How To Manage International Team Schedules in OpsGenie

by Sep 26, 2017 Gokce Erdogan

opsgenie international team schedule.png

When dealing with global systems that are mission critical, having teams in different time-zones becomes unavoidable. Many of our customers are configuring their teams in OpsGenie by keeping this in mind so that the right people can be notified at the right time - it’s not necessary to wake someone up when there is another teammate that’s already awake and working!

In OpsGenie, teams are very flexible, and you can configure them as you would like to according to your use-case. You can have multiple escalations and schedules inside one team, point out to an escalation inside a schedule rotation or vice versa, and use them in the routing rules of your team.

There are a couple ways to define the on-call period of the people in different time-zones. You can either create separate schedules for each different time-zone, or just have a single schedule with one of the time-zones and calculate the time intervals for other time-zones according to the one used by your schedule and add them as different rotations to the schedule.

The steps to start implementing your organizational structure for your international teams in OpsGenie is usually like below:

1- Think about your use case.

2- Start building up the on-call schedules for your team.

3- Define the escalations for your team to make sure at least somebody is aware of the problem.

4- Make sure your team’s Routing Rules are pointing out to the correct direction.

Having worked with many of our customers as a Customer Success Engineer, in the rest of this blog, I will share two common use-cases our customers have and the ways to address them using teams inside OpsGenie - please remember that these are just examples, they can be tweaked or set up entirely differently, it all depends on your needs :

1) Three teams on different time-zones, sharing a similar escalation pattern

  • Create a schedule including each time-zone as a separate rotation, use one of the time-zones of the teams as the schedule time-zone (Tip: Restricting the rotations to time intervals and selecting times and days is the way to go!)
  • Configure your escalation according to your needs.
  • Edit your team’s Routing Rules to point out to the escalation.

teams with different time-zones sharing similar escalation pattern

This use-case would use the escalation to route the alerts in the team, and whenever the escalation tries to find the on-call user, the team in the correct time-zone would be notified since they are configured in different rotations according to their time-zones.

2) Two teams in different time-zones, both have different escalation patterns

  • Create separate schedules for each time-zone - you can use the related time-zone for each schedule for easy configuration.
  • Create the escalations that each time-zone would use.
  • Edit your team’s Routing Rules to have two rules where one would have time restrictions for a specific time-zone and use the related escalation, and the other rule with the remaining time interval. Since there are only two teams in this example, you can keep the second rule without any time restrictions. The first rule would eliminate the other time-zone for the second rule anyways. (Tip: Routing Rules are working in a top-down order just like any other rule we have in OpsGenie, the first matching one would be used!)

international teams’ schedule with different escalation patterns

On-Call schedules for different teams across the time-zones

This use-case would check the Routing Rules of the team, and depending on the time of the day, it would route the alerts to the team’s escalations in the related time-zone.

These two examples usually cover the needs for most organizations for setting up international team schedules, but if you have other use-cases that you would like to share and get some tips that might be helpful, please do not hesitate to reach us via chat or our online Community!

Next Step:

Did you know that you can have even more powerful teams? Each team can have their own integrations that can be managed by the team admins, so no need to give excessive rights to each user for just handling integrations! This would let you have a more granular management in your account.