ControlUp Deep Dive – The Incidents Pane, Part 1

The ControlUp Incidents pane includes a dashboard that administrators can use to tell at a glance what has been going on with their systems over the last two weeks. Reported incidents are grouped into categories (called Incident Types) and the dashboard shows when and how frequently each type of incident occured. Although this information is incredibly useful, the Incidents pane is capable of doing much more. In this deep dive, you will learn about some common use cases for the ControlUp Incidents pane and how to perform some common tasks.

The Incidents Pane

The Incidents pane collects a wide variety of information about users, user sessions, monitored systems, and much more. While there is no denying the usefulness of the pane’s dashboard view, the Incidents pane can also be used as an alerting mechanism, or as a diagnostic tool. The Incidents pane’s use cases are so diverse that the primary limiting factor is the administrator’s own imagination.

Common Use Cases

  • Generate an incident if it takes a user more than sixty seconds to log into the system
  • Create an incident if the stress level of a monitored system remains at Critical for more than ten seconds
  • Determine which applications crash most frequently
  • Find out why an application is consuming an excessive amount of CPU time

Accessing the Incidents Pane

You can access the Incidents pane by clicking on the Incidents link, found at the bottom of the screen. When you do, you will be taken to a screen similar to the one that is shown in Figure A.

Figure A

The Incidents Pane Basics

The Incidents pane displays several key pieces of information. As you look at the figure above, you will notice that incidents are grouped by incident type. Some of the incident types reflect stress events (such as a host server being placed under excessive stress), while other incident types are related to Windows events. The incident types include: Folder Stress, Host Stress, Computer Stress, Session Stress, Process Stress, Account Stress, Executable Stress, Windows Event, Process Started, Process Ended, User Logged On, User Logged Off, Session State Changed, and Computer Down.

For each incident type the Incident pane displays the date and time of the most recent event. There are also counters that display the number of events that have occurred within the last hour, the last day, and the last 14 days.

The most noticeable part of the interface is the graphical display that appears to the left of each incident type. This display visually reflects the number of incidents that have occurred in the last 14 days. Although there is a counter that displays the same information, the graph breaks the total number of incidents down into days so that you can get a feel for when the greatest number of incidents have occurred.

A slide bar located at the top of the screen allows you to filter the list of incident types by date range. Drag the slide bar to set the desired start and end date and the Incidents pane will filter the view to display incidents within the selected date range.

The Incidents pane’s filter box allows you to enter a search query. Upon doing so, the display is filtered to show only data that is relevant to your query. In Figure B for example, the Incidents pane has been filtered to display incidents related to printing. If you enter multiple search terms then only results matching all of the specified terms will be displayed.

Figure B

As you might have noticed in the previous figure, the top portion of the interface will turn bright orange when you apply a filter. This is ControlUp’s way of telling you that you are looking at a filtered view of the data. This behavior isn’t limited to when you use the Filter box. The color change also occurs when you use the slide bar to adjust the date range.

Incidents Pane Drill Down

The Incidents pane also allows you to drill down into the data to learn more about the incidents. If for example, you wanted to know more about the Computer Stress incidents you could click on Computer Stress. Doing so would show you which computers have been under stress, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Incidents Pane Basics Conclusion

In this short blog we laid out the common uses of the Incidents pane and how to perform prevalent tasks. Stay tuned for our follow-up blog where we go over advanced usage features and use cases.