Metrist April 2022 Product Updates

Product update post intro image

The team has been hard at work with some big product updates. Check out the April 2022 product updates below and send us any feedback or questions that you might have:

  1. Additional vendor status details
  2. Twitter hashtag trends for AWS service monitors
  3. New service monitor for Metrist services 
  4. Metrist vendor status API (Limited BETA)
  5. What we are working on next

1. Additional vendor status details

Last month, we added the duration that a Metrist service monitor was unhealthy. We now also include the duration when a vendor status changes. You’ll also be able to see when a vendor changes their status to unhealthy (degraded or down). We’ll start counting the time period until the status changes back to healthy.

April 2022 product updates

This feature is great for active issues, but what about when the vendor status changed in the past? We now include all vendor status changes in the Metrist vs. Vendor status comparison for AWS, Azure, and GCP service monitors. You can view vendor status changes by selecting a bar with the Metrist vs. Vendor comparison chart, then the vendor status change. Any Metrist status changes will display.

We’ve included counts of hashtags and sparklines specific to the AWS services that we monitor to provide you with a one-stop for your third-party troubleshooting needs. With this feature, you’ll quickly understand if others are experiencing any issues when you are investigating third-party latency or outages within the Metrist web app. If you are using a similar service like Down Detector, you’ll have the ability to see the Metrist + Vendor + Twitter trends in a single view.

Keep an eye out for more hashtag reporting for other services that we monitor.

3. New service monitor for Metrist services

To provide full transparency into the Metrist platform’s health, we have provided a Metrist service monitor to validate that Metrist is working as expected. 

The service monitor will:

  • Check that Metrist can access the latest service monitor build – required to run a service monitor from each location
  • Pull regional and vendor-specific configurations – required for the monitor to run in each location
  • SendTelemetry – collects and sends data to the Metrist collector.

You can add the Metrist service monitor by selecting ‘Manage’ on the Metrist web app home landing page.

Select the Metrist service monitor and save your changes.

If you’d like to receive a Slack notification, you’ll need to enter the command /metrist subscriptions #[channel_name] and select “Metrist” from the drop-down list in Slack.

4. Service monitor status API (Limited BETA)

A common feature request has been to pull the service monitor status using a REST API. This feature is now available! The Metrist service monitor status API allows you to obtain the status of one or more service monitors at any given time. Learn more about this feature: Metrist docs

Please note that this feature isn’t available for all accounts. If you are interested and would like access, contact us.

5. What we are working on next

Thanks for reading this far! We aren’t done yet. Here’s a view into what we are working on next:

  • Continuing the focus on when a monitor is not healthy
    • New service monitor status
    • Providing additional header request and response details
    • Adding vendor status details to additional service monitors
  • Additional GCP service monitors

Please let us know what you think of these new features and what other features you’d like to see.

Metrist March 2022 Product Updates

Product update post intro image

We released several new features in March we’d like to share with you. Check them out below and send us any feedback or questions that you might have.

Metrist March Madness! New features released in March:

  1. New Metrist docs
  2. More service monitor details about each service monitor and individual check
  3. AWS, GCP, and Azure status details for each service monitor
  4. Edit your Metrist account name and set your preferred time zone in the Metrist web app

1. New Metrist docs

Visit the Metrist docs site to learn more about Metrist. You’ll find details about service monitors, configuring alerts (Slack, Teams, webhooks, emails, and others), instructions on how to invite users to your Metrist account, and more.

Take a look at the Metrist docs here: https://docs.metrist.io.

2. More details about each service monitor and individual checks

Have you ever wondered what a Metrist service monitor does, or which API is called by a Metrist check? We’ve added more information to service monitors and checks within the UI, including a link to the vendor API documentation in the check details section for when you’d like to learn more about the API being used by a specific check.

*Note* We have not added this for every service monitor and check yet. We will continue to roll this out across all service monitors.

Service monitor details

Check details

Visualize check dependencies

We’ve also added visual details to identify the dependencies between checks. Currently, there are only a couple of service monitors where the checks run independently from each other. For the most part, most checks must complete before the next check is attempted, (unless otherwise called out). Now, you’ll be able to see which checks are dependent on each other.

Dependent checks

3. AWS, GCP, and Azure status details for each service monitor

Now, when viewing an AWS, GCP, or Azure service monitor, you can quickly view the vendor status for the service Metrist is monitoring. This includes the status, the time that the status changed, and the length of time that the status has been unhealthy. You’ll also find a link to the vendor status page for quick reference.

