SQL Sentry Events Log Updates Provide a Centralized View of Events
The SQL Sentry Environment Health Overview (EHO), which is part of the dashboard shown on the Start page, enables you to see all the conditions that have fired alongside the overall health of your database environment. We understand how useful it is to be able to quickly review the health information without having to dig deep into performance data, and we’re excited to announce a few enhancements to the EHO, Events Log, and Actions Log available in the SQL Sentry 2021.1 release.
Previously, the EHO was set up to show only triggered Advisory Conditions. Once you upgrade to SQL Sentry 2021.1, you’ll see all conditions begin to appear under your health score, including Audit, General, or Failsafe conditions. Now, additional data will be available in the EHO, and you’ll have greater visibility into the components that affect your overall health score.
With additional condition categories come additional factors in calculating the overall health of your environment. You’ll now see an event severity level of Info. We recognize not all conditions (such as SQL Server Job: Success) indicate a failure in your environment, and we wouldn’t want this to negatively impact your score. When a condition with a severity of Info is logged (as shown in the screenshot below), your health score won’t be affected. In addition, updates have been made to the default severities and tags of all conditions out of the box.
Health score with the new Info severity level
With the updates available in version 2021.1, Advisory Conditions will now appear in the Actions Log, and all Audit, General, or Failsafe conditions will now appear on the Events Log. This means the Actions Log and Events Log will contain entries for the same triggered conditions.
However, there are still some key differences between the two logs. The Actions Log displays each condition-action pair, whereas the Events Log will display every triggered condition. For example, if you have the General Condition SQL Server Agent Job: Failure condition with two different actions associated with it, and a job was to fail, then you would see two entries in the Actions Log. This is due to the separate actions associated with the condition. However, there would be one entry in the Events Log because it was a single event. The Actions Log is from the perspective of the actions and the Events Log is from the perspective of the condition.
The screenshots below highlight how some of these changes might affect your day-to-day use of the Events Log/Actions Log.
In the Conditions pane, you can see the SQL Server Agent Job: Failure condition is set up with two different actions: Execute SQL and Send Email.
The same condition with two different actions
Next, you can see the failing SQL Server job results in only a single entry in the Events Log in the screenshot below.
Events Log entry for an executed condition that has two actions
In the screenshot below, you can see there are two entries in the Actions Log for that same failing SQL Server job, with each entry representing an action that executed.
Actions Log entry for an executed condition that has two actions
In addition to the enhancements to the EHO and logs, the 2021.1 release includes a new Condition Type column in the Events Log (shown in the screenshot below). This column makes it easy to see the condition type for any Events Log entry at a glance.
The Condition Type column in the Events Log
Overall, these changes are aimed at making existing capabilities in SQL Sentry even more powerful. The enhancements enable you to get more information out of the EHO at a quick glance, making the Health Score something that helps make day-to-day analysis of your overall SQL Server health significantly easier. Additionally, the Events Log and Actions Log changes help prevent confusion about which conditions can be found in which log.