Teradata is pleased to announce the Teradata Alerts / Common Alerting Mechanism (CAM) 14.0 release effective March 14th, 2012. A few of the key feature additions include running actions on Linux, a new "run SQL" action, incremental backups, and usability updates to the Alert Viewer portlet.

Overview

Prior to the Viewpoint 13.12 release, Teradata Alerts also known as CAM was part of the Viewpoint foundation and therefore directly aligned with new Viewpoint releases. As more solutions leverage Viewpoint portlets for their user interface, the more these solutions are looking to leverage the alerting foundation as well. This is the "common" portion of the CAM acronym. As such, we needed Teradata Alerts to be an independent release cycle to allow flexibility in addressing all solution alerting needs. So Teradata Alerts was separated from Viewpoint bundling and release cycles as of the 13.12 releases. The remainder of this article will discuss the feature enhancements being released as part of the Teradata Alerts / CAM 14.0 version.

Release Summary

There are some really nice feature enhancements in the Teradata Alerts 14.0 release. One that has been a popular customer request for some time is offering the Teradata Notification Service on Linux. This provides the ability to have alert actions run off a Linux server instead of Windows which was the only option previously. The alerting infrastructure now offers running a SQL statement as a new alert action complimenting the existing email, SNMP, and other actions. The Alert Viewer portlet was enhanced to adopt some common portlet features as well as displaying errors that have occurred when processing an alert action. The last major feature addition to the Alerts 14.0 release being discussed is support for the incremental backup process implemented with the Viewpoint 14.0 release. 

Teradata Notification Service on Linux

With Teradata Alerts / CAM 14.0, customers can now choose between having the Teradata Notification Service run on Windows or Linux. Windows was the initial priority as we had to allow an easy migration from Teradata Manager which only offered the Windows operating system for the notification service. With the 14.0 release, support for a Linux based server is now available for running BTEQ scripts and executable programs as alert actions. Some considerations for this new feature:

  • This is only required if there is the need for Linux based alert actions
  • The supported Linux operating system options are SLES10 SP3 or SLES11
  • The hardware is a customer provided server
  • The Viewpoint Server should NOT be used for the Notification Service

Please refer to the Teradata Alerts 14.0 Installation and Configuration Guide for more information including installation aspects of this this new Linux offering. Worth mentioning, the Notification Service for Windows is also covered in that same guide. 

"Run SQL" Alert Action:

Teradata Alerts 14.0 now offers "run SQL" as an additional alert action option. To use this new option, you will need to perform configuration in the Viewpoint Admin "Alert Setup" menu.

The first step will be to have the Viewpoint or Teradata system administrator create a login under the Viewpoint Admin -> Alert Setup -> "BTEQ/SQL Login" menu option. This is required before you can create an action set that runs a BTEQ script or SQL action.

You then create the specific SQL queries you want available under the Viewpoint Admin -> Alert Setup -> SQL Queries menu option.  These queries can then be referenced when creating alert action sets in Alert Presets -> Action Sets

Finally, the alert Action Sets can then be referenced in other solutions that integrate with Teradata Alerts.  For example, when setting up specific alert triggers in the Admin -> Teradata Systems -> Alerts menu option.

Here is a view of these new options in the Alert Setup menu:

Alert Viewer Portlet Enhancements:

The Alert Viewer portlet has adopted some useful common portlet features in the 14.0 release. These include previous/next navigation at the alert detailed view, paging mechanisms for better management of numerous alerts, and addition of the "tall" / vertical resizing capability. See the screen shot below with the new previous/next buttons and vertical resize option in the portlet footer.  

The other feature addition mentioned related to the Alert Viewer portlet was the addition of the logging and display of issues when processing an alert action. For example, an email alert action was not successful because the SMTP email server was down and therefore the email send was unsuccessful.

