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PagerDuty is an alarm aggregation and dispatching service for system administrators and support teams. It collects alerts from your monitoring tools, gives you an overall view of all of your monitoring alarms, and alerts an on duty engineer if there’s a problem.
You should consider using PagerDuty if:
PagerDuty allows you to build sophisticated alerting rules to determine who to contact when problems occur. You can build on-call schedules to fairly share on-call responsibilities. You can also set up multiple levels of coverage, so if the “primary” on-call person doesn’t respond to an alert in a timely fashion, it’s automatically escalated to a “secondary” person, and so on.
Yes. PagerDuty uses “services” to integrate with your monitoring systems. Each PagerDuty service has its own associated alerting and escalation rules (these are called “escalation policies”). This feature is used to route alerts to the people best able to handle them. For example, you might want to create an escalation policy for your database administrator team, and use this policy for all services that integrate with database monitoring systems. This ensures that database problems are always forwarded to a db specialist.
We can send alerts using any combination of phone calls, SMSes, push notifications and emails.
PagerDuty asks users to confirm that they’ve received an SMS by replying to it. Similarly, our automated phone calls ask users to make a selection from a voice menu of possible incident options. If an alert isn’t replied to, PagerDuty can be set to repeat the call or message.
PagerDuty allows you to specify comprehensive escalation rules. When an incident is triggered, PagerDuty will first try to contact the level-one on-call engineer for the incident. If that person doesn’t answer within the user-specified escalation timeout, PagerDuty will automatically escalate the alert to the level-two engineer, and so on.
Yes, we support two-way SMS to virtually every country.
All PagerDuty phone alerts will be attempted to be sent from the number 1-415-349-5750. Unfortunately, some providers will change the caller ID which is out of our control, so the number(s) you receive the calls from may be displayed differently. See the following FAQ entry for SMS alerts.
The phone number that will show up on your caller ID for SMS alerts will depend on which SMS provider we use, as well as which country you live in. PagerDuty uses multiple SMS providers per country for availability and redundancy reasons. You can use the below numbers to setup special ringtones on your phone, but please be aware that they might change at any time with little notice.
Backup number varies*
*Note: some phone numbers use local SMS numbers that can vary between messages or day-to-day.
Engineers can escalate alarms directly from their phone by replying to the alert SMS or pressing a key during the automated phone call.
No. PagerDuty is an alert dispatching tool, not a monitoring system. Think of PagerDuty as an add-on to your existing monitoring tools. PagerDuty provides sophisticated alarm routing, but leaves finding problems with your systems to your existing monitoring tools.
Every service you create in PagerDuty has a unique email address, such as email@example.com. PagerDuty opens a new incident and begins the alerting process at soon as one of your monitoring tools sends email to a service’s address.
The most common monitoring tools used with PagerDuty are Nagios, Zenoss, Pingdom, monit, Munin, Splunk and BasicState. However, any monitoring tool that sends email can be used with PagerDuty.
PagerDuty can be integrated with any system that sends automated emails. PagerDuty is especially useful when used to deliver alerts for systems that can’t place phone calls or SMSes on their own. Here are some possibilities:
PagerDuty’s infrastructure is fully replicated in two different Amazon AWS data centers. We have the capability to rapidly rollover to our backup systems in the event that our main data center loses connectivity. We always have an engineer on-call and near a computer to deal with any unexpected outages.
You should use an external ping service such as BasicState or Wormly to monitor your network connection and mail server. Of course, you can forward the error messages from these monitoring services to one of your PagerDuty services. This way, if your site loses network connectivity or your mail server crashes, the on-call engineer will be immediately notified by PagerDuty.
You can find our price schedule here. All new PagerDuty accounts come with fully-featured, risk-free 30 day trial (no credit card required). During the free trial, you’ll be able to send phone calls and SMSes free of charge. If you decide not to register for a paid plan within the 30 day trial window, your account will expire at the end of the trial.