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Manual Chapter: Using Alerts
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Alerts

You can better manage the health of your network by configuring Enterprise Manager to alert you when specific system events occur. You can apply these alerts to individual devices, or to a device list, as well as to the Enterprise Manager device itself, so that you can monitor the events for your management system.

You can configure Enterprise Manager to manage alerts in these ways:

  • Send SNMP traps to a remote SNMP server
  • Send email alerts to a specific recipient using SMTP
Attention: To perform the specific tasks required to manage alerts, you must have administrator privileges with root access for the Configuration utility.

About configuring an SMTP server to send alert email

If you want to have a specific recipient receive an email message when an alert is triggered, you must configure Enterprise Manager to deliver locally-generated email messages using the internet-standard for electronic mail transmission, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Before configuring SMTP email notification alerts, you must configure DNS resolution and create an SMTP server configuration.

Specifying the IP address of your DNS server

You must specify the IP address of your DNS server for communication to the F5® file servers and for SMTP email notification.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Configuration > Device > DNS.
  2. In the DNS Lookup Server List area, in the Address field, type the IP address of your DNS server(s).
  3. Click the Add button.
  4. Click Update to save the changes.

Verifying DNS resolution

After you specify the IP address of your DNS server, you can verify that the address properly resolves.
  1. Log in to the command line as root.
  2. Type the dig <domain> command. For example, to query MX and siterequest.com, you would type dig siterequest.com mx. The result to this query should appear similar to this example, indicating that Enterprise Manager™ is able to resolve the email exchanger. ; << >> DiG 9.2.2 << >> siterequest.com mx ;; global options: printcmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 16174 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;siterequest.com. IN MX ;; ANSWER SECTION: siterequest.com. 86400 IN MX 10 mail.siterequest.com. ;; Query time: 65 msec ;; SERVER: 172.16.100.1#53(172.16.100.1) ;; WHEN: Mon Nov 8 14:32:07 2011 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 51

Creating an SMTP server configuration

Specify the SMTP server details so that you can configure SMTP email notification.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Configuration > Device > SMTP.
  2. Click the Create button. The New SMTP Configuration screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the SMTP server that you are creating.
  4. In the SMTP Server Host Name field, type the fully qualified domain name for the SMTP server host.
  5. In the SMTP Server Port Number field, type a port number. For no encryption or TLS encryption, the default is 25. For SSL encryption, the default is 465.
  6. In the Local Host Name field, type the host name used in the SMTP headers in the form of a fully qualified domain name. This host name is not the same as the BIG-IP system's host name.
  7. In the From Address field, type the email address that you want displayed as the reply-to address for the email.
  8. From the Encrypted Connection list, select the encryption level required for the SMTP server.
  9. To require that the SMTP server validates users before allowing them to send email, select the Use Authentication check box and type the user name and password required to validate the user.
  10. Click the Finish button.
You can now configure the system to use this SMTP server to send emails.

Configuring SMTP email notification for alerts

To configure Enterprise Manager to deliver locally generated email messages (such as alerts), you must have root access privileges to its command line, the system must be configured for DNS resolution, and you must first create an SMTP server configuration.
You specify an SMTP server to send alerts to a configured email recipient.
Note: Prior to Enterprise Manager version 3.0 and BIG-IP systems version 11.0, you configured postfix to deliver locally-generated email messages.
  1. On the Main tab, click Enterprise Management > Options > Servers.
  2. In the SMTP Server area, from the SMTP Configuration Name list, select the configuration you set up for your SMTP server.
  3. Click the Save Changes button.

About SNMP traps for alerts

You can configure Enterprise Manager to use Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) (the industry-standard for managing devices on IP networks) to send SNMP traps to a remote SNMP server when prompted by an alert.

Enterprise Manager supports SNMP v1, SNMP v2c, and SNMP v3.

Setting v1 and v2c trap destination

You must specify the destination SNMP manager to which the BIG-IP® system should send notifications. For SNMP v1 and v2c only, you specify a destination system by providing the community name to which the BIG-IP system belongs, the IP address of the SNMP manager, and the target port number of the SNMP manager.

Important: This procedure applies to SNMP v1 and v2c only.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > SNMP.
  2. From the Traps menu, select Destination.
  3. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
  4. For the Version setting, select an SNMP version number.
  5. In the Community field, type the community name for the SNMP agent running on the BIG-IP system.
  6. In the Destination field, type the IP address of the SNMP management system.
  7. In the Port field, type the SNMP management system port number that is to receive the traps.
  8. Click Finished.

Setting v3 trap destination

You must specify the destination SNMP manager to which the BIG-IP® system should send notifications. For SNMP v3 only, you specify a destination system by providing the IP address and target port number of the SNMP manager, as well as authentication and security information for accessing the SNMP manager.

