Alerts Don't Suck. YOUR Alerts Suck!

When people tell me “alerts suck”, I tell them “No, YOUR alerts suck.” Here’s why: We suck at creating alerts that are useful, meaningful, and most of all actionable.

Nobody “likes” getting alerts. Best-case, you find out something went (or is going) wrong. Far more often, the alerts we receive are meaningless, trivial, or just plain wrong - a source of constant interruptions, false alarms, and noise.

While many are convinced this is the inherent nature of alerts, the truth is they can be so much better. Well-crafted alerts based on insightful monitoring are a benefit to the business and a gift to IT practitioners, saving hours of investigation and thousands of dollars.

Your view of alerts as a curse or a blessing depends more on design and implementation than on any specific monitoring tool.

This talk will include a tour of the alerting hall of horrors, and then provide real-world, vendor-agnostic techniques to make alerts meaningful, effective, valuable, and actionable.

By breaking a few bad habits; understanding how and why vendors put their tools together in particular ways; and learning a few new concepts, you’ll have people emailing you to say “thank goodness I got that alert!”.

Now there’s something you probably don’t hear every day.



Leon Adato


In my sordid career, I have been an actor, bug exterminator and wild-animal remover (nothing crazy like pumas or wildebeests. Just skunks, snakes, and raccoons.), electrician, carpenter, stage-combat