Wave goodbye to static thresholds and cry-wolf alerts

Posted by Ivar Sagemo

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Virtually all industries including health care, insurance, financial services, retail and supply chain, organizations are continuously subjected to new regulations and business requirements that require an ability to continuously adapt and renew their IT systems.

This means that IT staff has become one of the most important employee groups and a vital asset in any organization. Consequently any organization needs to ask themselves the question of whether the IT staff are utilizing their time in the best possible way.

We guarantee that if your IT staff are spending time configuring and maintaining traditional monitoring tools and static alerting thresholds, they are wasting their time, and it is greatly affecting your business performance. Analyst Jim Metzler of Ashton Metzler Associates, in conjunction with NetScout Systems, conducted a survey on static thresholds, and the statistics are grim:

  • 67% of organizations set thresholds artificially high to reduce alerts. 
  • 20% set alerts low to “proactively” catch problems
  • 48.3% of organizations spend 1-3 hours per day triaging alarms
  • 42% experience problems that are noticed by CLIENTS FIRST

 

RIPstaticthresholds

 

There is an obvious problem in setting thresholds artificially high. It does mean that you will have less false alerts, but it also means you might miss the actually important ones. This means you might not even be aware of the problem until a patient or other client informs you. Worst-case scenario your whole system might crash because you missed an important alert, and we all know the catastrophic consequences of downtime. Your IT staff will at this point have to go from proactive to reactive to fix the problem as soon as possible, which might not result in the best solutions.

Setting alerts low to proactively catch all problems may sound like a safe and smart approach, but this will cause an enormous waste of time, as you are receiving alerts that are not really problems, but normal variations. As it is impossible for your IT staff to have knowledge of every normal behavior occurring in your company, it is impossible to avoid false alerts.

The fact that organizations stated they spend 1-3 hours per day triaging alarms means that they are wasting a lot of time that could be spent on doing other things. You don’t need your IT staff to be stranded doing menial operational tasks, when they can spend their time on more strategic tasks, further developing your business. It speaks for itself that it is a waste of resources to have skilled employees doing tasks that could easily be automated.

So how can you make sure that your IT staff are making the most of their time? The answer is clear: you need dynamic thresholds. AIMS for BizTalk employs intelligent monitoring. By default, the software begins monitoring everything in an environment as soon as it’s installed, immediately fetching the parameters that are relevant for an organization. The software looks across the enterprise — scanning everything from hardware and hosts to orchestrations and external systems — without stopping to decide exactly what’s important to monitor.         

Its time to say goodbye to static thresholds and let them Rest In Peace.  

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