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BeepManager Incident and Alerts

Note that this is legacy functionality.  Available in Pingdom accounts created before June 27th 2016. Accounts created after that date, please see: Alerting Setup


Beepmanager is our incident management system, if you're just looking to get simple alerts when a site or server goes down you should head over to basic alerting.

The following will teach you how to set up Users and create step by step alerting, as well as use schedules and alert-free periods.

Incidents

When a check goes down an incident is created. The incident will then contact you and your users according to the Alert Policy you have chosen for that check. Each Alert Policy is set to both alert and Assign the incident. The user who is assigned to the incident is then responsible for updating it if needed, or close it if the problem has been solved. An incident will close itself as soon as the check is reported as up again.

 

How to set up a User

 

You can add another user to your Pingdom account, to enable them to access your account with different levels of access. The most extensive access right can only be set up for users invited to an account with a subscription plan that permits Multi User Access as stated on our pricing page.

This is going to assume that you are already logged in to My Pingdom

Navigate to Alerting > Users in the menu on the left. What you are seeing now is the Users Dashboard, a overview of all of your Users.

Click the "INVITE NEW USER" link in the upper right corner.

  1. On the modal that opens up is a field for the new Users email address, this will be used for sending out an invitation to the new User and also as a first notification fallback for the newly created User. When the email address is verified the rest of the fields will show up as well.
  2. Below this are some radio buttons to select the access level the new user will have. Note here that unless you have a Team, Professional or Enterprise account (with multi user access) the Users you invite will not be able to access checks, account information or similar. Other account types can only give access to Alerting-related features to their Users allow for incident management.
    1. Team, Professional or Enterprise accounts have the following access levels:
      • Admin, This is a user with full rights (including the ability to change billing details and make purchases).
      • User, This user can see, edit and create checks but can not change any billing details or make any purchases.
      • Restricted, This user can only see checks
    2. Starter, Standard, Personal, Pro accounts have the following access levels:
      • Admin, can set up and make any changes to alert policies, on-call schedules and maintenance schedules. May also assign, re-assign and respond to incidents.
      • User, can respond to and re-assign incidents. Can view schedules.
      • Restricted, can view incidents and schedules
  3. Contact methods are what you set up to tell us how to contact this User.
  4. Fallbacks specify when the above specified Contact methods should be used for this User
  5. Press the “Send Invite” button to invite the new user to access your account and make them available for your Alert Policies.

 

Alerting Endpoints

To add an Alerting Endpoint you go to Alerting > Alerting Endpoints page and click Add Alerting Endpoint on the right side.

  1. Name: Here you set the name of the Alerting Endpoint
  2. Contact Methods: Add a contact method for the Alerting Endpoint
  3. Choose between Email, SMS, URL/Webhook and Twitter alerts and then add the contact details
  4. Click Add
  5. Click Save Settings

You can add multiple contact methods for the same alerting endpoint.

Edit an Alerting Endpoint

To edit an Alerting Endpoint you click on the Edit button in the drop down menu next to the Alerting Endpoint.

Contact Methods

Email - An Email Alert is a simple email sent out to the email address you have chosen as a contact method, sent from alert@pingdom.com, and they look something like this:

DOWN alert: Pingdom HTTP Check (pingdom.com) is DOWN

SMS - When you choose this contact method you will be sent a text message/SMS to your mobile phone through one of our SMS providers (Nexmo, BulkSMS or Esendex). Each alert that is sent out from your account costs 1 SMS Credit.

Webhook - The URL/Webhook will send a HTTP get with a query string notifying of assignment, and a description of the event, the data is JSON formatted and looks like this: message={"check": "", "action": "assign", "incidentid": , "description": ""}. Where check is the CheckID, Incident ID is the number of the incident and Description is the event that takes place. When Pingdom is able to successfully perform the check again another string will be sent with an action to notify_of_close to indicate that the incident and the outage is over. You can read more about how to set it up here.

 

How to set up an Alert Policy

Alert policies are the easy way to get alerts to all your users and alerting endpoints. They define WHO to alert and WHEN to alert them.

 

 

First, make sure you are logged in to My Pingdom.

In order for you or your colleagues to receive notifications when your servers are having issues, you need to have set up some Users, some Alert Policies and connected them to your checks. Here are we going to look at Alert Policies and Checks. Users are described here in our FAQ.

We are going with the defaults her which means there should at least be a contact method using email, probably the one you signed up with. The default fallback is probably also set to the this contact method. You can set a delay between the fallbacks.

Now are we going to look at the Alert Policy and how to set it up. 

Start by Navigating to Alerting > Alert Policies, where you will be presented with a list of your Alert Policies.

This list shows you some basic information about your Alert Policies, such as;

  • Name and icon of the severity level
  • Check it's connected to
  • Time until first alert
  • Number of users involved
  • A link to see which checks are connected and an arrow button
  1. If you click the item in the list, excluding the connected checks link and the arrow button, you will open the edit screen for the Alert Policy in question. 
  2. The arrow button opens a menu with the items Edit and Hold to Delete, the Edit option will take you to the same page as the above action would.

