Tech

Using notifications in your OnApp cloud

Neal Hansen

Neal Hansen
Senior Cloud Architect

In OnApp 5.2 we introduced a more robust notifications system that can be used to alert a cloud owner, or cloud users, to a range of events taking place in the cloud.

Notifications can easily be customized in terms of their content, and how they’re delivered – and for email notifications, can be checked for successful delivery too.

It’s all part of the monitoring and alerts toolset that OnApp provides to help ease management of your cloud, and improve overall cloud governance. In this post, I’d like to give you a quick guide to how notifications work, and how you can use them.

What’s new in notifications?

OnApp’s notification system is a significant upgrade to the old Email Configurations system in previous versions of OnApp. It’s more automated, more flexible and provides much more detailed information. Your OnApp cloud can now alert you to system resources exhaustion and status changes, OnApp daemon issues and transaction issues – to name just a few. You can also create custom events, such as advising a user when you are going to perform maintenance, and how much downtime there may be.

If you do have a cloud version that’s older than OnApp v5.2, and you’re going to upgrade, then the settings you’ve created in your E-mail Configurations will be preserved, and implemented as a set of default settings in the new notifications system. You can then continue using them or customize them using the new notifications functionality.

Gateways for notifications

Delivery of notifications is determined by Gateways: they can be used with any SMTP or SENDMAIL, and the Deliveries section of the notifications menu will display the status of these.

Notifications can also be used without e-mail, and just delivered directly to a user when they log into the OnApp control panel. When a user logs into the cloud, the OnApp UI displays the number of notifications near the top of the page, if you are sending them internally.

 

Notification recipients, subscriptions and templates

Determining which user gets which notification is easy to control with OnApp’s Recipients List system. Recipients can either be internal, as a user on the cloud, or can be set up as an external recipient if the target e-mail is not associated with any user on the cloud. Subscriptions are then used for organizing these systems together.

 

When creating a subscription you can assign a gateway, notification template, recipients list, and event. This will allow you to send specific type and styles of notifications only to specific users, or yourself, and you can determine exactly what information is sent with the notification using Notification Templates.


Templates can easily be edited to customize the content contained in the notification. This gives you flexibility for when your systems change, or just if you want to provide more (or less) information to specific users of the cloud.

Putting all of these systems together makes for much smoother communication of any events or issues that are happening in your cloud. Users can more easily see if there is some problem going on with their virtual machines, or if you are planning on performing maintenance at a specific time and date, so they can be prepared.

The flexibility of this notifications system is extremely helpful in monitoring cloud status and communicating with your users in a more automated manner.

If you’d like to know more about notifications and other monitoring, alerts and governance tools in OnApp, just get in touch with your account manager, contact support, or ask us for a demo. Thanks!