Event Orchestration Q&A with Frank Emery

Last month we had Frank Emery, Senior Product Manager of AIOps, on a live webinar talking about how to reduce noise and automate more often with PagerDuty. We got so many questions from attendees that we thought we’d codify the answers and share so that others in the community can learn more about Event Intelligence’s newest feature, Event Orchestration. Prefer video? You can catch Frank’s webinar here or listen to his guest appearance on the PagerDuty Twitch stream with Mandi Walls talking about the fun and math behind event rules.

Do emails work differently with Event Orchestration vs. Event Rules?

In Event Orchestration, emails that are sent to a global integration key are automatically turned into CEF events, with their unique fields moved into the custom details section of the event in PagerDuty. This allows users to write rules against email events just like they would any other event. They can also perform any actions against them like they would any other event.

What happens to all my existing Event Rules?

None of your existing event rules will disappear and they will all continue to work for events being sent to them. Users can change this behavior by selecting to change a service to use Event Orchestration. Doing this will have events evaluated against service event orchestration rules instead of their original event rules.

Is there Terraform support for Event Orchestration?

Terraform support is planned for later this year. We understand this is a critical piece of functionality for our API users and so we are working away at getting this provider live. When we release our provider, we’ll make sure to let users know in the app so they don’t miss out.

What are the main differences between Event Rules and Event Orchestration?

There are three main differences between these two types of rules: conditions, condition functions, and nesting.

  1. Conditions: We have updated the condition language (called PagerDuty Condition Language or PCL) in Event Orchestration so that we can now support much more complex condition definitions including ()/OR/ANDs as well as several custom functions. We can also now represent condition language code directly in the UI, optionally, which gives our UI parity with our API in terms of condition complexity. This means that users can now write conditions that can compress overall rule volume by up to 90%.
  2. Condition Functions: PCL allows us to introduce a new custom function to our conditions: the Trigger condition. Trigger allows users to evaluate rules as TRUE/FALSE based on how many events have occurred at a certain point in time. In addition to this new condition, PCL also allowed us to upgrade two conditions: Schedule (or recurring) and Resetting Trigger conditions. With Event Orchestration, these conditions are now first level functions, which improves the predictability of the end outcome.
  3. Nesting: With Nesting users can now specify when rules must execute one after another, inheriting actions/enrichments from past rules that ran. This capability allows users to create more precise rule sets, which can help codify specific sequences of actions that are often only captured in a team’s tribal knowledge.

Will teams be able to manage their own Event Orchestrations?

Yes, Event Orchestrations can be permissioned either for Admins/Managers only or for a specific team. In the latter case, the team manager would be able to manage their Event Orchestration without needing intervention from an account admin.

Are there any situations where I should use Event Rules instead of Event Orchestration?

From our user research, and by design, Event Orchestration will perform better than Event Rules in every scenario. The only exception to this is in the event of a customer wanting to maintain their existing Global Integration Keys that are tied to existing Event Rules. There are plans to make it possible to migrate global keys later this year.

Can Event Rules and Event Orchestration operate at the same time?

Yes, absolutely. Depending on the number of rules that you may have in places, many customers choose to take on a phased migration, which results in running event rules and event orchestrations at the same time. In situations where both Event Rules and Event Orchestration are in use at the same time, events will evaluate against the ruleset that their integration key sent them to. This applies at both the global and service level. However, at the service level users can elect to override this integration key routing and have all service level events evaluated against either Event Orchestration or Event Rules.

When will there be a PDU module for Event Orchestration?

There is an Event Orchestration PDU module currently in development to launch later this year. If you would like to learn more about getting started with Event Orchestration today, you can reach out to your account team for training. You can also register for a PDU webinar planned for 4/27 to walk through the basics - sign up at PDU Event Intelligence 201: Streamline and Automate with Event Orchestration.