What you see now is the structure of the Alert Policy.

  1. The left side shows a timeline for when notifications will be sent out, with the time from start on the left and the actual step to the right. 
  2. Up in the right corner is the setting for the severity level of this Alert Policy. 
  3. A step contains information about who to assign responsibility, how much of a delay from inception of the incident you want and possible CCs, Users or Endpoints you also want to notify. The name with a underline indicates that it is a User, the one without indicates that it is a Alerting Endpoint.
  4. The arrow on the right brings forward a menu with the options Edit and Hold to Delete. 

The settings for every step is shown in a modal window. To add a User or a Alerting Endpoint start by typing the name and a list of suggestions will pop up for you to click on. you can only assign the incident to one User but you can carbon copy the notification to as many Users or Alerting Endpoints as you want. Don't forget to save your changes.

Now we need to attach the Alert Policy to a check. Navigate to Monitoring > Uptime and open the edit modal for your check.

  1. At the lower part of this window there are three radio buttons, labeled Basic Alerting, BeepManager Incidents with Alerting and No alerting.
  2. Alert Policies can be found under BeepManager Incidents with Alerting, Select the Alert Policy we looked at in the previous step and click Modify Check to save the settings.

 

How to set up Push Notifications through the Pingdom App

To receive notifications in your app on your device there are two things that needs to be completed:

  1. The first is to connect your app and device to a User (u) in My Pingdom
  2. In the case of a User the Alert Policies needs to be set up and connected to a check.

The first step is accomplished by logging in to the app on your device, followed by going to the menu up in the left corner and selecting Settings. In the settings panel you are presented with you accounts all Users (u) and Contacts (c). Select one of the ones marked with (U) to connect you device and app to a User.

To set up notifications for your device via a User you go to Alerting > Users, click the name beside your User and select edit. You should be presented with the contact methods for this User and your device would be listed here. Now you need to set up a new fallback for this User, click the ADD FALLBACK button and select the fallback for your device. You can add a delay as well. Make sure that the severity level settings are correct as well. Now you need to make sure that your User is connected to some Alert Policies and that they in turn are connected to your checks.

A couple of things to think about here, to get this to work with Incident alerts, you need to be logged into your own user account, if your account has multi-user access make sure you switch to your own account first to connect your user, BeepManager access.

 

How to set up a Schedule 

 

The Schedules page can be found under Alerting > Schedules, when logged in to My Pingdom.

Up in the right corner is a button labeled Add new schedule, if you click this it will load a new page with the form to add a new schedule.

You start by naming the schedule up in the top part of the page and then clicking on the time period where you want to assign the specific user, then add as many of these time blocks as you'd like, then you're up and running. The schedule continues to run until you add a new rotation so if you have a recurring schedule it's simply a matter of setting up once. If someone is sick or has a day off, you can add a one time exception that will be alerted instead of the normally assigned user.

  1. Name the Schedule, this is the name you then use to assign to in alert policies
  2. These buttons are used to modify the schedule one you have it set up. Keep in mind that the schedule runs until you add a new rotation.
  3. Click anywhere here to start setting it up, once added it's easy to modify the length of the on-duty period and once you add a second user the schedule will automatically populate the rest.

Here is how it looks when you set up a user in the schedule.

Here is how it looks if you click the clock icon to show more advanced setting for this time slot in the schedule.

  1. This is where the new rotation has been set, the schedules is cleared after this and you can add a new one.
  2. An example where an exception has been added. In this case the exception user will be assigned to incidents instead of the person normally on duty.
  3. One thing to mention is that if you have a weekly rotation, clicking on the + next to the week will instantly fill the week with the user you specify.

 

What is BeepManager Pro?

For accounts which where created before April 2014, when we introduced the new BeepManager system, they were migrated to BeepManager Light. Accounts created after this date had the full BeepManager by default.

BeepManager Light is included by default in all legacy Pingdom plans. 

BeepManager Pro provides full access to all Alerting functionality and is the default on all new Pingdom accounts. This plan allows for having additional users that can be invited, use them to manage incidents, scheduling and alerting. This is labeled simply as BeepManager throughout Pingdom.

This light version differs from the full version in a few key ways:

  • Alert policies can only have 1 step
  • Maintenance periods are not available
  • On-Duty Schedules are not available

If you are on a legacy plan you can upgrade to the full version of Beepmanager under Alerting->Activate Beepmanager Pro. 

The full version will allow you to create customized multi-step alerting, set up awesome on-duty schedules and maintenance periods to both avoid alerts and make sure alerts go to the right person at the right time. 

Beepmanager Pro might cost a bit extra depending on the number of users, so when you upgrade make sure to disconnect any users that are not required to be part of schedules or have access to incident management features. You can still have an unlimited number of people receive alerts, but you'll have to set them up as Alerting Endpoints to avoid unnecessary charges!

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