Alerts glossary

A glossary of common terminology you may encounter with New Relic Alerts ( For a more general glossary, see the New Relic glossary.


An alert communicates an event or incident that designated personnel can track through New Relic Alerts.

alert condition

An alert condition, identified by its unique numeric condition_id, contains the criteria for New Relic Alerts to create an incident record, including the threshold that is set for a New Relic metric timeslice or a custom metric over time on a chosen target.

alert policy

A collection of one or more conditions that, if violated, can send alert notifications through user-defined channels.


See alert condition.


The period of time when customers cannot access your site and your app is not reporting to New Relic. For more information, see New Relic Synthetics.


See the entry for entity in the general New Relic glossary. You can identify one or more entities to be targets for alert policy conditions.

In the Alerts API, the entity being monitored is referred to using entity_id.


A specific occurrence that has a time stamp; for example, a deployment, error, condition violation, notification, instrumentation change, settings change, etc. Some New Relic products include a list with recent events and activities in their product index or in the Overview page for the selected entity or component.

In New Relic Alerts, opening a violation and closing a violation are two unique events with time stamps. You can view a summary of alerting events across all products from the Events page in New Relic Alerts.

health status

A colored bar (green, yellow, red, or gray) indicating the status of your app, host, or other entity monitored by New Relic. It also indicates whether the entity has any alert policies assigned to it with New Relic Alerts and whether there are any policy violations. The color-coded health status indicator appears next to the app, host, or other entity's name in every New Relic product index except New Relic Insights.

Service maps use different criteria to report the health of a connection between an app and an external service not monitored by New Relic (for example, a third party API).


An incident is a collection of one or more violations to a condition defined in an alert policy. An incident record includes all of the open and close time stamps for each violation, as well as chart snapshots of the data being evaluated around the time of each violation.

You can view detailed information from the Incidents pages in the New Relic Alerts user interface. You can also select your preference for how New Relic Alerts rolls up policy violations into the incident.


The message sent for a specified alerting event. The type of notification is defined by the alert policy's channel.

notification channel

How New Relic Alerts sends a notification when a condition in an alert policy passes the defined Critical (red) threshold. Available channels include email, mobile push notifications, webhooks, and more.


The component of New Relic that connects to your website to verify your website is accessible. New Relic has pingers in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Each pinger attempts to contact your website at least once every two minutes. If enough pingers are unable to reach your website, your application will be considered down.

For in-depth scriptable testing, including real browser tests and testing of API endpoints, see New Relic Synthetics. Synthetics includes free ping monitoring, which allows you to monitor your website from geographical locations around the world.


A runbook contains standard procedures and operations typically used by system administrators, network operations staff, and other personnel to handle outages, alert incidents, and other situations. If your organization stores runbook instructions as URLs, you can link this information to New Relic Alerts so your personnel has easy access to this information when an alert incident violates the defined policy thresholds.


A target is a resource or component monitored by a New Relic product that has been identified in an alert policy's condition. When the condition for that target crosses the defined Critical threshold, New Relic Alerts will create an incident record and send a notification through the defined channel.


The threshold is the value you define for an alert condition, including an optional Warning (yellow) and required Critical (red) level. The threshold includes what number to alert on, what value it monitors, and what point must pass within the specified frequency or time frame.

The entity's health status indicator in the New Relic UI will change to yellow or red when the threshold is passed for the defined time period. In addition, a Critical (red) threshold's violation will create an alert incident and trigger an alert notification from New Relic Alerts.

traffic light

See health status.


Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), or Coordinated Universal Time, is a standard timestamp for synchronizing time around the world. New Relic Alerts defaults to UTC, but you can switch to your time zone (defined from (account) > User preferences). You can also offset UTC when using the New Relic REST API (v2).


A violation is an event that occurs when an alert condition's value crosses the defined threshold. You can view a summary of the violations for a selected incident's page in New Relic Alerts. You can also view the violations for a specific entity from the New Relic product's UI.

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