Today I ran into something on a client server I unfortunately see too often. The DBA goes through the trouble of configuring and setting up alerts\operators but doesn’t really understand what the options in the configurations mean. So unfortunately, that means they take the CYA (cover your ass) approach and they check all of them. Now, not only have I seen this with alerts but also with things like security configurations as well. My advice is to always in to take a second and research what each option is before you check the little boxes, especially when it comes to security. Always follow the rule of less is more.
In the example below the administrator enabled alerts for an operator using the CYA approach. They checked email, pager, and netsend.
So, what’s the big deal? This server experienced an insufficient resources (space) alert that fired every minute and by having PAGER notifications enabled it caused the error log to bloat, consumed unnecessary space, and created noise in the logs.
The administrator of this environment really only needed to configure the email notification, as the company did not use netsend nor have pagers duties configured. To be honest, I have yet to see an environment use more than that, and per Microsoft both Pager and Net Send will be removed in future versions.
So, the morale of the story is, please take the time to research what the little checkboxes are before you enable them. The example above is a pretty benign one, but you can imagine what kind of messes you can get yourself in for other more critical things like security.
A Side Note:
If you want to learn how to setup your alerts and operators I’ve already written a blog on that with scripts you can find it here.
You can also visit github.com/dc-ac for a full install script that includes the Alert and Operator setups https://github.com/DC-AC/SQL2016_Scripted_Install