Version: SG FLX

Throttling and Acknowledgement

Signals supports both time-based and acknowledgement based throttling.

The purpose of throttling is to prevent any action to be executed too many times, thus generating too many notifications.

Assume you have a watch that is executed every second. If the condition of the watch is met, the configured action would also fire every second. Which means a notification is generated every second.

Time-based throttling enables you to limit the execution of an action based on a time interval: Even if the watch is executed every second, the action only fires every n seconds/minutes/hours etc.

Acknowledge-based throttling enables you to “silence” a watch which currently fires.

Time-based throttling

To throttle the execution of an action, you can set a throttle_period in the action definition:

	"actions": [
			"type": "email",
			"name": "my_email_action",
			"throttle_period": "1h",
			"account": "internal_mail",
			"to": "",
			"subject": "...",
			"text_body": "..."

In this example, regardless how often the condition in the watch definition fires, the email action will be executed only once per hour.

On other words, if you define a throttle period, the action will not fire if the last time the action was executed is withing the timeframe of the throttle period.


Acknowledging a watch that currently fires will prevent any action from being executed again. If a watch is acknowledged via the REST API, it will move into the acknowledged state. As long as a watch is in acknowledged state, no actions will be executed.

This is useful in a situation where a watch condition is met, and you want to acknowledge that someone has noticed it and is working on solving the issue.

A watch will remain in the acknowledged state until the watch condition evaluates to false, i.e. the condition is not met. This will move the watch out of the acknowledged state, so the next time the condition is met, the actions will be executed again.

Throttling flow

Introduced in Search Guard FLX 1.1.0

You can use Kibana deeplinks to acknowledge one or more actions of a watch. A deeplink makes it possible to

  • Acknowledge all actions of a watch
  • Acknowledge one specific action of a watch
  • Acknowledge several specific actions of a watch

To acknowledge all actions of a watch, you can use the following deeplink:

https://<Kibana URL>/app/searchguard-signals#/watch/{watch_id}/ack. 

If selective actions are supposed to be acknowledged, they can be specified as comma-separated query params:

https://<Kibana URL>/app/searchguard-signals#/watch/{watch_id}/ack?actions=action_a,action_b

Signals provides two variables for generating deeplinks. These variables can be used in Mustache templates, for example to generate an Email or a Slack message:

  • {{ack_watch_link}}: Link to acknowledge the whole watch
  • {{ack_action_link}}: Link to acknowledge the particular action which generated the current alert


Since the deeplinks contain the base URL of Kibana, you need to configure it as a setting in Signals using the PUT settings REST API:

Example curl call:

curl -u username:password \ -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \ -X PUT "https://<Elasticsearch URL>:9200/_signals/settings/frontend_base_url" \ -d '""'

By default, the user has to acknowledge the watch with an additional button press on the Kibana acknowledge page. If you want to auto-acknowledge the specified actions once the user clicks on the deeplink, add one_click=true as a query parameter to the link:

https://<Kibana URL>/app/searchguard-signals#/watch/{watch_id}/ack?actions=action_a,action_b&one_click=true

Unacknowledgeable actions

Introduced in Search Guard FLX 1.1.0

Search Guard FLX 1.1.0 introduces a new boolean attribute for actions: ack_enabled (defaults to true).

If set to false, any try to acknowledge a watch will not acknowledge this action, and thus it continues to run:


If an unacknowlegeable action is explicitly specified, the request will fail with status 400 Bad Request.


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