Notifications are messages that are automatically sent when an alert occurs on a monitored system. To configure a notification, you must first choose the format of the notification, then define what information the notification should contain, and finally define who should get the notifications. Each of these definitions must be completed in this order.

Choosing the format of the notification is called enabling a notification channel. The available notifications channels are e-mail, instant messaging, Short Message Service, and command. A command channel can run a script or executable file. After enabling the notification channel you must then create a notification recipient. A notification recipient defines when and from what device notifications can be sent. You can limit who receives notifications by group membership, object types, alert criteria such as severity, priority, resolution state, and even category of alert, as well as configure alert aging.

Notification Channel

To send notifications, Essentials 2007 uses a variety of channels, such as pages, e-mail, text messages, and instant messages. The length and format of the message varies based on the media that receives the notification.

The protocols supported by Essentials 2007 Notification can work with a variety of e-mail, instant messaging, and paging systems. Essentials 2007 supports sending e-mail through Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) as well as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and short message service (SMS), which supports the transmission of short text messages to and from mobile phones.

In addition, you can configure a notification to run a command instead of or in addition to sending a notification message. A command can specify a path to an application or script that can perform basic troubleshooting functions for a particular failure.

Notification Message Content

Essentials 2007 administrators can configure message content and length for a notification. Essentials 2007 has two default message formats: short and verbose. The default short format has only a subject and is designed for small bandwidth channels and devices, such as instant messages and pagers. The default verbose format has a subject and a message body and is designed for notification channels that have more bandwidth available, such as e-mail.

Essentials 2007 uses variables to define the subject and body content of a notification message. An example of a variable is $Alert Name$. This variable is replaced with the name of the alert that triggered the notification. An administrator can accept the defaults for the short and verbose messages or edit the subject and content of a notification message.

Administrators can set a schedule to rotate which recipient receives a notification message. Also, Essentials 2007 can accommodate different notification channels and endpoints with a variety of delivery protocols and formats. For example, some operators prefer to receive notifications on a pager, while others might prefer to receive notifications by e-mail.

Notification Recipients

A recipient is the user that receives the notification message. In Essentials 2007, you can define recipients by list or by group membership.

Compiling a list manually is the most straightforward way to define notification recipients. Use this approach if the list of recipients does not change. A less labor-intensive method to use is group membership. If you are using Essentials 2007 in an Active Directory network environment, you can use group membership to determine who receives notification messages. Additionally, Active Directory accounts can store all contact information, including e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and pager information. With Active Directory integration, Essentials 2007 is automatically informed of any change to the contact information of an account.

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