OPS10-BP02 Have a process per alert - AWS Well-Architected Framework

OPS10-BP02 Have a process per alert

Have a well-defined response (runbook or playbook), with a specifically identified owner, for any event for which you raise an alert. This ensures effective and prompt responses to operations events and prevents actionable events from being obscured by less valuable notifications.

Common anti-patterns:

  • Your monitoring system presents you a stream of approved connections along with other messages. The volume of messages is so large that you miss periodic error messages that require your intervention.

  • You receive an alert that the website is down. There is no defined process for when this happens. You are forced to take an ad hoc approach to diagnose and resolve the issue. Developing this process as you go extends the time to recovery.

Benefits of establishing this best practice: By alerting only when action is required, you prevent low value alerts from concealing high value alerts. By having a process for every actionable alert, you create a consistent and prompt response to events in your environment.

Level of risk exposed if this best practice is not established: High

Implementation guidance

  • Process per alert: Any event for which you raise an alert should have a well-defined response (runbook or playbook) with a specifically identified owner (for example, individual, team, or role) accountable for successful completion. Performance of the response may be automated or conducted by another team but the owner is accountable for ensuring the process delivers the expected outcomes. By having these processes, you ensure effective and prompt responses to operations events and you can prevent actionable events from being obscured by less valuable notifications. For example, automatic scaling might be applied to scale a web front end, but the operations team might be accountable to ensure that the automatic scaling rules and limits are appropriate for workload needs.

Resources

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