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At our inaugural T/Mon Users Group meeting, we discussed some excellent monitoring best practices with our clients. Two of them are applications of derived alarms, and they can vastly improve your visibility of your mission-critical generators:
Know whether you have a generator self-test or a major power failure
One option is to set an alarm when your generator is running. Then, set another a derived alarm to trigger when your generator has been running about 10 minutes longer than the duration of a self-test (this will vary by generator, but if your self-tests are 20 minutes long, set the derived alarm for 30 minutes). The alarm that sets when the generator starts running simply alerts you that your generator has started, which may be a self-test or a power failure at the site. If your derived alarm activates a few minutes later, then you know that you may be facing a power failure and can dispatch a tech immediately.
Receive an alert when your generator doesn't start up
Another second variant involves setting up a critical-severity derived alarm if your generator doesn't crank within 5 minutes of a commercial power failure alarm.
As you can see from these two examples, derived alarms are powerful tools for separating harmless events from major network threats. You can capture the expertise of your most experienced techs with your derived alarm equations, allowing even your greenest staff to understand what's happening in your network.