IBM Cloud PowerVC Manager 1.3.3 provides the ability to send email notifications when specific actions take place. Administrators, project managers, and self-service users are notified about what actions have been performed in their PowerVC-based cloud so that they don’t have to continuously monitor the PowerVC UI. Here’s a quick look at some of the operations that can generate notifications, depending on your configuration:

For administrators and project managers:
– A request has been created, cancelled or has been pending for a long time.
– A deploy was started or completed.
– A vrtual machine is about to expire or has expired.

For self-service users:
– A deploy template was created.
– A request was approved or denied.
– A deploy was started or completed.
– A virtual machine is about to expire or has expired.
– There was a change of virtual machine ownership.

To enable this functionality, you will need to configure three simple items in PowerVC:
– An email server
– The email template and global substitution variables
– Email preferences

Configure the email server (administrators and project managers only)
Before sending emails, you must configure PowerVC to use your email server. To access these settings in the PowerVC user interface, go to Configuration > Email > Email Server:

Note the following when using this information:
* For SMTP server, you can use localhost or your company’s SMTP server:
– Use “localhost” as an SMTP server by configuring a mail transfer agent (MTA) such as Postfix or Sendmail on the PowerVC management system.
– Specify your company’s SMTP server for routing the emails; you will also need to provide additional information such as the TLS user name and password.
* If PowerVC is using the local operating system for its identity repository (that is, you’re not using a corporate LDAP server), only the email addresses specified in the Additional recipients field will receive email notifications.
* The ‘Delivery options’ section is optional and can be used to configure email retry attempts. If the SMTP server isn’t available when an email is sent, PowerVC can retry sending until the specified limit is reached.

To confirm that all email server configuration settings are correct, click the Send test email button:

This means that the email server configuration is all ready to go. Now save the configuration and the task is done!

Work with email templates (administrators and project managers only)
Email templates specify the information that is sent in each type of email. You can keep the default information or update it to your specifications. To view the available email templates, go to Configuration > Email > Email Templates

To view and update the email subject and body text, select the template and click Edit. For example, if you open the “Extension request pending” template, you see the following:

The Days pending before notification field allows you to customize how many days to let a virtual machine extension request be pending before sending a reminder to the administrator and project manager.
Notice that some of the text is surrounded by curled braces, such as {pending_days}. These are substitution variables. Some are automatically substituted by PowerVC, like {vm_name}, but some are customizable, such as {signature}. The customizable variables are considered global variables because they are shared by every template.

To edit the global substitution variables, go to Configuration > Email > Email Templates and click Global Substitution Variables. The following screen will be displayed:

For example, you might want to customize the signature to add the IP address and the name of the project that sent the notification, as shown above. For more information about working with global substitution variables, click the “Lean more…” link.

Set email preferences (everyone)
The final step in enabling email is to set your email preferences. When PowerVC has been configured to use a corporate LDAP server, administrators and project managers can specify what types of emails are sent by default, configure how frequently each type of notification is sent, and so on. To set your email preferences, go to Configuration > Email > Email preferences, or choose it from the drop down menu by your user name:

Now email notifications will be sent just the way you want. If you have any questions, feel free to add them below. We’d love to hear from you! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Blog authors:
Suma Allipuram and Himabindu P. J.
IBM PowerVC Software Engineers

10 comments on"Email notification support"

  1. Is there a list of the substitution variables available?

    • Hello,
      Thanks for your question. Yes, the list is in the help. To see the help, navigate to that page in the user interface and click Learn More.

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  5. Looking for a clarification of when events generate an email. First can the list of events that generate an email be added to? Important would be if VM is ever deleted. Second do the emails go out for “deploy event” even if VM deploy was not done with deploy template request/approval process. So if email notification is set up will email be generated if any user (even Admin) does a deploy of an image with out using a template or approval?

  6. Ruzaini Ramli March 28, 2019

    Hello expert.
    On PowerVC 1.4.1, where is the location for “Email Preference” that have the same configurations on version 1.3.3 above?

  7. Hi Ruzaini,
    “Email Preferences” will be available only for LDAP. Email Preferences is about choice of actions for which you want emails. When one of these actions takes place, an email is sent to your email address, as configured in LDAP. The administrator controls the text that is sent and selects which emails are sent by default.

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