Incremental Backups:

Starting with the Teradata Viewpoint 14.0 release, backups are performed incrementally including the alert log data. Incremental backups allow for efficiencies in both the backup and restore processes. Because log data is backed up incrementally, smaller portions of the data can also be restored. Specifically, you now have restore options for the configuration data, current data, historical data, or everything. There is more information on backups and restores in the Teradata Alerts 14.0 Installation and Configuration Guide

Conclusion:

Those are the main feature additions for this release. There are a couple minor additions worth mentioning as well. For email alerts, the recipients are now listed in the “To:” section of the email for easy identification. For SNMP traps, we added the ability to send the the alert message along with the trap providing more information to the SNMP destination. To read more about all the features of Teradata Alerting, please refer to the updated Teradata Alerts User Guide. Lastly for solution compatibility, installation of Teradata Alerts 14.0 requires a Viewpoint 14.0 or newer instance. 

Discussion
AbeK 37 comments Joined 08/09
07 Apr 2012

Another useful and helpful enhancement. We used to run scripts to capture sql,abort session and alert user with the aborted sql. we missed that capability since we moved to viewpoint.This new feature with viewpoint revives that capability, now that we could do this on Linux through one of the TMS.

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
09 Apr 2012

I don't understand why you lost that ability. Since transition from Teradata Manager, the alerting has continued to support "run program" from a Windows based server. This release just extended that to allow for Linux also.

AbeK 37 comments Joined 08/09
10 Apr 2012

Gary,this was not a technical issue,just aa architecture situation since we gave up the windows servers after moving to Viewpoint and hence the disadvantage.

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
10 Apr 2012

Ok, that makes sense.

MartyS 3 comments Joined 12/11
25 Apr 2012

Gary,
one of the biggest issues we have with viewpoint alerting is that it does not get the real events from the system. For example, relying on a canary query to tell if the system is up or down, and not being able to alert on things like a dbs restart. Is there any plan to incorporate some of those tvi alerts in to viewpoint? We are currently pursuing using functionality on the SWS machines to fire SNMP alerts for us, as Viewpoint does not meet all of our needs, but we would much rather have everything in once place.

thanks!

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
25 Apr 2012

Actually the vast majority of Viewpoint alerting is dependent on the Teradata system, not Viewpoint collections. The canary query is used for several purposes, to see if the performance is degraded, or if Viewpoint can connect to the Teradata system. So that System Health alert for system availability is triggered if Viewpoint can't talk to the Teradata system which could be just a network issue. So yes, that can give some misconceptions about the Teradata system. The reason we didn't have a better mechanism for alerting on a Teradata restart is because we had no universal mechanism to do this. What I mean by that is we had a log entry on MP-RAS that could have been used but this didn't transition to Linux initially. This is now resolved with the Database allowing us to pursue the restart alert. Looking at trying to get that implemented in the next year.

bakster 1 comment Joined 03/10
10 May 2012

A couple of different but related questions...
Does anyone know of a way within the alert system in Viewpoint to determine if a blocked user/process begins with a specific letter or symbol? Basically we want to send an alert if a production job (starting with 'P' or 'M') is being blocked.

We currently call a VB program in TD Manager (we are on TD 13.0) to determine if the blocked job is a production job and if so send an alert. Our program currently reads the TDM alert.log file to find the block information. We understand that we may need to call this program or a version of it within VP to get the desired results. We have downloaded the Teradata Notification Service to a window server and the service is running. However, we are not sure how to get the data we need from VP. Data such as the blocker and the blockee. Has anyone done this or can anyone help us with this issue?

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
15 May 2012

Our roadmap plans will support this in the future. This new feature is to offer a "only these users" filter for blocked sessions that would support wildcards. Your use case would be implemented through two alerts, one for "P*" and one for "M*"

Raghu.teradata 2 comments Joined 10/11
20 May 2012

Is there any alert mechanism that exists now to notify if large chunk of data is getting redistributed?

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
20 May 2012

None that I know of. You may want to submit a GSC question to see if the experts can provide some guidance.

