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Introduction

Ask yourself a question: what comes to your mind when you think of the specifics of a typical cloud application?

In my mind, it comes that these apps are complex. They typically consist of multiple modules in most of the time written in different languages. Furthermore, a typical cloud app uses a lot of different cloud services. Very often, they use an on-premise backend system and runs into hybrid environment.

And now another question arises: when we have an issue with our productive app, how do we understand where exactly the issue comes from? Does it come from some of the modules of our app, or from the dependencies that we have or from our on-premise backend?

After some research, I couldn’t find some common recipe for that – everyone is tackling this in a different way. For example, some of us watch logs, some build custom dashboards, some code something additional that helps them.

 

 

How does Alert Notification help?

Alert Notification is a brand-new SAP Cloud Platform based service which provides you with the ability to understand instantly whenever there’s an issue with your cloud application or its dependencies. Furthermore, it will notify you via any channel of alert management you like – no matter if this is mail, some sort of corporate chat (like Slack), ticketing system or even SAP Solution Manager or Focused Run for SAP Solution Manager.

Currently, Alert Notification is available for SAP Cloud Platform’s beta accounts and at the beginning of 2019, it will be in GA.

How this works?

Let’s have a look at a simple example below.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of DevOps engineers responsible for an application running on SAP Cloud Platform.

Whenever our application is having troubles with the CPU load, SAP Cloud Platform’s Monitoring Service will instantly detect it. Since it is quite well integrated with Alert Notification service, it will tell it that there’s this issue right away. The Alert Notification itself will do two things: first, it will store this alert for 24 hours; second, it will notify us via the channel we want – in this case some sort of corporate chat. Once this is done, we, as DevOps engineers, will be able to act upon this alert. Or even pull the alerts from Alert Notification to another system installed in their ecosystem but outside SAP Cloud Platform. For example, SAP Solution Manager or Focused Run for SAP Solution Manager.

However, knowing only the monitoring data is not enough. What if some of our dependencies are unavailable? Or the database is overloaded? Or if the connectivity with our backend system is okay? The good news is that Alert Notification will support all of these.

On the other side, we might not want to use corporate chat, but might want to use a ticketing system or SAP Solution Manager. Also, here, the good news is that Alert Notification will support all of these as well.

So, if we have to summarize – with Alert Notification you will know instantly of a problem that has occurred in your application, in the services that it uses or in the database, via the channel you want!

How to consume it?

Open SAP Cloud Platform Cloud Cockpit, navigate to a sub-account of yours, go to Services tab and subscribe to Alert Notification. Note that this functionality will be available only for beta accounts.

Once you subscribe, you will be able to see the Alert Notification UI in SAP Cloud Platform Cloud Cockpit

If you click on Create or on some of the available tiles, you will be able to define a new subscription of an Alert (or edit an existing one).

For how to define a subscription, you can also check out our help page .

Once you define a subscription, you can tell via what channel you want to receive this subscription by defining an action.

In our example, we have defined that we want to receive this subscription via mail and also to store it.

For more details on Action, check-out the documentation.

 

Next Steps

Since we’re currently in a guided beta we do call for everyone having a beta account and willing to try out Alert Notification to get in touch with us. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to us as well! We will try to support you fully on consuming the service.

To get in touch with us you can write us to: sapcp_alert_notification@sap.com

Until the GA phase, we will enhance the service even more by trying to enable as much SAP Cloud Platform services to report their alerts, as possible.

 

Resources

[1] Alert Notification service Documentation

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