Performance Alerts

AlertSite UXM sends performance alerts when a website response time exceeds a user-defined threshold (static or dynamic). Performance alerts do not indicate a hard error, such as timeouts or content errors, but tell you when your site is slower than usual. Performance alerts are similar to service level agreements (SLA), but while SLAs are used for reporting purposes, alerts let you proactively identify performance problems and take action.

Performance alerts are disabled by default; you can enable them in the monitor settings. In multi-step monitors (such as real-browser monitors and SoapUI API monitors), you can set performance thresholds for the entire test and also individual steps.

Note: Performance alerts do not follow alert blackout rules (neither monitor blackouts, nor recipient blackouts), and are sent during the blackout periods too.

In This Topic

Static vs Dynamic Thresholds

To check the monitor performance, AlertSite compares its response time with a predefined threshold. Thresholds can be static or dynamic:

In monitors with 2 or more locations, thresholds apply to each location individually, and an alert is sent only if the specified number of locations exceeds the threshold. The alert message will list all locations that exceeded the threshold during the measurement period.

Current Response Time

To measure the current performance, AlertSite does not just consider the latest response time, but instead calculates the average response time over a user-defined time period, from last 10 minutes to 24 hours. This helps avoid false positives due to local connectivity issues.

Response time is calculated for each location individually, and the number of locations is taken into account for alert conditions. If you are using rotated locations, see considerations below.

Enabling or Disabling Performance Alerts

You can enable or disable performance alerts and set performance thresholds in the monitor settings.

  1. On the Dashboard, click the monitor tile, then click on the mini toolbar.

    —or—

    Click Edit Monitor on the Monitor Summary, Monitor Availability, or Monitor Performance dashboards.

  2. Switch to the Alerts tab.
  3. Click Monitor Alerts or Step Level Alerts, depending on whether you want to set performance alerts for the entire monitor or individual test steps.

    Note: Step-level alerts are supported only for real-browser monitors (DéjàClick), mobile web monitors and SoapUI API monitors.

  4. Under Performance Alerts, select Enable or Disable.
  5. Configure the performance alert settings (see below).
  6. Click Save to save the monitor configuration.

Examples

Alert if the response time exceeds 8 seconds

This example uses static thresholds for the monitor response time: 8 seconds for a warning and 10 seconds for an error. Current response time is calculated as an average for the last 3 hours, and an alert is sent when 2 or more locations report threshold exceeded conditions.

Response time thresholds for a monitor

Alert if the response time of the first step exceeds the norm by 20%

In this example, the Login step uses dynamic thresholds for the response time: 20% for a warning and 40% for an error. So, if the normal response time is 10 seconds, a warning condition is 12 seconds or more (12 seconds are 20% more than 10 seconds), and an error condition is 14 seconds or more.

Current response time is calculated as an average for the last 3 hours, and normal response time – as an average for the past 7 days. An alert is sent when 2 or more locations report threshold exceeded conditions.

Response time thresholds for a monitor step

Performance Alert Settings

Enabled

Enable or disable performance alerts for this monitor or step.

Measurement Alert Type

The metric to set the alert on. It can be the response time, or one of its components. Most common metrics are Response Time and Fullpage Response Time (the response time of the entire page including images, stylesheets and other external resources). Available metrics depend on the monitor type.

  Metric Web Monitors API Monitors Mobile Monitors
URL Real-Browser (DéjàClick) Selenium Mobile Web Perfecto
Response Time
Fullpage Response Time Only monitors with full page monitoring
(Fullpage Interval > 0)
Only monitors with full page monitoring
(Fullpage Interval > 0)
  Only monitors with full page monitoring
(Fullpage Interval > 0)
 
DNS Time    
Connect Time    
First Byte    
Content Download    
DOM Load   Firefox monitors only     Firefox monitors only  
Page Load        
First Paint   Firefox monitors with
the Enable UX? option selected
    Firefox monitors with
the Enable UX? option selected
 
Above the Fold   Firefox monitors with
the Enable UX? option selected
    Firefox monitors with
the Enable UX? option selected
 

Dynamic

Select the dynamic mode to compare the monitor’s current response time with its previous performance.

Static

Select the static mode to use fixed thresholds. For example, 7 seconds for a warning and 10 seconds for an error.

Response time average for the last

The time frame to calculate the current response time. Possible values: last 10 minutes up to 24 hours.

Important: AlertSite calculates the current response time for each location individually. When monitoring with rotated locations, use a larger time frame to ensure a sufficient sample size. See considerations below.

Exceeds the historical average for the past

Used only in Dynamic mode. The time frame (1 to 7 days) to calculate the monitor’s normal response time. The current response time will be compared against this value.

Error and warning thresholds

Response time thresholds that will trigger performance alerts. Both warning and error thresholds are required, and warning thresholds must be smaller than error thresholds.

Locations in error/warning

The minimum number of locations that must be in error or warning to trigger a performance alert. You can specify a fixed number, or a percentage of the total number of locations.

For example, if a monitor runs from 10 locations, and you want to get an alert if 2 or more locations are in error at the same time, enter Count = 2 or Percent = 20%.

Configuring Recipients for Performance Alerts

AlertSite can send performance alerts via the following notification methods:

Alert recipients need to have performance alerts enabled in their settings. To configure a recipient to get performance alerts:

  1. Select Alerts > Alert Recipients from the top menu.
  2. (Optional.) To add a new recipient, click New Recipient and enter the contact details.
  3. Select a recipient in the list and click Edit Recipient.
  4. On the Performance Alerts tab, select Enable.

    Enabling performance alerts in recipient properties

  5. Choose to receive Errors only or Warnings and errors. Warnings and errors have different response time thresholds.
  6. Select Repeat successive performance alerts to continue receiving alerts while a performance problem remains. Otherwise, the recipient will get only one alert when the problem starts, and a “clear” notification when the response time is back to normal.
  7. To send only performance alerts but not availability alerts to this recipient, unselect Enable on the Availability Alerts tab.
  8. Click Submit.

Note: By default, each recipient gets alerts from all monitors, but you can target alerts to specific recipients by creating recipient groups.

Alert Templates

You can customize the contents of performance alerts for the following delivery methods:

See Alert Templates to learn how to create and edit the templates.

Note that for the custom templates to have effect, you need to either set them as default, or create a recipient group that combines the desired monitors, recipients and custom templates.

Considerations for API Monitors

Ready! API and SoapUI tests can include Response SLA assertions to verify that the API response time is within the specified value. AlertSite’s API monitors handle Response SLA assertion failures as availability errors with status 2 “Test timed out”, so they trigger availability alerts. If you want the high response time to trigger performance alerts instead, disable Response SLA assertions in your API test before uploading it to AlertSite and configure the performance thresholds in the monitor settings.

Considerations for Rotated Locations

When monitoring with rotated locations, consider the monitoring interval and number of monitoring locations when selecting the time frame to calculate the current response time (the Response time average for the last setting). For example, say your monitor is configured as follows:

and the performance thresholds for the monitor are configured as follows:

With this setup, there are 12 tests in an hour, and each location runs only once per hour. Because performance thresholds apply to each location individually, 10 minutes may not be an adequate sample size – it includes only the latest run from the location. In this case, you would receive an alert as soon as any location exceeded the threshold.

Consider what sample size is appropriate for your purposes. If you are looking at trends rather than a single event, use a longer time period for the response time average. In the above example, Last 6 Hours would provide a more useful sample size to determine performance trends. This way, each location will run about 6 tests. For example:

See Also

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