How should I group my devices?
Grouping your devices in LogicMonitor can make managing your devices significantly easier and save you time when you are configuring alert thresholds, dashboards, reports, alert routing and device properties.
Deciding on a device group structure
There isn't one right way to group your devices, but there are a couple of ways you can improve your grouping to make things more efficient. Keep in mind that it is usually not too difficult to change how your devices are grouped, so you can always go back and fine-tune your device group structure to be a best fit for your environment.
You may want to group your devices:
1. With your alerting in mind
Consider grouping infrastructure together based on how critical it is to your operation. Critical infrastructure with slow performance metrics are likely to be of more interest to you and have different alert thresholds than QA devices with the same slow performance. Grouping devices of similar importance will enable you to set group thresholds across all devices in the group, allowing you to differentiate between a critical CPU alert on production infrastructure and a critical CPU alert on test environment infrastructure without configuring individual thresholds for hundreds of devices.
Additionally, grouping devices of similar importance will enable you to route alerts by group. This allows you to route alerts on production infrastructure differently than alerts on your test environment infrastructure. For example, you could set up an alert rule matching error/critical alerts for your production infrastructure that routes notifications to members of your Operations team 24/7 (e.g. text message or phone call in the middle of the night) and set up a different rule that matches test environment error/critical alerts and routes notifications to a ticketing system if it is past 7pm.
2. With user permissions in mind
Consider grouping devices based on the structure of your organization. How does your organization operate and divide responsibility? Having a device group structure that mirrors your organizational structure will make all other areas of account configuration (especially user roles and permissions) much simpler. Such a device group structure can help teams quickly find the devices relevant to their jobs and enables you to set up roles for each group, such that each team can only make changes to the devices they are responsible for. Grouping based on organizational structure may mean grouping:
- by function (e.g. you'd have a database group, networking group, servers group, etc.);
- by location (e.g. a group for each office or datacenter location);
- by customer (e.g. you're an MSP and have a group for each of your customers); or
- or by business application (e.g. group together all devices serving a particular website).
Additionally, this concept extends to sub groups. If you have a NOC team, for example, in charge of overseeing a large number of devices and then smaller functional teams responsible for small subsets of your devices, your device group structure may look like this:
3. Based on how the devices are related to one another
Consider grouping devices based on how they depend on one another to expedite troubleshooting and make it easier to schedule downtime for related devices. For example, does your organization have a regular maintenance window that results in a distinct set of devices becoming unavailable? Grouping those devices together would allow you to clearly see what is undergoing maintenance and more quickly identify issues that arise for devices outside of the group. You could also group all devices that comprise a single application together. In general, grouping devices based on how they relate to one another will make it easier to see how a particular event impacted your infrastructure and enable you to more quickly identify the cause of an issue.
Should I create manual or dynamic groups?
If you don't know the difference between manual and dynamic groups, see the Device Groups Overview help page.
Dynamic groups assign devices to groups automatically, based on a specific common characteristic of those devices. This typically enforces organization better and with less required effort than manual grouping does. Therefore, you should use dynamic groups if you can, but it won't always be possible to do so with your device grouping strategy.
Note that sub-groups underneath a dynamic group automatically add devices based only on their own inclusion criteria, and not based on parent group inclusion criteria (i.e. a sub-group dynamic group can include devices not included in the parent group dynamic group).
What about sub-groups?
You can add as many sub-groups as you need - all of the above strategies apply to sub-groups as well. The key things to keep in mind when you’re using sub-groups are:
- when you reference your device groups or sub groups throughout your account, for example in dashboards, reports, alert rules and user roles, you should use a wildcard at the end of the group name (e.g. 'Production*'). A group name that is wildcarded at the end accounts for devices in any sub-groups you add underneath the group later on
- properties and thresholds set at the sub-group group level will override the values of those properties and thresholds set at the parent group level
Can a device be in multiple groups?
Yes, however, note that a device that is a member of multiple groups with the same property defined uses the properties set at the deepest level group. If the same property is set in two groups at the same level, and a device is a member of both these groups, the selection of which property that the device will take effect is nondeterministic.