Enterprise Alerts

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by PabloEscobar, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    With the Disabling of the messenger service in windows XP Sp2, I'm interested to know what software people are using for Enterprise Wide alerts and notifications.

    IE. If you need to reboot the mailserver NOW... how do you get that notification out to staff members?

    Thanks
    -
     
  2. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    I believe Outlook says "Lost connection with Exchange Server".

    :)

    But realistically, the only people who need to know about such an important outage (assuming it really has to be done RIGHT NOW) is the IT Helpdesk and the CIO/IT Manager.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    In the interests of being a pro-active department rather than reactive... It comes off better if the flow goes

    IT:Everyone, Your mail will be down for 10 minutes while the server reboots
    Everyone: Thanks IT, your the greatest!, here, have some beer.

    Rather than

    Everyone: 'ring ring'
    IT: IT Speaking
    Everyone: Oh Hai, I Cant get my mail, wtf is going on
    IT: Yeah, we've restarted the mail server it will be down for 10 minutes
    Everyone: Jeebus, how can I work when IT are randomly stopping me from working and not telling them, I think I might poison their dog tonight...


    Your company or IT dept may have a different take on how much they communicate with users, but I like my dog, and dont want him poisoned.
     
  4. Skitza

    Skitza Member

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    I could send a message via Sametime (before server went down) or using Novell's Send message utility which is a glorified net send but much better :)

    I think giving people a quick heads up is better than not telling them at all.
     
  5. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    My IT dept doesn't ever put itself in a position where I have to pull a critical core server down during the day (Both in large organisations - say 1000+ users - and small - say < 150 users).

    Hence, if we did (say a massive virii outbreak flooding the internet), its coming down now, and the only people who need to know about it is the aforementioned - every minute wasted in times like these is a minute of X users time that is inconvenienced.

    I do agree that users should be told about scheduled outages - and they are - via Email.

    But the reality is (for us anyway), if Email is down during core business hours, its because something is wrong and we're reacting to it - not because we pulled it down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  6. OP
    OP
    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    Email server was Probably a Bad Example...

    A better example would be a carrier outage on external links... Something thats out of your control, but still impacts users.

    We have tried using E-mail for these sort of notifications, But people tend to call first, which is something we are trying to Train out... Hence the requirement for some sort of Instant notification.
     
  7. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    This sounds more like a people and process problem than an IT one.

    If the process is all scheduled and unscheduled notifications from IT are delivered by email, then well thats the prorcess - send an amendment out to every user.
     
  8. below5

    below5 Member

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    Maybe a message to play when they call before the call comes through to IT... eg.. we are currently experiacing issues with internets... if your call is re this hang up now. A bit like when you call an ISP with a problem.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    Agreed - But saying "not our problem" doesnt go over very well, IT has been done poorly here the past and we have a large legacy to overcome, we are working on it, but in the meantime, Working with, and not against the people is the aim.

    Thats still being reactive, the users "sees" the problem first, even though IT may already know about it.

    Ignoring the hows or the whys, surely there is a product that is in use that allows instant notification to users on a domain of things.
     
  10. Swathe

    Swathe (Banned or Deleted)

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    We send an outage notification out via email.
     
  11. Draemad

    Draemad Member

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    run an instant messaging program... we use OCS for notifications that we want everybody to get.
     
  12. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    What about using psexec, which opens a text file in notepad that has your message, and uses a variable to go through a csv file with all computer names listed?

    Edit: NSanity, can I get a job at your ideal IT workplace? :) Oh how I'd love to work at a company with 100% of infrastructure covered by redundancy!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  13. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Its not.

    But I can count on flying pigs how many times in 2 years I've had to pull the exchange server down during the day that involves notifying users via another method other than email.
     
  14. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Internal jabber server here, handy for avoiding the use of external networks for internal chatter, and also handy for network wide alerts.
     
  15. fR33z3

    fR33z3 Member

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    Taking an exchange server down during the day sounds like an urgent change to me. So CAB/EC should convene, evaluate and then determine who needs to be notified. Timing, business impact and risk will all play a part in who is notified and how.

    The how part of it? That would normally be well defined in advance. Systems i've used - email, phones, phone recordings, a known outages intranet page, word of mouth to key personnel.

    Urgent changes for anything except those caused by unforeseeable events are generally bad and should be highlighted in a post change review, and changes made to mitigate the response to foreseeable events. Anything less means the business does not value this particular ICT service very highly. If its all a best effort service, then i suppose noone should care. If there are service level agreements involved then it sounds like a very dicey environment to be operating in.

    Apologies for bombardment of ITIL terminology.
     
  16. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    With 3 remote sites, relying on a certain provider to keep them up 24/7, I can definitely have issues out of my control.

    On top of that, a lot of the users aren't 24/7 email users being in a lawfirm, they might be busy dictating or typing up a dictation amongst other things.

    Each industry is different of course, but I bet there are a lot out there that aren't just heavy email users (both my last 2 jobs have also had a decent amount of non-email users).

    My current workplace of a bit over 300 staff, we don't have anything like a change management form either :\
     
  17. Yak

    Yak Member

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    If you are behind a firewall you shoudl be able to re-enable this via group policy. Just set it to be enabled when on the corp lan, disabled elsewhere.

    Just another example of a very useful tool, being ruined by spammers.
    Not too many PC's with the netware client installed connected directly to the internet..
    Just waiting for email to go the same way.
    10 years ago.. you could use any ISP to send email, it GOT there..
    Now my 1st response is "Junk Folder..."

    Yak.
     
  18. TehCamel

    TehCamel Member

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    maybe that's something to implement then.
     
  19. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    Not to take over the thread, but this place has had huuuuge changes the last 2 years from incredibly archaic and non-redundant setups and low staffing numbers. I'm still slowly working on documenting procedures and getting things done properly including actual project plans etc. Still huge amounts of stuff need to be fixed, along with keeping things afloat.

    Yak - I did a little reading, several things said that if it's internet facing it's pretty dangerous. What about laptop users who take theirs home?
     
  20. Bangers

    Bangers Member

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    Change Control, Weekly Notification Emails and High Availability.

    I don't think I've impacted end user service availability (External or Internal) via a Schedule or Emergency change in at least 5 years. Unscheduled Incidents (is this a double entendre?) are a completely different matter!
     

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