by Mike Faster
Coyote Creek President
Yesterday was the final day of Atlassian Summit 2019, and the second day was as good as the first—both in terms of announcements from Atlassian and attendance at our booth. Lots of people posted on social media that visiting our booth was a Summit “must.” Both the magician and the swag were home runs, and by yesterday afternoon we were completely cleaned out of our “magic-themed” t-shirts and playing cards.
Yesterday’s Day One Wrap-Up blog by Dave Theodore touched on many of the announcements from Atlassian. But one topic Dave didn’t cover that I find really interesting is Opsgenie.
We’re very excited about Opsgenie!
Opsgenie, a recent (fall 2018) acquisition by Atlassian, is a platform for modern incident management. What makes it “modern” is its built-in intelligence. Opsgenie acts as both a traffic cop and a hub. When an alert or incident occurs it connects all the teams/systems/people in one place so that everyone can work together to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.
At Coyote Creek there are two main reasons why we’re so excited about Opsgenie. First, we provide incident management services for our clients as part of our Cloud Services managed services offering. We’re going to use Opsgenie as part of our solution, so that we can get even better at incident management. Second, we see a need for better incident management when we engage with clients during projects.
There are a few areas in which we know Opsgenie will dramatically improve things:
- Filtering out noise – Incidents are detected by both systems and people. When we’re working on a project, both our team and the client’s team have monitoring systems in place that detect issues and create alerts. There’s a problem with your network. Alert! Alert! There’s a problem with your computer. Alert! Alert! Which is great…except these systems tend to be quite “noisy” in that they generate too many alerts. Some are false alarms, others are duplicate alerts for the same problem. Alerts are fired off in seconds, and you can easily get 10 to 20 alerts before someone takes action to stop the alert cycle.Opsgenie’s built-in intelligence counters this problem. Opsgenie has interfaces to all of the most popular IT and dev ops alerting and incident management systems. So in the case of noisy alerts, Opsgenie has the intelligence to both eliminate duplicates and determine if something is a real alert or a false alarm.
- Implementing incident responses – Once Opsgenie has determined that an alert requires a response, it has the ability to implement policies based on your pre-configured parameters. You set up policies based on how important the alert is, such as the “1 to 4” priority level system we use at Coyote Creek. Then, based on this priority or the correlation to other things, Opsgenie determines what happens next. A war room or conference call automatically gets started where a team of people are pulled in to start working on the problem. Opsgenie lets you quickly start conference calls and pull in other team members by automatically contacting them via email, text or call.
- Running escalations – The longer the incident remains unresolved, the more you’ll need to communicate with other people and parts of the organization, including management. Opsgenie will handle this for you automatically. It can send text messages with status updates, and it can integrate into Atlassian Status Page to communicate the incident status there.
The big benefit of Opsgenie
All of this functionality is completely configurable and tunable. What this means is that once the system is set up, suddenly the process of how you manage incidents is taken care of for you by Opsgenie. The people responsible for fixing the problems can now put all of their time and energy into troubleshooting and problem resolution. They don’t have to filter out the noise. They don’t have to think about who else needs to be pulled in or informed. Opsgenie handles all of that so that they can simply focus on getting the incident resolved as quickly as possible.
Needless to say, we’re looking forward to getting Opsgenie up and running at Coyote Creek, and seeing how it helps both us and our clients.
Last night Atlassian Summit wrapped up with a fabulous party at the Mandalay Bay Beach. There was great food and great fun, all capped off by a performance by the B-52s. Today I’m heading home exhausted but happy, and looking forward to seeing what next year’s Summit will bring.