AlertingAlerting fundamentalsState and health of alerting rules

State and health of alerting rules

The state and health of alerting rules help you understand several key status indicators about your alerts.

There are three key components: alert rule state, alert instance state, and alert rule health. Although related, each component conveys subtly different information.

Alert rule state

An alert rule can be in either of the following states:

State Description
Normal None of the time series returned by the evaluation engine is in a Pending or Firing state.
Pending At least one time series returned by the evaluation engine is Pending.
Firing At least one time series returned by the evaluation engine is Firing.

Note: Alerts will transition first to pending and then firing, thus it will take at least two evaluation cycles before an alert is fired.

Alert instance state

An alert instance can be in either of the following states:

State Description
Normal The state of an alert that is neither firing nor pending, everything is working correctly.
Pending The state of an alert that has been active for less than the configured threshold duration.
Alerting The state of an alert that has been active for longer than the configured threshold duration.
NoData No data has been received for the configured time window.
Error The error that occurred when attempting to evaluate an alerting rule.

Alert rule health

An alert rule can have one the following health statuses:

State Description
Ok No error when evaluating an alerting rule.
Error An error occurred when evaluating an alerting rule.
NoData The absence of data in at least one time series returned during a rule evaluation.

Special alerts for NoData and Error

When evaluation of an alerting rule produces state NoData or Error, Grafana Alerting will generate alert instances that have the following additional labels:

Label Description
alertname Either DatasourceNoData or DatasourceError depending on the state.
datasource_uid The UID of the data source that caused the state.

You can handle these alerts the same way as regular alerts by adding a silence, route to a contact point, and so on.