Dynatrace enables you to define maintenance windows using either the REST API or the web user interface. This page describes the user interface approach. To learn about the maintenance window REST API see the Dynatrace API documentation.
Even if your organization runs a ‘100% availability’ production environment, there are times when your DevOps team must roll out new software updates. Various release-deployment strategies are available for this, including performing rolling updates and iteratively updating parts of instances. No matter which release-rollout strategy your DevOps team uses, it’s good practice to keep your performance monitoring system informed of scheduled maintenance windows to ensure accurate monitoring data.
Maintenance window types
Dynatrace distinguishes between two types of maintenance windows: planned maintenance windows and unplanned maintenance windows. Planned maintenance windows are configured in advance while unplanned windows can be added retroactively to notify Dynatrace of unexpected downtimes that shouldn’t be factored into overall performance and availability baselines.
So the main differences between planned and unplanned maintenance windows are:
- Planned maintenance windows are defined in advance and can be used to disable alerts on problems detected during the window.
- Planned maintenance window times are excluded from synthetic SLA report calculation.
- The response times and error rates during maintenance windows are excluded from regular baseline calculation.
Maintenance window effects on baseline calculation
Once a maintenance window is defined, Dynatrace automatically excludes the configured time period from its baseline calculations. With this approach, any response time anomalies that occur during the corresponding rolling update won’t negatively influence your overall service and application baselines.
With respect to baselining, it’s a good idea to define your maintenance windows before performing any load testing. Using maintenance windows during load testing ensures that any load spikes, longer-than-usual response times, or increased error rates won’t negatively influence your overall baselining.
Configure a maintenance window
Each maintenance window you configure has a name and description that you can use to provide contextual information about the purpose of the maintenance window.
To define a maintenance window
- Go to Settings > Maintenance > Maintenance windows.
- Define a Name for the maintenance window.
- Provide a Description of the purpose of the maintenance window.
- From the Maintenance type drop list, select Planned or Unplanned.
- If the maintenance window is to recur on a regular schedule, use the drop lists to define a daily, weekly, or monthly recurring schedule.
- From the Problem detection and alerting drop list, specify the action that Dynatrace should take if a monitored component experiences a problem during a scheduled maintenance window:
- Detect problems and alert: Dynatrace will automatically detect and report all problems as usual and display a maintenance window icon (wrench and bolt icon, see below) on each problem that is detected during a maintenance window.
- Detect problems but don’t alert: Problems will be detected but Dynatrace won’t send out alerts for the problems. Each problem will be listed on the Problems page with a maintenance window icon.
- Disable problem detection: Detection and alerting of problems is disabled. Problems that occur during scheduled maintenance windows will not be included on the Problems page and no alerts will be sent out.
Define the scope of your maintenance window
By default, a maintenance window automatically applies to your entire environment. By using scopes you can define fine-grained boundaries for monitored entities that are affected by a maintenance window.
You can include entity tags for specific Applications, Services, or Hosts (see host tag example in the image below) or for tagged groups of components (for example, all hosts that have the tag
Note: In a correlated problem, a single incident coming from a maintenance-configured component is sufficient to automatically flag the entire problem as a maintenance-related problem.
The scope can also be set to include all processes within a specific process group.
Maintenance window in use
Once you’ve defined your maintenance windows, Dynatrace flags all problems that occur during maintenance windows with a special maintenance icon (wrench and bolt, see examples below). The Problems page filters include an Under maintenance filter that enables you to view a list of problems that occurred during maintenance windows. If you chose to completely disable problem detection during maintenance windows, no detected problems will be displayed here:
Even if you're viewing a host overview page and you select a global timeframe in which the selected host was under maintenance, Dynatrace shows you the details on the Maintenance tile. If the host is included in multiple maintenance periods, Dynatrace shows you the most recent window and a count of how many maintenance windows the host experienced during the selected timeframe.
Maintenance windows enable Dynatrace to identify periods of possible abnormal operation, such as downtimes, reduced performance periods, and high-traffic events during load tests. Defining maintenance windows during abnormal operation times helps you reduce alert spam and keep your baseline clean for accurate monitoring and alerting. By making use of the convenient and powerful Dynatrace automation API, your DevOps teams can automatically create or modify maintenance windows in sync with your release pipeline.