon ) at the upper left of the list to enter a quick filter. The alarm list is filtered on device names. Filters are case-sensitive.
How do I view alarm details, such as device information?
Select an alarm to open the alarm details pane below the list. If the monitoring probe collects metrics, the details pane contains alarm, device, and metric details. Opening the details pane automatically adjusts the length of the list to accommodate the pane.
What happens to the list when an alarm condition is corrected?
Alarms are displayed until the monitoring probe clears the condition. The alarm condition is cleared when the next monitoring interval no longer reports the condition. Each probe has its own monitoring interval, so different types of alarms can take different amounts of time to clear.
Clear Alarms
UIM clears alarms when you correct the condition that created the event or the alarm expires due to inactivity. After you correct an alarm condition, the monitoring probe will clear the alarm at the next monitoring interval and UIM removes the alarm from the Alarms view. If an alarm is not updated for 72 hours, UIM clears the alarm automatically and removes the alarm from the Alarms view. Refer to the following displays to identify possible causes of an alarm. Be aware that an alarm condition for one device—for instance, a power supply—can cause dependent devices to register alarm conditions too. Be selective about the priority of alarms to restore system operation quickly.
  • View the metrics for the alarm in by clicking the Metrics tab and viewing the metrics graph to identify any pattern in device performance that might result in an out-of-range condition. The graph displays the last 24 hours of device operation. The graph might indicate an hourly or daily pattern of heavy use.
  • View the alarm metrics for the device in the
    Dashboard
    ( Dashboard icon ) view for the same information in the context of the device. In the dashboard, you can change the displayed period to view metrics patterns to days or weeks. Changing the display period can be useful if periods of high use occur on specific days of the week or month.
    UIM 20.3.3 has removed dependency on CA Business Intelligence (CABI) for rendering the native OC screens: Home page, Group view page, Device view page, and Monitoring Technologies view page. Custom and Out-of-the-Box dashboards and reports are still rendered using CABI; that is, they have a dependency on CABI. However, the native OC screens (generic dashboards) are no longer dependent on CABI (Jaspersoft) and are rendered using HTML5.
  • If a minimum value is required for normal operation and no metrics are being returned, the monitoring probe may not be active. Check the status of the monitoring probe through the
    Admin Console
    to verify that the monitoring probe is running. If the probe status shows that it is inactive, restart the probe. For instructions, see Activate, Deactivate, or Restart a Probe.
  • If an alarm is being returned for otherwise an acceptable operating condition, alarm threshold settings may be set too low.
    Follow these steps:
    1. Select the group for the device in the Home ( Home icon ) view.
    2. Click the Monitoring Config ( Settings Icon ) icon at the upper right of the window to view the group monitoring profile.
    3. Check for an alarm threshold value that should be raised or a metric that should be turned off.
  • Review the monitoring probe log file for the device through the
    Admin Console
    to identify potential sources of the alarm condition. The alarm condition may be a one-time occurrence or a pattern of performance problems. If a configuration parameter (for example, a memory partition or the number of CPUs available) causes the condition, you might must reconfigure or replace the device. Refer to internal troubleshooting procedures to proceed. For instructions on viewing the log file, see View a Probe Log File.
Consult with your IT administrator for troubleshooting steps and configuration changes that are must correct the alarm condition.
Troubleshooting
Symptom:
There may be instances where the alarms are not generated though alarm policy is active.
Solution:
Alarm policy works only for enhanced templates. Ensure that the template that generates the metrics is an enhanced template.