or...“Is This a Good Time?”
Timeperiod definitions allow you to control when various aspects of the monitoring and alerting logic can operate. For instance, you can restrict:
- When regularly scheduled host and service checks can be performed
- When notifications can be sent out
- When notification escalations can be used
- When dependencies are valid
Timeperod definitions may contain multiple types of directives, including weekdays, days of the month, and calendar dates. Different types of directives have different precedence levels and may override other directives in your timeperiod definitions. The order of precedence for different types of directives (in descending order) is as follows:
- Calendar date (2008-01-01)
- Specific month date (January 1st)
- Generic month date (Day 15)
- Offset weekday of specific month (2nd Tuesday in December)
- Offset weekday (3rd Monday)
- Normal weekday (Tuesday)
Examples of different timeperiod directives can be found here.
Host and service definitions have an optional “check_period” directive that allows you to specify a timeperiod that should be used to restrict when regularly scheduled, active checks of the host or service can be made.
If you do not use the “check_period directive” to specify a timeperiod, Shinken will be able to schedule active checks of the host or service anytime it needs to. This is essentially a 24x7 monitoring scenario.
Specifying a timeperiod in the “check_period directive” allows you to restrict the time that Shinken perform regularly scheduled, active checks of the host or service. When Shinken attempts to reschedule a host or service check, it will make sure that the next check falls within a valid time range within the defined timeperiod. If it doesn’t, Shinken will adjust the next check time to coincide with the next “valid” time in the specified timeperiod. This means that the host or service may not get checked again for another hour, day, or week, etc.
On-demand checks and passive checks are not restricted by the timeperiod you specify in the “check_period directive”. Only regularly scheduled active checks are restricted.
A service’s timeperiod is inherited from its host only if it’s not already defined. In a new shinken installation, it’s defined to “24x7” in generic-service. If you want service notifications stopped when the host is outside its notification period, you’ll want to comment “notification_period” and/or “notification_enabled” in templates.cfg:generic-service 1.
Unless you have a good reason not to do so, I would recommend that you monitor all your hosts and services using timeperiods that cover a 24x7 time range. If you don’t do this, you can run into some problems during “blackout” times (times that are not valid in the timeperiod definition):
- The status of the host or service will appear unchanged during the blackout time.
- Contacts will mostly likely not get re-notified of problems with a host or service during blackout times.
- If a host or service recovers during a blackout time, contacts will not be immediately notified of the recovery.
By specifying a timeperiod in the “notification_period” directive of a host or service definition, you can control when Shinken is allowed to send notifications out regarding problems or recoveries for that host or service. When a host notification is about to get sent out, Shinken will make sure that the current time is within a valid range in the “notification_period” timeperiod. If it is a valid time, then Shinken will attempt to notify each contact of the problem or recovery.
You can also use timeperiods to control when notifications can be sent out to individual contacts. By using the “service_notification_period” and “host_notification_period” directives in contact definitions, you’re able to essentially define an “on call” period for each contact. Contacts will only receive host and service notifications during the times you specify in the notification period directives.
Examples of how to create timeperiod definitions for use for on-call rotations can be found here.
Service and host Notification Escalations have an optional escalation_period directive that allows you to specify a timeperiod when the escalation is valid and can be used. If you do not use the “escalation_period” directive in an escalation definition, the escalation is considered valid at all times. If you specify a timeperiod in the “escalation_period” directive, Shinken will only use the escalation definition during times that are valid in the timeperiod definition.
Host and Service Dependencies have an optional “dependency_period” directive that allows you to specify a timeperiod when the dependendies are valid and can be used. If you do not use the “dependency_period” directive in a dependency definition, the dependency can be used at any time. If you specify a timeperiod in the “dependency_period” directive, Shinken will only use the dependency definition during times that are valid in the timeperiod definition.