Group Maintenance Alerts


Unattended maintenance for OpenShift 4 should just be happening. OnCall shouldn’t be alerted all the time, instead relevant alerts should be aggregated. There’s multiple potential approaches to do so, see section proposals


  • Alert if automated maintenance of any OpenShift 4 cluster is blocked at any point

  • To minimize alert fatigue for OnCall engineers, alert only once or as few times as possible

    • Aggregate individual cluster alerts into one single alert

    • Only send out alerts if any alert is firing for a certain period of time

    • Suppress cluster alerts during the maintenance window

  • SLA relevant alerts shouldn’t be suppressed in any form


  • General centralized alerts of OpenShift 4 clusters


Option 1: Use centralized Mimir / Grafana

The upgrade controller is monitoring the cluster’s health and can emit metrics on the current state of the maintenance process. We can send these few metrics to our centralized Mimir instance and implement alerting there.

Alternatively record rules could be used to create necessary metric time series. The Prometheus ALERTS metric is also a record rule under the hood. It’s possible to remote write this metric to our centralized Mimir instance. This would allow us to build alerting dashboards and meta alerts with minimal additional work and transmitted data.

Option 2: Use centralized Grafana and remote Datasources

Configure our centralized Grafana to access every cluster’s Prometheus as data source. Alert based on metrics from all data sources by Grafana.

Accessing the Prometheus instances from outside the cluster might be difficult for some customers with restricted networking setups and we would need a way to expose the Prometheus API to the outside.

Using alerts managed by Grafana would be different from the current approach of using Prometheus Alertmanager. It would need additional integration work into Opsgenie.

Option 3: Use Opsgenie

Opsgenie has some options to filter and group alerts together. Special routes can be configured based on alert labels to wait for a specified time before alerting an OnCall engineer.

Grouping Alerts using Opsgenie aliases

There is a possibility to group alerts together using Opsgenie aliases.

Alertmanager doesn’t allow control over this field currently. We would need a proxy between Alertmanager and Opsgenie to set the alias field. The configuration seems to be quite complex and error prone.

Maintenance Window

There is a possibility to configure a maintenance window for specific alerts. During this time period a notification policy can delay alerting or auto close the alert.

This doesn’t solve the grouping issue.

Incident Creation

There is a possibility to create incidents automatically based on alert labels. This could allow us to create a "cluster maintenance" incident, with low priority, and add all alerts that are firing to it. Closing the incident isn’t possible and would need to be done manually. There doesn’t seem to be a way to delay alerts for a certain time period.

The incident creation seems to be quite buggy. While an incident can be acknowledged, it would still be shown as "unacknowledged" in the UI.

This does solve the grouping issue, but not the maintenance window end issue.


We decided to go with option 1 and use a centralized Mimir / Grafana.


We already use a centralized Mimir instance for billing and SLOs. Forwarding upgrade-controller metrics and alerts to Mimir should be minimal additional work. Using Mimir we also can configure meta-alerts using PromQL and Alertmanager, both technologies we already know and use.