As a quick reminder, CounterMeasures are automated responses to specific events that the Panopta agent detects on your infrastructure. We provide a handful of automated actions out-of-the-box and also allow you to write your own. Regardless of the route you choose, you will be leveraging the Panopta agent as the conduit for the process.
The latest version of the Windows Agent is required. If you are using an older version of the Agent, see this article to upgrade your Agent.
Create an agent manifest file like the one above - with your customer key - at C:\PanoptaAgent.manifest
Run the 1-line agent install command, replacing CUSTOMER_KEY with your own.
CounterMeasures is now ready to go on your instance. You can confirm that CounterMeasures have successfully been enabled by going to the Instance Details page. Click the question mark icon beside Agent Status and locate the CounterMeasures - Enabled datapoint in the Agent Status information block.
Existing Agent Install
Open your agent config file, located at C:\Program Files(x86)\PanotpaAgent\Agent.config.
After opening the agent config file, locate the entry shown below (if you cannot find this entry, create it under the <service> header)
3. Update this entry with the new value shown below.
4. Save the file.
5. Restart the Agent service within the Services manager.
Configuring a CounterMeasure
CounterMeasures are tied to metric thresholds, which means they're configured together as well. Let's walk through how to add a CounterMeasures to capture top when CPU usage elevates.
In the Panopta control panel, navigate to an instance with CounterMeasures enabled.
Scroll down to the monitoring configuration table and locate the Windows: CPU section
Edit the CPU: Percent used - _Total metric
In the slide-out pane, expand the Thresholds & CounterMeasures section
If you don't already have a threshold set, go ahead and set one.
At the bottom of your configured threshold, click + Add CounterMeasure.
Configure your two CounterMeasure options
Delay: this is how long to wait after the threshold is triggered before running the CounterMeasure. For now, select 0 minutes, which means it will fire immediately.
Action: this is the specific CounterMeasure that will be run. Select top, which is provided out of the box.
Approval: require approval before the CounterMeasure is run. You can read more about approval below.
Send to Slack: if you've previously sent an alert to Slack related to this incident, we'll also send any CounterMeasure output to this #channel.
Now you're good to go. When the threshold is crossed, the countermeasure will be triggered. We'll run top, collect the output, and display it in the log for the generated incident.
CounterMeasures and external checks
External monitoring checks (HTTP, HTTPs, Ping, etc) can also be used to trigger CounterMeasures. The agent still must be running on the instance, but when the external check threshold is crossed, it will trigger a CounterMeasure (e.g., restart Apache) on the instance.
Viewing CounterMeasure output
The output (if any) from your CounterMeasure action is available from a number of locations.
CounterMeasure Details Panel
Throughout the ControlPanel, you can open the CounterMeasures detail panel by clicking the CounterMeasures indicator icon, which is the beaker.
The beaker icon can be found in a number of locations - virtually anywhere an incident may be listed.
Dashboards (Active Incident and Incident History widgets)
Incident History Page
Recent Incidents Tab on the Instance Details page
Active Incidents Modal
Clicking the icon will open the CounterMeasures detail panel. It contains, among other things, any output the CounterMeasure returned after running.
Incident Details Page
CounterMeasures output is also available from the Incident details page. In the top navigation, select Incidents. From the table, select the incident you're interested in (you'll also noticed the beaker icon in the row). From the Incident details page, select Outage Log. In the log, you will find details about which CounterMeasures have been executed and what output the returned.
CounterMeasures have a simple, linear lifecycle. Each lifecycle state is covered below
Pending: state of an action that is scheduled to execute in the future and does not require approval or has already been approved. The beaker icon will appear grey.
Pending Approval: state of an action that is scheduled to execute in the future but will not do so until approved. The beaker icon will glow orange.
In Process: state of an action that has been synced down to the agent to execute. The beaker icon will appear grey.
Complete: state of an action that has executed successfully. The beaker icon will appear green.
Error: state of an action that attempted to execute but returned an error while executing. The beaker icon will appear red.
Skipped: state of an action that was at one time pending but whose underlying incident was resolved before executing. The beaker icon will appear grey.
Certain situations may arise where you don't want a CounterMeasure to execute unless someone gives the final go-ahead. This is supported via the Approval option.
When configuring your CounterMeasure, check the Require Approval option. Anywhere the incident is displayed and the beaker indicator is present, the beaker will glow orange, indicating approval is required for at least one CounterMeasure on the incident. Clicking it will show a modal where you can approve the appropriate CounterMeasures. CounterMeasures that require approval will stay queued until approved; they will not block other CounterMeasure and will not run until their configured timing (e.g., you can approve them early and they'll still run at the proper time).
Using CounterMeasures in Templates
CounterMeasures work in templates the same way they would on a regular instance, except for one difference - in templates, the list of available actions is a union of all the CounterMeasures used across your account. On instances, the only actions available are the ones that have been reported by the instance.
If you attempt to apply a template with a CounterMeasure to an instance that has not reported that CounterMeasure as present, it will not be added to the monitoring configuration for that metric.