Change vendor status comparison time period chart

Now, in addition to 90 days, you can select to view the past 30 days or 3 days of vendor statuses, allowing you to view ongoing issues. You can see status changes over the past hour (by selecting 3 days) or zoom out and view the last 90 days to look for trends.

View past status changes

Now, view the status changes that occurred for a specific period in the past for a service monitor. In the vendor status comparison chart, hover over and select any of the entries to view all the Metrist status changes. This allows you to understand if the service changed status multiple times during that period or just once, giving you a better view into the blast radius of an issue.

4. Edit your Metrist account name and set your preferred time zone in Metrist web app

Account Name

Is your Metrist account name up to date? Now we display your Metrist account name on the Metrist web app homepage. In addition, we’ve introduced the option to edit your Metrist account name, allowing you to add or change it if you’d like to invite others to use your Metrist account.

See details below for step-by-step instructions.

Time zone

We’ve added an option to select your time zone for the Metrist web app. Select your preferred time zone, and we’ll update any date/times displayed in the Metrist web app.

To change your account name and displayed time zone in the Web app

First, log in to your Metrist account. Then select ‘View/edit profile’ from the account menu (in the upper right-hand corner). Alternatively, you can navigate directly to the profile page to make these selections: https://app.metrist.io/profile

April Roadmap

Here is a glimpse into what the team is working on next:

  • We’re continuing to focus on the troubleshooting workflow when a third party is not reporting as healthy:
    • Introduction of a new service monitor status
    • Including vendor status page details in the Metrist web app
    • Adding Twitter details to understand who else is impacted by a third-party issue

That’s all for now.

Please let us know what you think of these new features. And let us know what other features you’d like to see.

The Importance of Proactive Slack Alerts

Proactive Slack Alerts From Metrist

Nobody likes to be surprised by major issues or downtime. It’s always better to know ahead of time if something big is about to happen, specifically when this impacts your customers or collecting revenue. Metrist provides our customers with the option to receive proactive Slack alerts, ensuring that they will always be alerted when a third-party service that they depend on is not operating as expected.

Below, we look at things to consider when building a notification strategy.

Considerations

Audience is key in figuring out the correct formula for your alert strategy. You need to make sure to alert the correct team members at the right time. If you send too many alerts that have no meaning, you’ll risk alert fatigue. Alert fatigue will result in your team ignoring or being less responsive to notifications in the future. 

To prevent alert fatigue, consider the following:

  1. Define your audience: Which individuals or teams within your organization would benefit from knowing a third party is degraded or down? 
  2. Determine the best method of delivery: Are users all in the same Slack workspace or channels? Do some prefer to receive emails?
  3. Educate your audience: Provide the individuals or teams with a brief overview of any notifications that you will send, or have sent, their way. Make sure each person understands the action/next steps required once an alert has been received. 

This will solidify your notification process to ensure the team can take action once they receive an alert.

Another thing to consider is to integrate in with an existing notification process, such as one your company might have in place for an APM, (application performance monitoring), product.

Let’s set up Metrist to send proactive Slack alerts

Metrist supports a number of channels that can be used to proactively notify your team (including email, and via webhooks). For this post we will be focusing on Slack.

This is a two-part process:

1) Install the Metrist Slack chat app
2) Add proactive Slack alerts to Metrist

Please make sure to complete both parts or you are at risk of not receiving all of the expected notifications.

1) Installing the Metrist Slack app

Follow the steps below to install the Slack app. This requires that you have the permissions to install Slack apps. More details on how to add Slack apps to your workspace are available on the Slack website.

Log in to Metrist and from the ‘Profile’ drop down menu in the upper-right corner select ‘Install App’ or select this following link: https://app.metrist.io/apps/slack

This will open up the Slack installation page:

 style=

Select the ‘Add to Slack’ button to begin, this will take you to the ‘Slack Authentication’ screen:

Select the Slack workspace you’d like to connect with and review the requested permissions. When you are ready to continue with the installation, select ‘Allow’ to complete the connections between Metrist and your Slack workspace!

Metrist offers a number of commands that can be used in Slack, included in the screenshot above. This includes the ability to view the status of any of the service monitors in your Metrist account.

Metrist has now been successfully added to your Slack workspace. Next, you’ll need to subscribe to alerts. Follow the steps in the next section to alert a specific Slack channel when Metrist notices a service monitor status change.

2) Add proactive Slack alerts to Metrist

The next step is to identify the best channel to send your notifications. We recommend using any existing channel you have set up for other alerts. If you don’t have a channel, create one named ‘#metrist’ for easy reference.

Setting up proactive Slack alerts

Metrist offers the option to send a notification directly to a user via DM, (direct message), or to a Slack channel in your workspace. Metrist notifications, (DM to an individual), and subscriptions, (messages to a channel), can be configured in Slack using slash commands.