Important: This procedure applies to SNMP v3 only.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > SNMP > Traps > Destination.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
  3. For the Version setting, select v3.
  4. In the Destination field, type the IP address of the SNMP management system.
  5. In the Port field, type the SNMP management system port number that is assigned to receive the traps.
  6. From the Security Level list, select the level of security at which you want SNMP messages processed.
    Option Description
    Option Description
    Auth, No Privacy Process SNMP messages using authentication but without encryption. When you use this value, you must also provide values for the Security Name, Authentication Protocol, and Authentication Password settings.
    Auth and Privacy Process SNMP messages using authentication and encryption. When you use this value, you must also provide values for the Security Name, Authentication Protocol, Authentication Password, Privacy Protocol, and Privacy Password settings.
  7. In the Security Name field, type the user name the system uses to handle SNMP v3 traps.
  8. From the Authentication Protocol list, select the algorithm the system uses to authenticate SNMP v3 traps. Your options are MD5 or SHA. When you set this value, you must also enter a value in the Authentication Password field.
  9. In the Authentication Password field, type the password the system uses to handle an SNMP v3 trap. When you set this value, you must also select a value from the Authentication Protocol list.
    Note: The authentication password must be at least 8 characters long.
  10. If you selected Auth and Privacy from the Security Level list, from the Privacy Protocol list, select the algorithm the system uses to encrypt SNMP v3 traps. Your options are AES or DES. When you set this value, you must also enter a value in the Privacy Password field.
  11. If you selected Auth and Privacy from the Security Level list, in the Privacy Password field, type the password the system uses to handle an encrypted SNMP v3 trap. When you set this value, you must also select a value from the Privacy Protocol list.
    Note: The authentication password must be at least 8 characters long.
  12. Click Finished.

Specifying defaults for alert options

Setting the default behavior for alerts ensures consistent alert actions and the ability to quickly add new alerts based on these standardized options. It is important to specify default behavior for alerts before you enable the alert options.
  1. On the Main tab, click Enterprise Management > Options > Alerts.
  2. In the Email Recipient field, type the email address of the user, or the alias, that you want Enterprise Manager™ to use as the default receiver when sending alerts.
  3. If you want to log alert events to a syslog file:
    1. In the Syslog Server Address field, type the IP address of the remote server where you want to store alert event logs.
    2. In the Maximum History Entries field, type the maximum number of alerts that you want stored in the syslog file If the alert history reaches the limit you set, Enterprise Manager deletes the oldest entries to create room for newer entries.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Creating an alert for a device

Before Enterprise Manager can send alerts, you must verify the IP address of your DNS server. If you want Enterprise Manager to send SNMP traps, you must first specify the trap destination.
Create alerts for your devices to monitor specific system events.
  1. On the Main tab, click Enterprise Management > Alerts > Device Alert List.
  2. Click the Create button. The New Alert screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the alert. Once you create the alert, you cannot change the name.
  4. From the Alert Type list, select the type of alert that you want to create. Depending on the type of alert that you select, the screen may refresh to display additional options, including threshold fields.
  5. If the alert type requires a threshold, for the Condition setting, specify a threshold value.
  6. For the Action setting, select the check box next to each action that you want Enterprise Manager to take when the alert is triggered. If you select the option, SNMP trap to remote server, you must have SNMP configured.
  7. If you want to change the email recipient for this alert, clear the Use default email recipient check box, and in the Email Recipient field, type an email address. If you selected the option to send an email, the system sends the email by default to the email recipient you specified in the Options screen for alerts.
  8. If you want to change the syslog server address for this alert, clear the Use default syslog server address check box and in the Syslog Server Address field, type a syslog server address. If you selected the option to log a remote syslog event, the system sends the event by default to the syslog server address you specified in the Options screen for alerts.
  9. For the Devices or Devices Lists setting, in the Available box, select one or more devices from the devices or device list and click the Move button to move the selected devices or device list to Assigned.
  10. Click Finished.
Enterprise Manager notifies you if a device meets the criteria for the alert you selected.

Creating an alert for Enterprise Manager

To help maintain the health of the Enterprise Manager device, you can create system alerts to notify you when CPU, disk, or memory usage meets or exceeds a particular threshold.
  1. On the Main tab, click Enterprise Management > Alerts > EM Alerts.
  2. For the Conditions setting, select the check box next to each of the metrics on which you want to set an alert. The screen refreshes to display threshold fields for the conditions you selected.
  3. Retain the default values or type a new maximum in the threshold fields.
  4. In the EM Alert Actions area, for the Action setting, select the type of action that you want Enterprise Manager to take when the values you specified for the thresholds are met or exceeded.
  5. Click Save Changes.
Enterprise Manager informs you if the metrics you selected meet the thresholds you defined.
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