NAM: the new multipoint ARC
Before describing the new concepts of the Newtest Alerting Module (NAM), let’s review the characteristics of Newtest’s current alerting system, the Alarm Routing Center (ARC).
The ARC is based on centralized collection of alarm messages received from robots. Grouping by logical clusters in accordance with Newtest’s hierarchical model makes grouped monitoring possible, so that an alarm is sent if an alarm message is received from scenarios and/or robots that belong to the selected clusters. Of course other activation criteria come into play, such as the minimum duration of the alarm or the number of occurrences.
We can see that this system is limited and does not allow for issuing of a single alarm if one or more components match the criteria or criterion at the same time. The usual illustration of this principle is the ‘black’ alert, which signifies that a given transaction or scenario is showing an unavailability at all of its measurement points.
In response to the need for multipoint alerting, the NAM is not based on alarm messages from the robot, but on direct assessment on the server side of the criteria that form its rules. In other terms, it assesses alarm activation conditions based on the real-time data it receives from the robot. Data is of the following types:
- Object status: for robots, scenarios, measurements or
- Object numeric value: for measurements only
Below is a review of the concept of black alert to illustrate the NAM multipoint approach in comparison with the current ARC:
Apart from the assessment of the statuses of objects, as in the example “scenario is NOK” outlined above, new alarm activation conditions have been added. These include such conditions as:
The tolerance threshold of the scope in which the criterion is evaluated
- e.g.: trigger an alarm when the scenario ‘Agencies_access’ is NOK for 80% of the robots on which it is deployed. Below is a screenshot of this condition in the NAM interface:
- tuning these settings gives you some flexibility in producing alarms
Assessment of scenario measurement type of numeric criteria
- e.g.: trigger an alarm if a timer in a scenario that is deployed across more than one probe exceeds a set threshold
- This setting is similar to configuring alarms within scenario properties in the event that a measurement threshold is violated
Full treatment of this topic is not the intent of this newsletter article. Suffice it to sum up that compared to the ARC, the NAM is a new multipoint approach to alerting that is consolidated within Newtest. The NAM facilitates detection of events of interest to the operator. This module, which is an integral part of the Newtest V3 suite, also opens up new perspectives for complex multiple-source alerting.