Documentation forSQL Sentry

SQL Sentry Alerting and Response System Settings

Settings are especially relevant in the context of the alerting and response system because certain Settings define the criteria of when a Condition is considered to be met. This includes Runtime Threshold Settings.

Other Settings, known as Source Settings define the events that are collected by SQL Sentry. Source Settings define minimum duration thresholds for the collection of events taking place in the monitored environment. Certain Settings control the synchronization of events, including History Filter settings. History Filters are available for select Event Sources. With History Filters you define rules that control the types of events the Monitoring Service writes into Event History concerning your monitored servers. If an event doesn't meet the criteria you've defined in the History Filter, information about that event isn't written to your SQL Sentry database.

All Source Settings have a direct correlation to Conditions being met, because an event must first be captured before any Condition related to it can be evaluated. 

Note: These Settings include various Collection Settings.

Where to Configure Settings

Settings can be configured at the following levels:

Settings are hierarchical, and work through the principle of inheritance, meaning that Settings applied at the Global level (All Targets) are automatically inherited by all the sites, target groups, targets, instances, and objects in your environment.

Note: Generally it's a good idea to first configure your Settingsglobally, and then adjust individual Settings as needed at the lower levels.

Configuring Settings

To Configure a Setting, do the following:

1. Select the desired node where you want to configure settings in the Navigator pane (View > Navigator > desired node). For example, select the All Targets node if you want to configure Settings Globally, or select an individual instance node if you'd like to configure Settings specific to that instance.

Navigator Pane select All Targets

2. Select View > Settings to open the Settings pane for your desired node.

SQL Sentry View Settings

3. Select the Settings you'd like to configure from the drop-down list in the Settings pane.
Settings pane SQL Server Settings

Within the Settings pane, directly beneath the drop-down lists, the full path of each Settings group is displayed. This path contains all of the ancestor objects for the selected Setting. Each Setting also has an Inherit From Parent flag that specifies if the Setting is being inherited. When this flag is set to true the name of the ancestor object that's passing down the inherited Settings is listed. 

SQL Sentry Settings pane Maintenance Window Settings

For example, if you initially configure your Settings globally, as you get to the target and instance level, you'll see that each child Setting contains an Inherit From Parent (Global) listing, with the flag set to True. This lets you know that these Settings are being inherited from the Global level (All Targets).

Configuring Settings Example

If you wanted to configure the Top SQL Minimum Duration Collection Setting Globally:

  1. Select the All Targets node in the Navigator pane.
    select All Targets in the Navigator
  2. In the Settings pane, select SQL Server Settings from the first drop-down list.
    Settings pane SQL Server Settings
  3. Select Top SQL Source from the second drop-down list. You should now see the Top SQL Source Settings that are being applied Globally.
    Settings pane Top SQL Source Settings
  4. Change the Minimum Duration to the desired value, it's saved automatically.
    Settings pane Minimum Duration Settings

If you wanted to configure the SQL Server Agent Job Maximum Runtime Threshold Percent for an individual Instance:

  1. Select the desired instance node in the Navigator pane.
    Select a target in the Navigator
  2. In the Settings pane, use the top drop-down list and select SQL Server Settings.
    Settings pane SQL Server Settings
  3. Use the second drop-down list to select SQL Server Agent Job. You should now see the SQL Server Agent Job Settings that are configured for the instance.
    Settings pane SQL Server Agent Job Settings
  4. In Runtime Thresholds change the Inherit From Parent Setting to False.
    Settings pane Runtime Thresholds Settings
  5. Change the Maximum Runtime Threshold Percent to the desired value, it's saved automatically.
    Settings pane Maximum Runtime Threshold

Comprehensive Listing of Settings

For more information about various settings, see the following topics: 

Additional Information: For information about Fragmentation Manager related settings, including database source settings, see the Fragmentation Manager topic.

General Information About Select Settings

Runtime Thresholds Settings

Runtime Thresholds can be set for a number of sources such as SQL Server Agent Jobs.

Percent Based

A value for Minimum Runtime Threshold Percent and Maximum Runtime Threshold Percent can be specified. The global Minimum Threshold Percent default is 10 percent. The Maximum Threshold Percent default is 250 percent. Anytime a job runs for less than 10 percent or longer than 250 percent of its average runtime the associated condition is met and any actions configured for that condition take place. 

Note: If too many messages are being received, these settings can be adjusted as needed.

Time Based

Explicit time-based thresholds can be specified. Anytime an explicit time-based threshold is specified it overrides the percentage based thresholds for that object. Time-based thresholds are usually less valuable at the Global level, particularly the Minimum Runtime Threshold. Explicit runtime thresholds tend to be more applicable at the actual instance or object level for overriding the global percentage thresholds on a case-by-case basis.

Note: One notification will be sent once the Maximum Runtime Threshold is met and a separate notification is sent once it's completed.

For example, consider a job that has a great deal of volatility in runtime such as a transaction log backup, which can run for anywhere between 30 seconds and 30 minutes, and its average runtime is five minutes. To avoid unnecessary percentage-based threshold notifications for the job, one option is to set its Maximum Runtime Threshold to 35 Minutes and Minimum Runtime Threshold to 20 Seconds. This can be done by selecting either the job's node in the Navigator pane or an instance of the job on the Event calendar, then follow the same steps as above to access and change the job's runtime threshold settings.

Note: Runtime Threshold messages for Reporting Services Reports completing in less than two minutes aren't processed until they are complete. 

Performance Counter Threshold Settings

Used to set the minimum and maximum values for the counter thresholds of that particular counter. These trigger the Performance Counter: Threshold Min and Max conditions if any actions are enabled for them. This option is only available when selecting a specific performance counter from the NavigatorPane. 

Note:There can be only one minimum and one maximum value for a given counter, regardless of how many objects are linked to the counter.

Target Settings

Setting Description Related Condition
Maintenance Window

Used to set a schedule for the Maintenance Window. Only Log Actions trigger for Failsafe conditions inside the Maintenance Window. Maintenance Window setting allow a time frame to be specified while daily maintenance activities take place on that instance.

For more information, see the Schedules and Windows topic.

Failsafe Conditions

Event Chain Settings

Setting Description Related Condition
Maximum Runtime Threshold Define the maximum allowed runtime for the Event Chain. Event Chain: Runtime Threshold Max
Minimum Runtime Threshold Define the minimum allowed runtime for the Event Chain. Event Chain: Runtime Threshold Min

Event Chain Node Settings

Setting Description Related Condition
Maximum Runtime Threshold Define the maximum allowed runtime for the Event Chain node. Event Chain Node: Runtime Threshold Max
Minimum Runtime Threshold Define the minimum allowed runtime for the Event Chain node. Event Chain Node: Runtime Threshold Min

Site Settings

Setting Description Related Condition
General SMTP Server The SMTP server or server group used for email notifications. For more information, see the SMTP Configuration topic. N/A
Note: For SNMP Traps Settings, reach out to for assistance with SNMP MIBs.
Additional Information: SQL Sentry is capable of interfacing with SCOM for purposes of alerting through SNMP traps. See the SQL Sentry and System Center Operations Manager blog for more details.