Intro to APM alerting

Learn how to:

  • Analyze data and features in the incidents overview page.
  • Identify critical information about recent events.
  • Create useful policies that can trigger notifications about situations that matter most to you.
  • Set up practical alert notification channels to reach the right personnel at the right time.


New Relic Alerting is a great way to manage notifications and events for many New Relic products in a single, easy to use feature. This centralized alerting system is much more flexible and will help you deal with performance problems more easily and effectively. This tutorial will give an overview of the data and features in the incidents dashboard, the events dashboard, the alerts policies dashboard, and the notification channels dashboard.

From the APM dashboard, click "alerts" in the product navigation menu at the top of the page. This will take you to a list view of all open alerts. This view gives you a quick overview of what needs immediate attention in your environment.

The default tab, "open incidents," shows all of the current incidents that still require resolution. The list view "open incidents" shows each incident's unique ID, name, number of open violations, when (if any) violations were closed, duration of the incidents, and who has acknowledged the incident. To help you find specific incidents, you can sort any column using the arrows on the column header, as well as the search bar above the table. You can acknowledge an incident by clicking on the "add user" icon or by opening the incident and clicking on the "acknowledge" button in the upper right corner. By listing these open incidents under one tab, you get a convenient, prioritized list which teams have various issues occurring, as well as who is working on these issues.

The second tab to the right of the open incidents is the "all incidents" tab, which gives a full, unfiltered overview of every incident that has been recorded. If you don't see the incident you're looking for, you can use the search bar, or click the arrow button in the upper right corner to see the next page of incidents. Let's open an incident to see a more detailed view.

Right at the top, we can see the name of the alert policy that the incident was created from. Immediately to the right of that is the edit icon that enables you to edit the alert policy. Below that is a series of stats about the incident, including the status; the duration; the number of open critical violations out of the total number of critical violations; the number of open warning violations out of the total number of warning violations; the number of personnel involved; the name of the alert policy; and who, if anyone, has acknowledged the incident. If no one has acknowledged the incident, you'll see a purple button that you can click to acknowledge the incident.

Below this, on the left, is the incident timeline. The first tab shows you all the violations--both warning and critical violations--in chronological order; and the second tab shows you all of the events in chronological order, including things like when the incident was opened; when a notification was sent, and through what channel; when an incident was acknowledged and by who; when violations were opened; and when violations were closed.

To the right of the incident timeline is the name of the target for the policy. This is often an application or transaction involved in the incident, and a brief description of what actually happened. You can click on a violation to open a detailed view. This window shows when the violation was opened, when it was closed (or if it is still in progress), the total duration of the violation, the severity level, and the specific policy threshold that was violated. Below this is a chart that shows details about what happened during the violation. Notice there is a section of red indicating the actual time the violation was in effect, and just before and after is a section of pink indicating the period of degeneration and recovery.

Above the chart to the right is a link to the APM transaction, and below the chart is an icon and link to edit the alert policy conditions. And if the incident is still open, you'll see an icon and a link to manually close the violation.

Now let's go back and take a look at some of the other features in New Relic Alerting. To get back to the list view, I'll click on the incidents tab in the alerting submenu at the top of the page. The second sub navigation tab in the alerts menu is the events tab. This tab acts like an incident timeline for all of your incidents, and shows you every violation in the violations tab, and all events in the events tab. This is a helpful way to find violations or events even if you aren't sure what policy to look in.

To help you find violations, there's a search bar a sort function on the columns, and the navigation arrows to see additional pages. Let's take a look at alert policies next.

This shows a list view of all policies. At the top is a search bar to make it easy to find a policy quickly, and to the right of that is the icon to create a new policy. We'll go over how to create an alert policy in a later video.

You can also see each policy's name, the number of conditions associated with it, the number of open incidents, and the most recent incidents associated with this policy. Now let's open a policy and look at a few alert policy features.

At the very top is the name of the policy, and to the right of that is an icon to edit the policy preferences, which allows you to specify how incidents should be created when conditions in this alert policy are violated. Next to that is an icon to delete the policy. Below this are two tabs to view the policy's conditions and notification channels.

We'll take a look at the conditions first. In the conditions tab, we see a search bar to help you find a specific condition, and to the right of that is an icon to add a condition to the policy. Below this is a list of conditions. Each condition has a category or product--such as APM, Browser, Servers, Mobile, or plugins--and a specific type, such as application metric, key transaction metric, or external service. And to the right of that is a note about when the policy was last modified. If there are any open incidents, you'll also be able to see the current number of open incidents, a button to copy the condition, and a button to delete the condition, as well as a button to turn the condition on or off.

Below this is the number of targets, such as the transaction or app that is associated with the condition. You can click on this to open a panel to see these targets. Below that are the critical and warning thresholds for the condition. These are indicated by the red stop sign icon and the yellow caution icon.

Each threshold has a short description of its settings. You can also click that to open a panel to see more details, or to edit these settings.

The second tab shows the notification channels, with information about the type of notification and the policy it is attached to. You can click on a notification channel to see details or to edit the settings. You can also see all notification channels by clicking on the "notification channels" tab in the alerting sub menu at the top of the page. I'll click on that now. Here, again, we see two tabs: one for channels, and one for users.

In the notification channels tab, we see a search bar and an icon to add a new notification channel. Below that is a list view of all notification channels, with type, a name, the number of policies subscribed to that channel, and an icon to delete a channel. When I click on a channel, I see a tab with details about the notification channel, and a tab that lists each of the associated policies.

Later videos will cover how to create a new alert notification channel, add policies to a channel, and add users. Now that you know how to navigate New Relic Alerting, you're ready to start learning how to create alert policies, set up alert notification channels, and start improving your app's performance. In the next video, we'll cover how to create an alert policy.