When things go wrong with notification, operators do not get notified and problems might not be corrected in a timely manner. To prevent this, you might want to designate a fail-safe operator. The fail-safe operator is notified in the following situations:
- SQL Server Agent cannot access system tables in the msdb database, which is
where operator definitions and notification lists are stored.
- All pager notifications to designated operators have failed, or the designated
operators are off duty (as defined in the pager schedule).
Using the fail-safe operator on pager notification failure might seem strange, but it is a good way to ensure that alerts are handled efficiently. E-mail and net send messages almost always reach their destination—but the people involved are not always watching their mail or sitting at their computer to receive net send messages, so the fail-safe operator is a way to guarantee notification.