Create alert conditions

A condition describes a monitored data source and the behavior of that data source that will be considered a violation. This document will explain the types of conditions available, how to create a condition, and how to view existing conditions.

Related documentation:

Create a condition

To create a condition:

  1. Create a policy and you will automatically be prompted to add a condition.


    From an existing policy page, select Create/add a condition.

  2. Follow the prompts in the UI, which include:
  3. Optional: After you finish creating a condition, copy it and add it to other policies.

Conditions that provide fields for you to input numerical values accept decimal points up to the second decimal place (hundredths). For example, 0.01 is the smallest possible value.

Types of conditions

Here are descriptions of the different types of conditions:

NRQL query conditions

Use the UI or Nerd-Graph API to create NRQL conditions for basic NRQL queries that return a number.

APM metric alert conditions

See APM metric alert conditions for tips about creating APM conditions using NRQL.

Baseline conditions

Baseline alerting allows you to create conditions that dynamically adjust to changing data and trends, such as weekly or seasonal patterns. This feature is available for APM and Browser apps, as well as NRQL queries.

Outlier detection conditions

Outlier detection attempts to find groupings in your data and then looks for values that are outliers from those groupings. Outlier detection is available only for NRQL alerts.

Synthetic monitoring multi-location conditions

With multi-location Synthetic monitoring conditions, you can set up a monitor to notify you when a specific number of locations are failing at the same time.

Key transaction metrics conditions

For APM, you can set up conditions for key transactions.

Java instance conditions

You can set thresholds that open a violation when they are breached by any of your Java app's instance metrics.

By scoping thresholds to specific instances, you can more quickly identify where potential problems are originating. This is useful, for example, to detect anomalies that are occurring only in a subset of your app's instances. These sorts of anomalies are easy to miss for apps that aggregate metrics across a large number of instances.

JVM health metric conditions (Java apps)

For Java apps monitored by APM, you can set thresholds that open a violation when the heap size or number of threads for a single JVM is out of the expected operating range.

We calculate alerting threshold violations individually for each of the app's selected instances. When creating your condition, select JVM health metric as the type of condition for your Java app's alert policy, then select any of the available thresholds:

  • Deadlocked threads
  • Heap memory usage
  • CPU utilization time
  • Garbage collection CPU time

Violations will automatically close when the inverse of the threshold is met, but by using the UI you can also change the time when a violation force-closes for a JVM health metric. Default is 24 hours.

Web transaction percentile conditions

We include the option to define a percentile as the threshold for your condition when your web app's response time is above, below, or equal to this value. This is useful, for example, when Operations personnel want to alert on a percentile for an app server's overall web transaction response time rather than the average web response time.

If you want to set an arbitrary threshold in a condition for a non-web app transaction, use the NRQL queries feature.

To define the percentile threshold:

  1. Select Web transactions percentiles as the type of condition for your APM app's condition, then select a single app. (To alert on more than one app, create an individual Web transactions percentiles condition for each.)
  2. To define the thresholds that open the violation, type the Percentile nth response time value, then select its frequency (above, below, or equal to this value).

We store the transaction time in milliseconds, although the user interface shows the Critical and Warning values as seconds. If you want to define milliseconds, be sure to include the decimal point in your value.

Dynamic targeting with labels for apps

By applying labels to applications, you can automatically link these entities to your condition. This makes it easy to manage all the applications within a dynamic environment. We recommend using the agent configuration file to best maintain entity labels.

A single label identifies all entities associated with that label (maximum 10,000 entities). Multiple labels only identify entities which share all the selected labels.

Using dynamic targeting with your condition also requires that you set a violation close timer.

To add, edit, or remove up to ten labels for a condition:

  1. Select APM > Application metric as the product type.
  2. When identifying entities, select the Labels tab. Search for a label by name, or select a label from the list of categories.

You can also create conditions directly within the context of what you are monitoring with Infrastructure.

Infrastructure conditions

You can create conditions for your resources directly in Infrastructure.

For example, if you want to be notified when we have stopped receiving data from an Infrastructure agent, use the host not reporting condition type. This allows you to dynamically alert on filtered groups of hosts and configure the time window from 5 to 60 minutes.

Apdex and response time conditions

You can open violations and send notifications for response times. However, Apdex scores are almost always more meaningful and provide a better reflection of application performance. For example, average response times can be skewed by outliers, while the Apdex score gives a more accurate assessment of acceptable response time rates that your users experience.

Change a condition name

If you want to change the default condition name, make it short and descriptive. Provide useful information for notification messages that have limited characters, such as email subject lines, online chat, etc.

  • Use camel case or dotted decimal notation.
  • Describe the essence of what is being violated.

To change an existing condition's name:

  1. In the top nav, click Alerts & AI, click Alert policies, then (select a policy).
  2. Click a condition name to edit it, and then type a meaningful name for the condition.

You can't edit the product and condition type associated with a condition. Instead, you must delete the condition and create a new one with a different product and condition type.

Maintain policies and conditions

After you save the condition, the currently selected policy lists all alert conditions that apply to it. From here you can:

You may also manage your policies via the policies Nerd-Graph API.

View existing conditions

The policies index lists them in alphabetical order. To view or search for existing conditions:

  1. In the top nav, click Alerts & AI, then click Alert policies.
  2. Use the search box, sort any column, or scroll the list, then select a policy's name to see its conditions.

To view policy and condition information for a specific entity: From that entity's product UI, select Settings, then click Alert conditions.

For more help

If you need more help, check out these support and learning resources: