Configuring custom payloads

Adding custom payload to your alert notifications enables you to use Instana alerts more efficiently:

  • Additional information: Include relevant information of your monitored system as part of your alert notification. As an example, in case you typically use ssh to access the affected hosts of a problem, you might want to include the host's IP or the AWS public IPv4 address. Consequently, you can access the respective hosts right away instead of having to navigate through a few Instana dashboards first in order to find the right IP addresses.
  • Advanced alert routing: Enable advanced alert routing use-cases using your alert management tool of choice. For instance if your organization thinks Cloud Native, then you could include team responsibilities as labels in your Kubernetes environment. Alerts can then flexibly be routed to the respective teams within the alert integration used.

Configure Custom Payload Globally

To include additional payload that is relevant to you in all alert notifications sent by Instana, follow the steps as follows:

  1. On the sidebar, click Settings.

  2. Under Events & Alerts, navigate to Custom Payload.

    Note: The permission CAN_CONFIGURE_GLOBAL_ALERT_PAYLOAD is required to see this navigation entry.

  3. Enter the properties of the custom payload entry:

    1. A unique and meaningful key to identify the custom payload entry.

      Note: The key is prefixed with custom: to guarantee none of Instana's built-in payload is overridden.

    2. Select the value type of the custom payload:

      • Static: A fixed textual value.
      • Dynamic: A set of values derived from the monitored infrastructure related to the alert based on a given tag, as described in Dynamic Custom Payload.
    3. Define the value of the payload entry.

  4. Optionally, click Add Row in order to add another entry, and repeat the previous step.

  5. Click Save to submit the changes.

global custom payload

As a consequence, all Issue or Incident alert notifications to any of the configured Alert Channels sent by Instana will now include the configured static or dynamic payload if applicable. Alert notifications of event type Change only include the configured static payload.

Dynamic Custom Payload

Alert notifications can be enriched with payload based on the automatically detected and continuously updated relations of the monitored system by leveraging Instana's unique Dynamic Graph. Consequently, payload values are not only collected on the entity for which the alert has triggered, but also from related entities.

Each dynamic payload entry is associated with tag from Instana's tag catalog. The derived information for each selected tag is then included to an event as a set of values.

custom payload tag selection

You can use the suggestions to select the right key for the selected dynamic tag or add it manually.

Dynamic Custom Payload Suggestions

Custom Payload Examples

While Instana supports custom payload for all available alert channels, the following examples should give a better idea about the resulting alert notifications containing the configured payload above.

Example 1: Opsgenie

When using the Opsgenie alert channel, the payload will be included as textual content of the Extra Properties section.

example custom payload opsgenie

Furthermore, routing rules based on these custom payloads can be defined for advanced alert routing use-cases.

Example 2: Slack

In Slack or similar notification tools, such as Google Chat or Microsoft Teams, the custom payload will be included as a comma separated list of values. A custom payload entry is truncated with ellipsis to not blow up the message content too much.

example custom payload slack

Example 3: Webhook

When using the Webhook alert channel, the custom payload is included as a nested object under customPayloads. The values are represented as an array of strings (String[].md).

  "issue": {
    "id": "53650436-8e35-49a3-a610-56b442ae7620",
    "type": "issue",
    "state": "OPEN",
    "text": "Custom Process Event",
    "customPayloads": {
       "custom:team": ["blue"],
       "custom:host-ip": ["", ""],
       "custom:app-name": ["rabbitmq"]