Raghu.teradata 2 comments Joined 10/11
21 May 2012

I will check with GSC and keep you posted. Thanks for quick reply.

garyadmin3 1 comment Joined 11/11
31 May 2012

You could use something via the Viewpoint 14 alerts portlet (which has this nice new feature) where on the alerts setup you can define SQL to run as below - then trigger it with a 'blocked alert' on the Teradata systems setup portlet , alerts option
(this means you don't need to store this SQL on a windows server running the Alert monitoring service, so it far easier to install and maintain)
Also need to setup a sql /bteq logon defintion that has read/ write access to dbcmngr and execute function on syslib

if you can identify the prod jobs by the username, this works ok - it writes an alert request row that triggers whatever message you want, email, or SNMP , to whoever you want . (Also need the data collector for Alert Request activated for the Teradata system) see the Teradata Alerts User Guide for info on the definition and values for this table

insert into dbcmngr.alertrequest
SEL DATE,TIME,'Block Alert','User being blocked' ,0,'E',20,'dba_mailbox@xxx.com',
'User: ' || TRIM(username) || ' Session: ' || trim(sessionno) || ' Blocked by: ' || Trim(IdentifyUser(blk1userid)) || ' Session: ' || trim( blk1sessno)
FROM TABLE (MonitorSession(-1,'*',0)) AS t1
WHERE Blk1UserId > 0
and
username = 'produsername';

geethareddy 104 comments Joined 10/11
19 Jan 2013

Hi Gary, we are on VP V14.01.00.02-b47. We are seeing the viewpoint system health portlet showing DOWN for long time (sometimes 7 to 8hrs) and very often. GSC said prblem descrption is "DCS hangs for extended periods of time, may be JIRA VP-26208.". When we reported it is showing down for 8hrs, they suggested to restart the viewpoint services to clear the hang.
I just thought to check with you is there any improved version of VP with effective DCS services to have the accurate system health reporting.

And one more quick question on system heartbeat. When i saw the limit (by moving cursor on it) it showing from 217ms-1.46Kms. Sometimes the system health shows critical just based on the high ssystem heartbeat. But we dont know at what number (i mean at how many milli seconds) it showing CRITICAL. If you can suggest me about the range from X to Y the VP shows the system critical based on the system heart beat, then i will enable the alert to the DBA about this and we can take a look at the system condition at that moment.

Thanks,
Geeta.

Thanks,
Geeta

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
21 Jan 2013

Geeta,

I don't track incidents directly but can tell you that JIRA VP-26208 has been fixed in the Viewpoint 14.01.00.03 patch that is now available. So I'd suggest getting your Teradata CSR to upgrade to that version. If that does not correct your issue, you should escalate through your account team for further analysis.

Regarding the system health behavior, I'd recommend reviewing the SteveR's blog on this:
http://developer.teradata.com/blog/stever/2011/08/understanding-the-system-health-equation

Hopefully that answers your question.

KhushbuAgrawal 1 comment Joined 08/12
15 May 2013

Hi,
We are using Viewpoint   V13.11.00.04-b59. I want to get email alert for each failed query. Is that Option is available in Viewpoint? 

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
15 May 2013

A couple considerations. First, you really need to upgrade your Viewpoint version. Consider Viewpoint 13.11 general customer release was December 2010! So you are four major versions behind (13.12, 14.00, 14.01, 14.10) and a multitude of patch levels. 
 
Regarding your "failed query" question, how would you define a failed query? Something that runs longer than expected? Is aborted? Something else? 

teraforsk 1 comment Joined 05/12
05 Aug 2013

Khushbu,
There is no option in viewpoint to define an alert for any failed transaction. 
What kind of failed queries are you targetting? Is it general user queires or batch queries?
The Workaround that i can think of is to call a procedure in your jobs, that inserts a row into dbcmngr.alertrequest on a failed transaction.
--SK

mc186003 1 comment Joined 04/10
12 Sep 2013

Hi Gary, 
 
Is it possible in the future to trigger an alert in VP after a query has been executed?
 
thanks,
Mike

gryback 132 comments Joined 12/08
13 Sep 2013

Mike,
So are you saying when a query completes you want to trigger an alert? Or when a query starts execution? How would you identify that particular query?
For instance, you can setup a session alert today based on the submitting user account so will trigger an alert when it identifies that Account has submitted a query. 
Gary

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