Find the Latest in DevOps & More in Our Learning Library Start Here.

Outage Communication with StatusPage

Dylan May 12, 2016


No one likes being kept in the dark when there’s an outage. For many organizations, limited resources mean choosing between communicating to internal & external constituents or allocating additional resources to the front lines of a firefight.


Fortunately, with, IT professionals no longer have to choose. StatusPage allows your team to update the current status of your systems to provide transparency to your stakeholders without taking resources away from the frontline. This means a reduction in time needed for figuring out your message and an increase in available time for firefighting. Sound farfetched? It’s not with StatusPage.

At VictorOps, we leverage StatusPage to communicate with our internal and external stakeholders during times of crisis. While we all wish that outages didn’t happen, the reality is that systems crash and releases don’t always go as planned. The optimist on your team will try to keep morale up by crying “JOB SECURITY” while the posture of your support team morphs from Superman to Eeyore.


So let’s describe the scene during an outage: Devs have their noses to the monitor, scouring the latest code release for errors. Ops is triaging system health and rebooting servers as fast as your big brother used to shout REDO and hit the restart button on the Nintendo growing up. Support is furiously pounding their keyboards while smoke billows from their ears and the phones ring as loud as cicadas at dusk in the summertime. All the while, the C-Level team is pacing back and forth across the office with an odd, twisted facial expression as if they are actively fighting off an aneurysm.

And while we all have felt the suffocating stress of an outage, sometimes the situation is not that grave. Perhaps only one part of your service is degraded. Maybe it’s merely a scheduled maintenance window. StatusPage can help provide transparency in these cases as well. By breaking your service into components, StatusPage allows for updates to a particular component independently of other components or the service as a whole.

SMS alerts not firing because of a vendor issue? Simply update the status for that component and give your stakeholders the peace of mind that your team is actively addressing the issue. Reassure them that the platform is up and their data is intact. Transparency fosters confidence. When something breaks, don’t let your customer’s imagination run wild. Use StatusPage to update them in real-time and let them know exactly where you are in the troubleshooting process.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.35.48 AM

Not only does StatusPage serve as a third-party dashboard for platform availability, it also allows for your constituents to subscribe to whichever components they have a vested interest in. The subscriber can then choose their own preferred medium for alerts (e-mail, SMS, webhook) when StatusPage is updated.

This works quite well for us at VictorOps. Externally, our customers, investors, and vendors have a line of sight into the status of our platform. Internally, our support team receives less inquiry tickets when issues arise and our teams can focus on returning systems to full functionality, not communicating details of an issue in a one-off format.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.13.37 AM

(Additionally, with our StatusPage integration, sending these messages can be easily done from within the same timeline that you’re fighting the fire with your teammates.)

We all realize that resources are finite and limited. StatusPage allows organizations to free up resources spent on crisis communication and reallocate them to focus on the solution. Doing so limits downtime, increases transparency and creates efficiencies both internally and externally.

If you’d like to learn more about the topic of crisis communication, join Mike Merideth, our Senior Director of IT, and Blake Thorne, from StatusPage, for a webinar on this very thing. We’ll dive deeper into crisis communication, sharing best practices and what we’ve learned from our own experiences.

Let us help you make on-call suck less.

Get Started Now