Event storming! It’s raining emails!

SQL Server Best Practices
SQL Server Best Practices
One of the most common ways to get an event notification is by email. So what happens when you get 500 emails in a day and only one or two are actionable? Do you read every single email? Spending quite literally hours to find those one or two gems? Or do you just ignore the whole lot and wait for some other notification that there is a problem. Say, by a user calling you?

Next, let’s say you have a job that runs every few minutes checking if an instance is down. When that instance goes down you get an immediate email. Which is awesome! Of course then while you are trying to fix the issue you get dozens more emails about the same outage. That is at best distracting and at worst makes it take longer for you to fix the issue.

Ok, obviously event storming is bad. (Quick note, not all event storms are emails, that’s just the example I’m using here.) That said, what do we do about it? Reduce the number of events obviously. There are a few obvious methods here.

Better Thresholds
Let’s say you are alerting on the percentage of disk used. And you are using a default of > 80% used. Do you really need to know that you only have 500gb of your 3tb disk? You also want to collect baseline information (for many reasons) so you have a better idea of what your actual numbers are and can alert when these numbers move outside of your reasonable baselines. Erin Stellato (b/t) has a good article on SQL Server Central on Back to Basics: Capturing Baselines on Production SQL Servers to help you get started.

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