Manage incidents for log-based alerts

Stay organized with collections Save and categorize content based on your preferences.

An incident, also called an alert, is a record of the triggering of an alerting policy. Unless an alerting policy is snoozed or disabled, Cloud Monitoring opens an incident when a condition of an alerting policy is triggered. The incident contains information that you can use to investigate the cause of the notification.

When a matching log entry first triggers your log-based alerting policy, Monitoring opens an incident and sends you a notification unless the policy is snoozed or disabled.

This document describes how you can view, investigate, and manage incidents for log-based alerting policies.

Finding incidents

To see a list of incidents, do the following:

  1. In the Google Cloud console toolbar, click  Navigation menu, and then select Monitoring:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Monitoring navigation pane, select  Alerting:

    • The Summary pane lists the number of open incidents.
    • The Incidents pane displays the most recent open incidents. To list the most recent incidents in the table, including those that are closed, click Show closed incidents.
  3. Optional: To view the details of a specific incident, select the incident in the list. The Incident details page opens. For information about this page, see the Investigating incidents section of this page.

Finding older incidents

The Incidents pane on the Alerting page shows the most recent open incidents. To locate older incidents, do one of the following:

  • To page through the entries in the Incidents table, click  Newer or  Older.

  • To navigate to the Incidents page, click See all incidents. From the Incidents page, you can do all the following:

    • Show closed incidents: To list all incidents in the table, click Show closed incidents.
    • Filter incidents: For information about adding filters, see Filtering incidents.
    • Acknowledge or close an incident: To access these options, click  More options in the incident's row, and make a selection from the menu. For more information, see Managing incidents.

Filtering incidents

When you enter a value on the filter bar, only incidents that match the filter are listed in the Incidents table. If you add multiple filters, then an incident is displayed only if it satisfies all the filters.

To add a filter the table of incidents, do the following:

  1. On the Incidents page, click  Filter table and then select a filter property. Filter properties include all the following:

    • State of the incident
    • Name of the alerting policy
    • When the incident was opened or closed
  2. Select a value from the secondary menu or enter a value in the filter bar.

Investigating incidents

To view the details of an incident, you must have, at a minimum, the Identity and Access Management role of roles/monitoring.viewer. For more information, see Unable to view incident details due to a permission error.

After you have found the incident you want to investigate, go to the Incident details page for that incident. To view the details, click on the incident summary in the table of incidents on either the Alerting page or the Incidents page.

Alternately, if you received a notification that includes a link to the incident, then you can use that link to view the incident details.

The following screenshot shows the details page for an incident:

The details page provides summary information and investigative tools for
an incident.

The Incident details page provides the following information:

  • Status information, including:

    • Name: The name of the alerting policy that caused this incident.
    • Status: The status of the incident: open, acknowledged, or closed.
    • Duration: The length of time for which the incident was open.
  • A Logs pane, which displays log entries that match the alert query. The pane lets you filter these entries as part of your investigation.

    To refresh the log-entries list, click  Refresh. To view the logs in the Logs Explorer, click  View in Logs Explorer.

  • Information about the alerting policy that caused the incident:

    • Condition pane: identifies the condition in the alerting policy that caused the incident. For log-based alerting policies creating by using the Logs Explorer, the condition name is always "Log match condition."

      This pane also reports the time between notifications, and auto-close duration from the alerting policy.

    • Message pane: provides a brief explanation of the cause based on the configuration of the condition in the alerting policy. This pane is always populated.

    • Documentation pane: shows the documentation template for notifications that you provided when creating the alerting policy. This information might include a description of what the alerting policy monitors and include tips for mitigation.

      If you skipped this field when creating the alerting policy, then this pane reports "No documentation is configured."

  • Labels: reports the following:
    • The labels and values for the monitored resource included in the log entry that triggered the alerting policy. This information can help you identify the specific monitored resource that caused the incident. These labels are also reported in the Message string.
    • Any user-specified labels and values that you defined on the alerting policy. You can use these labels for organizing and identifying alerting policies. Labels associated with a policy are listed in the Policy Labels section, while labels defined as part of a condition are listed in the Metric labels section. For example usage, see Add severity levels to an alerting policy.

The Incidents details page also provides tools for investigating the incident:

  • Links to other troubleshooting tools. The configuration of your project and alerting policy and the age of the incident determine which links are available.
    • To see the details page for the alerting policy, click View policy.
    • To edit the definition of the alerting policy, click Edit policy.
    • To see related log entries in Logs Explorer, click View logs. For more information, see Using Logs Explorer.
  • Annotations: Provides a log of your findings, results, suggestions, or other comments from your investigation of the incident.
    • To add an annotation, enter text in the field and click Add comment.
    • To discard the comment, click Cancel.

You can also acknowledge or close incidents from the Incident details page. For more information, see Managing incidents.

Managing incidents

Incidents are in one of the following states:

  •  Open: The log-based alerting policy was triggered, and the incident is still open. If the same alert is triggered again and there is already an incident open, then a new incident isn't opened.

  •  Acknowledged: The incident is open and has manually been marked as acknowledged. Typically, this status indicates that the incident is being investigated.

  •  Closed: You have manually closed the incident, or it was automatically closed after the auto-close period expired.

Acknowledging incidents

We recommend that you mark an incident as acknowledged when you begin investigating the cause of the incident.

To mark an incident as acknowledged, do the following:

  • In the Incidents pane of the Alerting dashboard, click See all incidents.
  • On the Incidents page, find the incident that you want to acknowledge, and then do one of the following:

    • Click  More options and then select Acknowledge.
    • Open the details page for the incident and then click Acknowledge incident.

Closing incidents

You can let Monitoring close an incident for you, or you can close the incident.

Monitoring automatically closes an incident when the auto-close duration for the alerting policy expires. By default, the auto-close duration is 7 days. The minimum auto-close duration is 30 minutes.

To close an incident, do the following:

  1. In the Incidents pane of the Alerting dashboard, click See all incidents.
  2. On the Incidents page, find the incident that you want to close, and then do one of the following:

    • Click  More options and then select Close this incident.
    • Open the details page for the incident and then click Close incident.
If you see the message Unable to close incident, try again in a few minutes. You can't close a new incident immediately because the triggering log entry is still considered active by the alerting system.

What's next