Incidents for log-based alerting policies

An incident is a record of when an alerting policy's condition or conditions are met. Typically, when conditions are met, Cloud Monitoring opens an incident and sends a notification when a log is received that matches the condition of your log-based alerting policy. However, incidents aren't created under the following circumstances:

  • The policy is snoozed or disabled.
  • The maximum rate of notifications would exceed the limit of 1 notification every 5 minutes for each log-based alert.
  • The daily total of notifications would exceed the limit of 20 notifications a day for each log-based alert.

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

Before you begin

Ensure that you have the permissions that you need:

For more information about Cloud Monitoring roles, see Control access with Identity and Access Management.

Find incidents

To see a list of incidents, do the following:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the  Alerting page:

    Go to Alerting

    If you use the search bar to find this page, then select the result whose subheading is Monitoring.

    • 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.
  2. 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 Investigate incidents section of this page.

Find 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 Filter incidents.
    • Acknowledge or close an incident, or snooze its alerting policy. To access these options, click  More options in the incident's row, and make a selection from the menu. For more information, see Manage incidents.

Filter 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.

Investigate incidents

After you have found the incident you want to investigate, go to the Incident details page for that incident. To view the details, select 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 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.
    • Severity: The severity of the incident:
      • No Severity
      • Critical
      • Error
      • Warning
    • 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 caused the incident. 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. Metadata labels are only displayed when there is a filter or grouping that depends on the label. For more information, see Annotate alerts with labels.

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 View logs by using the 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.

Manage incidents

Incidents are in one of the following states:

  •  Open: The condition of log-based alerting policy was met, and the incident is still open. If the same condition is met 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 page, 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.

Snooze an alerting policy

To prevent Monitoring from creating incidents and sending notifications during a specific time period, snooze the related alerting policy. When you snooze an alerting policy, incidents related to the alerting policy remain open but don't cause further notifications. The incidents close based on the alerting policy auto-close duration.

To create a snooze for an incident that you are viewing, do the following:

  1. On the Incident details page, click Snooze.

  2. Select the snooze duration. After you select the snooze duration, the snooze begins immediately.

When you view an incident's details page, you can create a snooze for the related alerting policy by clicking Snooze and then choosing a duration. The snooze begins immediately. You can also snooze an alerting policy from the Incidents page by finding the incident that you want to snooze, clicking  More options, and then selecting Snooze. You can snooze alerting policies during outages to prevent further notifications during the troubleshooting process.

Close 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 page, 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  View more and then select Close 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 conditions that caused the incident are still considered active by the alerting system.

Data retention and limits

For information about limits and about the retention period of incidents, see Limits for alerting.

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