Inconsistent behaviour with alert when using manual run vs automated run

Hello, using amazon elasticsearch service ver 6.5

this is the first time I am using alerting so pls excuse the n00b question if im missing something obvious.

I have set up a new monitor:
the extraction query is:

    "query": {
        "bool": {
            "filter": [
                    "range": {
                        "@timestamp": {
                            "from": "{{period_start}}||-16m",
                            "to": "{{period_start}}||-1m",
                            "include_lower": true,
                            "include_upper": true,
                            "boost": 1
                    "simple_query_string": {
                        "query": "5*|ERROR",
                        "fields": [
                        "flags": -1,
                        "default_operator": "or",
                        "analyze_wildcard": false,
                        "auto_generate_synonyms_phrase_query": true,
                        "fuzzy_prefix_length": 0,
                        "fuzzy_max_expansions": 50,
                        "fuzzy_transpositions": true,
                        "boost": 1
            "adjust_pure_negative": true,
            "boost": 1

Basically, the TLDR of what im searching for in my kiabna logs is: any log entry which has response_code:5* OR level:ERROR. The query runs at an interval of 15 mins and queries a shifting window of now-16m till now-1m (15 min shifting window)

side note: the syntax of ||-5m was picked off documentation and im not sure how it works, I was not able to find clean documentation on how it works.

I have setup a trigger as ctx.results[0] > 0

now the message I have configured is:

Monitor {{}} just entered alert status. Please investigate the issue.
- Trigger: {{}}
- Severity: {{ctx.trigger.severity}}
- Period start: {{ctx.periodStart}}
- Period end: {{ctx.periodEnd}}
- Total Error Count: {{}}

under the message preview, this shows period start as now minus 15 mins and period end as now.
Also, when I “send a test message”, the time stamps match up with what is shown in the preview

However, when the automated runs happen, the timestamps are inconsistent:
period start is now
period end is now + 15 min


  • seems there is some inconsistency in computation of periodStart and periodEnd when it is manual run vs automated run. I verified this by checking the count and viewing the count in kibana. The count matches up with my query of (now-16m and now-1m)
  • the fact that I am not able to get the time stamps based on the actual query is not helpful (now-16m and now-1m)

if you need more info pls let me know, this is a brain dump of all my context.