The Metrist chat app offers a number of commands. These can be accessed by entering /metrist help.

Follow the steps below receive a notification in a specific Slack channel when the status of your Metrist service monitor changes

Once you have identified the Slack channel where you’d like to receive notification, enter the command: /metrist subscription #<channel name>

Note #<channel name> will be replaced with the channel you’d like to use. Make sure to add a # in front of the channel name.

The Metrist Slack app will display an option to select the monitors that will notify this channel.

  • In the example below, there are two monitors already subscribed to send notifications.
  • To add/remove subscription, select ‘add monitors’, or in the example below where it says ‘2 selected’.

You’ll see a list of the service monitors. For each service monitor listed, Metrist will send an alert to the associated channel when their status changes.

Select the text box and you’ll see a list of service monitors in your Metrist account. From here, add or remove the service monitors that will trigger an alert when their status changes.

Once you’ve selected the desired service monitors select ‘Save’ to save your changes. Metrist alerts will be sent to Slack when a service monitor’s status changes.

Not seeing a service monitor that you are expecting? Slack includes the Metrist service monitors that has been added to your Metrist account. Additional service monitors can be added to your account in the Metrist web app.

You are all set! You will now receive proactive Slack alerts from Metrist.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@metrist.io.

January 2022 Product Updates

Product update post intro image

Hello and happy January from Metrist! Check out the latest features in the January 2022 product update!

The team has been hard at work with some big product updates. Check them out below and send us any feedback or questions that you might have:

New Website – tell all your friends!

In January we completed our rebrand from Canary Monitoring to Metrist, Inc. As part of this rebranding we redesigned our company’s website (and are pretty happy with how it turned out!). If you haven’t yet, check it out: https://metrist.io 

A screenshot of the Metrist website, visit by navigating to https://metrist.io.

Mobile friendly web app

These days an incident can occur at any time, and you could be anywhere. To help our users identify issues while on the go we have made our web app mobile friendly. Users will be able to login and view the status and details of service monitors from their mobile device. This is especially helpful if you are receiving notifications on Slacks or Teams on your mobile device and want to open the web app.

This is a screenshot of the mobile experience when viewing Metrist web application on a mobile device.

Third party vs Metrist status comparison

We are happy to now include the reported status for each AWS, GCP, and Azure service that we monitor. This makes it very easy to look at a Metrist service monitor and understand how frequently the Metrist service monitor’s status doesn’t match the third party’s reported status during the last 90 days. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it and marked each time the status doesn’t match for you.

User defined degraded and timeout configurations

Alternate: Metrist is configured out of the box with rules and thresholds that ensure we deliver meaningful service health alerts, with high confidence. No one size fits all and we offer user defined thresholds to ensure that Metrist’s view of a service matches your individual needs and expectations. Just a few clicks and keystrokes can increase or decrease the sensitivity of alerting for all checks and regions of a service monitor.

In some cases, configuring at the service monitor level isn’t enough, when some functionalities of a service have lower tolerances for latency and timeouts than others. With that, we also support adjusting thresholds at the individual check and region level, if you choose. We believe this provides you with the ultimate control over the sensitivity of the notifications that you receive from Metrist.

How do I configure this for my service monitors?

  • Log in: https://app.metrist.io, and select (view) the service monitor that you’d like to configure.
  • In the right hand corner you’ll see an option to select “Thresholds”.
  • Note If you adjust the threshold, it will only be applied to the specific monitor (others monitors will need to be adjusted separately).

New service monitors (AWS & GCP)

We’ve expected our monitoring coverage of the AWS and GCP platforms to now cover AWS Cloudwatch and Kubernetes. We also added monitors for GCP Compute Engine and Cloud storage

This provides additional coverage of the AWS and GCP infrastructure services in addition to what we monitor on Azure.

In-product feedback form and support link in Metrist web app

Have an idea for a cool feature or something you cannot live without? Or do you need to get support for something that is not working in the Metrist web app? We have you covered! You can access an option to submit feedback or email our support team by selecting the “Help” option on the right side of the top navigation bar.

We now offer the option to submit product feedback and get support in the Metrist web app.

Please send us some feedback, we love hearing from you! 

What we are working on next

Thanks for reading this far, we did so much in January! But we aren’t done yet, here’s a view into what we are working on next:

  • Metrist public Beta: We will soon be making Metrist available for anybody to sign up. More details to come about this in the February product update.
  • Adding additional GCP and Azure service regions
  • Updates to the new account creation process

That’s all for now! Please let us know what you think of these new features, let us know what other features you’d like to see.