OpsGenie Quick Start Guide

Get started with OpsGenie to understand the core elements. OpsGenie is a modern incident management platform for operating always-on services, empowering Dev & Ops teams to plan for service disruptions and stay in control during incidents.

OpsGenie integrates with your monitoring tools to consolidate alerts and notify the right people at the right time. In this Quick Start Guide, we will cover the basic setup of your OpsGenie account with the goal of getting you up-and-running in a short amount of time. The basics include:

Team Configuration
Building an On-Call schedule
Setting up an Integrated Tool
Setting up your User Profile
Alert Management

Before you dive into the product and the interface, we would like you to understand these core pillars of the usual alerting flow. This will help you understand all the extra features and capabilities in a better way later on, and save you some time during your initial configurations.

OpsGenie operates in a team-centric fashion. You can accomplish most of your initial setup right from the Teams dashboard, so it’s most valuable to set that up first. From there, defining schedules will help to visualize your team setup and additional features such as routing rules and escalations will define who gets notified at what time for your alerts. This sets you up nicely to then integrate one of your tools, since you will already have defined the necessary responders and schedule for notification.

Once all these configurations under Teams are set up, you can then add additional notification rules to your user profile. Lastly, we will mention briefly the alert management piece which will lend insight into how to create, manage, and monitor the lifecycle of your alerts.

Step 1: Teams

Teams are the heart of OpsGenie - they provide a complete mechanism to select the right chain of people in an automatic way, based on time and content, while ensuring that your organization is well compartmentalized and the management burden is divided among your teams. Use teams even if you are a small number of users - they help tremendously in the equal distribution of on-call times!

Teams are a combination of three features:

  • Routing Rules - which escalations should be triggered for which alerts and when.
  • Escalations - who should be notified and what to do, if the first person missed the alert.
  • Schedules - who is on-call at a given time, and how to automatically distribute on-call shifts among team members.

Escalations are pointing to the on-call persons in the schedules, and the Routing Rules are pointing (and triggering) escalation policies based on alert content or time of day.

You can have admins and members of a team. A team admin can manage every part of the team - adding/removing users, creating and updating schedules/escalations/rules, and they are also allowed to add integrations for their team.

Pro tip: Organize your teams according to the service they are responsible for. They will be able to manage their own integrations and the whole alerting flow for themselves.

Step 2: Building an On-Call Schedule

An on-call schedule is used to determine who is on-call at a given time.

With OpsGenie, an on-call schedule is automatically created when a team is created. OpsGenie supports creating and managing on-call schedules in just a few short steps. Admins (and team admins) can set up schedules with daily, weekly, and custom rotations.

To create a schedule, go to your Team’s dashboard and under the Main tab, following Escalation Policies, are your at-a-glance On-Call Schedules.

Click Add Schedule and fill out the form to build your new desired On-Call Schedule.

Step 3: Set up an Integrated Tool

In order to see the platform in action, integrate one of the existing tools you use. You can use a generic Email or API integration to get your alerts flowing, or just choose one of our out-of-the-box integrations (recommended).

Each integration has a short how-to written right on the settings page. The default rules of an integration will be sufficient to create some preliminary alerts, but there are many advanced tools available. Two links to consider checking out:

a.The integration documentation folder: Select which one you are about to setup, and follow the steps.

b.The Integration Framework document: This is only if you would like to dive in right away - regular expressions, string processing methods, dynamic fields and all those goodies!

Pro tip: Regarding permissions, there are two big categories: integrations assigned to teams, and global integrations (assigned to No Team). If your integration is associated with a team, the team admins can access/manage those. These integrations are only allowed to access configuration and alert data belonging to the selected team!

Step 4: Set up Your Profile

Here at OpsGenie, we believe the best way to bug people with alerts is if you let them at least set their own rules. After you've set the basics in your profile (contacts methods and time zone selection is very important), you can head over to the Notifications tab, and spot the Notification Rules section.

In short - notifications for alerts are handled on the user level. These rules describe for each user, which notification channel should be used under which circumstance. Like everything in OpsGenie, these are highly customizable. The rules are executed in a top-down order for each type, meaning, that users can have multiple rules.

A notification rule can be triggered based on alert content, or during a certain period of the day. An example is, if, during the day, you only need an email and a push right away, and the SMS/Voice call should only follow long minutes later in case you missed the first one. During the night, you could have another rule describing a more aggressive utilization of notification channels - like an immediate voice call to start with.

Pro Tip: Use the mobile application to receive push notifications! The app gives you instant access to all details and actions, it is by far the best notification channel!

Step 5: Alert Management

When an alert is created and assigned to a team, the team's escalation policy is run to determine who should be notified of that alert. Team assignment to an alert can be made through web UI, rest API, or integrations. An alert can be assigned to multiple teams. Until the alert is acknowledged or closed, users are notified according to their notification preferences.

Alert creation can be achieved via Incoming/Bi-Directional Integrations, E-mails, Alert API, Heartbeat Monitoring, Incoming Calls, OpsGenie’s web application, and via OpsGenie’s mobile application for iOS and Android.

For a more built-out explanation of these same 5 core elements and their features, see our New User Guide.


What's Next

New User Guide