In SQL Monitor, I want to...

Only receive emails for the most important alerts

CONTEXT: I review alerts raised by SQL Monitor in order to stay on top of my server activity, and I also have alert emails enabled in order to respond quickly to issues.

PROBLEM: I only want to receive emails for issues that require immedate action or are otherwise noteworthy. I don't want to change the alert thresholds because for my triage, the "lower-priority" alerts are still interesting - but they shouldn't be sent as emails.

EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
• Send emails by alert priority - e.g. medium and high only
• Alter the default alert behaviour to only send emails for high-priority alert types
• Send emails for "new" alerts - such as a long-running query that hasn't been encountered before - but don't email about repeat offenders
• implement an alternative triage view that lists significant events that happened on my servers independently of alerts getting raised - this way we can set higher alert thresholds without losing information.

What do you think about these solutions? Got another idea? Let us know in the comments!

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    Daniel RothigDaniel Rothig shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Phil GraysonPhil Grayson shared a merged idea: Alerts | Allow each alert threshold to have different alerts types or operators  ·   · 
    Daniel WatkinsDaniel Watkins shared a merged idea: Allow emails to be sent based upon alert priority.  ·   · 
    started  ·  Daniel RothigDaniel Rothig responded  · 

    There is a conflict of interest inherent in alerting systems: The fewer alerts you get, you lower the notification noise, but you also lose detail in the trail of historical alerts. In many environemnts, historical alerts double as a trace of server activity. SQL Monitor users solve this by setting “Low” thresholds for things they want to see in a trace but “Medium” and “High” thresholds for the things that should trigger a notification. “Low” alerts aren’t so much alerts as they are informationlals.

    We have started addressing the problem by revising our default thresholds and improving guidance in the configuration screens. Longer term, we are looking to find a better solution to the “server trace” usecase than the alerts, so that alerts can focus on their primary purpose: notifying DBAs of issues and prompting them to action.

    14 comments

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      • Jason HannasJason Hannas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It's hard to believe this isn't available yet. I just want to trigger an email when a "HIGH" alert is raised...suppress emails on Medium or Low. Otherwise the emails are fairly useless.

      • BlueCollarCriticBlueCollarCritic commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Daniel Rothig

        I just wanted to let you know that as a custom report developer I can fully appreciate and sympathize how a seemingly straightforward change can turn out to be far more challenging than you'd think. Within the world of custom reporting users often are unable to grasp why there is sometimes no simple way (if at all) to recreate within a custom report, a peace-meal report they’ve built in Excel (or similar application) . A peace-meal report is where a user has taken a piece from one report and a piece from another and done that many times from 2 or more unrelated reports to create single report. Since they are able to do this easily with copy& paste in Excel they are unable to understand why the same cannot be easily automated in a custom report and/or at least not in an efficient report.

        Thanks for letting us know that this is something that RedGate is working towards.

      • Colin MillerchipAdminColin Millerchip (Admin, Red Gate Software) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I’m sorry that we’ve not progressed this one as fast as we’d have liked. We’re aware of the importance of email management, and I realise that the workarounds suggested here are far from perfect. Despite the design and engineering challenges of this area, it’s one that is a high priority for us to address.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm tired of getting spammed.
        I'm tired of setting up email client rules.

        I want to be alerted, on my phone, when something bad happens to a production server, as an out of the box feature.

        i.e. - send me an email for high level alerts that occur to my Production server group. Nothing else.

        Come on guys.

      • John StaffordJohn Stafford commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This would definitey by useful - low priority might just go to me as info, but medium and high to the main support desk to deal with.

      • BenBen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Would really like to see this implemented, be much nicer to configure this within sql monitor rather than having to use another product. I would also really like the ability to send email alerts only when an alert has been recorded a predefined number of times in a given time frame. (80 deadlocks within 3 mins - for example)

      • Phil GraysonPhil Grayson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Allow each alert threshold to have different alerts types or operators. For example minor alerts would send to a monitor mailbox, medium to a group and high to an email to SMS service.

        Alert groups or operators would allow DBA's the centrally change the email addresses of operators or mailboxes.

      • inariusinarius commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is my number one feature request. I need more granularity for email alerting because this products best selling point is the ability to be notified of certain critical issues. I am a DBA of many server installations, yet this product becomes more cumbersome and less useful with each license I purchase...

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