About Notifications in Operations Manager 2007
Notifications are messages that are automatically sent when an alert occurs on a monitored system. To configure a notification, you must first choose the format of the notification, then define what information the notification should contain, and finally define who should get the notifications. Each of these definitions must be completed in this order.
Choosing the format of the notification is called enabling a notification channel. The available notifications channels are e-mail, instant messaging, Short Message Service, and command. A command channel can run a script or executable file. After enabling the notification channel you must then create a notification recipient. A notification recipient defines when and from what device notifications can be sent. Finally, you must create a notification subscription that defines who receives notifications. You can limit who receives notifications by user role, group membership, object types, alert criteria such as severity, priority, resolution state, and even category of alert, as well as configure alert aging.
To send notifications, Operations Manager 2007 uses a variety of channels, such as pages, e-mail, text messages, and instant messages. The length and format of the message varies based on the media that receives the notification.
The protocols supported by Operations Manager 2007 Notification can work with a variety of e-mail, instant messaging, and paging systems. Operations Manager 2007 supports not only sending e-mail through Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), but also Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and short message service (SMS), which supports the transmission of short text messages to and from mobile phones.
In addition, you can configure a notification to run a command instead of or in addition to sending a notification message. A command can specify a path to an application or script that can perform basic troubleshooting functions for a particular failure.
Notification Message Content
Operations Manager administrators can configure message content and length for a notification. Operations Manager has two default message formats: short and verbose. The default short format has only a subject and is designed for small bandwidth channels and devices, such as instant messages and pagers. The default verbose format has a subject and a message body and is designed for notification channels that have more bandwidth available, such as e-mail.
Operations Manager uses variables to define the subject and body content of a notification message. An example of a variable is $Alert Name$. This variable is replaced with the name of the alert that triggered the notification. An administrator can accept the defaults for the short and verbose messages or edit the subject and content of a notification message.
Administrators can set a schedule to rotate which recipient receives a notification message. Also, Operations Manager can accommodate different notification channels and endpoints with a variety of delivery protocols and formats. For example, some operators prefer to receive notifications on a pager, while others might prefer to receive notifications by e-mail.
Notification Recipients and Subscriptions
A recipient is the user that receives the notification message. In Operations Manager 2007, there are three ways to define recipients: by list, membership, or subscription.
Compiling a list manually is the most straightforward way to define notification recipients. Use this approach if the list of recipients does not change. A less labor-intensive method to use is group membership. If you are using Operations Manager 2007 in an Active Directory network environment, you can use group membership to determine who receives notification messages. Additionally, Active Directory accounts can store all contact information, including e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and pager information. With Active Directory integration, Operations Manager 2007 is automatically informed of any change to the contact information of an account.
Subscriptions are designed to decrease the overhead of configuring and maintaining a notification. An Operations Manager 2007 administrator first creates a subscription for a notification. In the subscription, the administrator specifies all the formats and devices that send the notifications. Operators can then subscribe to this notification. While subscribing, operators can specify how they prefer to receive the notification from the available notification devices, such as by e-mail or instant message, and whether they would like a long or short message.