Server monitoring alerts (document deprecated)

Note: This document only applies to some of our larger existing customers whose accounts were too large to use the automated update scripts when Alert Policies were rolled out.

The New Relic server monitor's user interface includes "traffic lights" (green, yellow, red, gray) that show the current health of your servers. You can set threshold levels for alerts. You can also identify email addresses to receive notifications about Critical (red) server alerts. (Account email addresses automatically receive Critical server alerts.)

For server problems (CPU, Disk, Memory), at most one alert is generated for an account. If you have several problems with multiple servers at the same time, you will receive one alert when the first problem occurs, and one notice of recovery when all Critical server problems have ended.

Threshold levels

The New Relic server monitor generates alerts based on excessive resource usage, such as high load average or full disks or memory. You can set threshold levels for Caution (yellow) and Critical (red) alerts for:

  • CPU busy
  • Disk busy
  • Memory used
  • Disk space used

New Relic's server monitor automatically sends email alerts when system level resources exceed the Critical thresholds. You can also view or filter alerts in the server monitor user interface.

Server Monitor Alerts
The Servers dashboard shows "traffic lights" (green, yellow, red, or gray) and detailed information about your servers' health. You can also view all server events or select filters to show only notifications, Caution alerts, Critical alerts, or maintenance.

Once the resource usage crosses a Critical threshold, there is a waiting period before an email is sent. This helps prevent "false positive" alerts. The waiting time is 15 minutes for CPU or Disk Busy and 5 minutes for Memory or Disk Space Used.

Example: A server's Critical alert threshold for CPU% is 90. New Relic does not send an alert when the server's CPU threshold reaches 90. However, when it goes over 90, New Relic waits 15 minutes to ensure this is not a "false positive" alert. Then, if the CPU threshold is still over 90, New Relic sends the alert notification.

Threshold settings

New Relic's default thresholds provide good baseline indicators of serious problems, but you should set your thresholds to meaningful levels for your environment. The highest level you can set is 99%.


  • Avoid setting thresholds too low. If servers routinely go over those levels, you will receive a lot of email alerts. Eventually the alerts may be ignored, and they will no longer be effective.
  • You can disable an alert for any setting. For example, if your database server typically uses 99% of the available RAM and you do not want to be alerted about that fact, you can change the threshold settings for that server by selecting Disable for the Fullest Disk % field.
  • You do not need to edit files or restart software, so feel free to make quick changes to your threshold levels and adjust as necessary. For example, you can "undo" all your changes by selecting Reset. After you finish making any changes, be sure to select Save thresholds.

Server Monitor Alert Thresholds
Servers > (gear icon) > Threshold settings: You can set Caution (yellow) and Critical (red) alert levels for CPU, Disk I/O Utilization, Memory, and Fullest Disk percentages for a specific server or for all servers in your list.

  1. From the New Relic Servers menu, select one or more servers.
  2. To set threshold levels that apply to every server listed: Filter the list of servers by app name or by host name as needed, and then select the gear icon gear in the Filter by app window to apply threshold levels to every server listed.
  3. To set threshold levels for a specific server, select the server's gear icon gear.
  4. From the Alerts and Threshold Settings window, type the percentage for CPU, Disk I/O Utilization, Memory, and Fullest Disk for Caution levels (yellow) and Critical levels (red).
  5. Optional: To prevent alerts for any of these settings, select Disable.
  6. Optional: To "undo" all of your changes, select Reset.
  7. When finished, select Save thresholds.

Email notifications

New Relic automatically sends email notifications about Critical (red) server alerts to any users who have enabled Alert notifications. (From the New Relic title bar, select (account > User preferences. To identify additional email addresses or other notification options for Critical server alerts: From the New Relic title bar, select (account) > Account settings > Integrations > Alerting notifications.

Server alerts typically are used to send notifications to a mailing list or email-to-SMS gateway, or to send alerts to a designed HipChat or Campfire location. For more information, see Alert Notifications.

Note: You will only receive notification messages about Critical server alerts. However, you can view all alerts and events from the Servers dashboard. This includes Caution alerts (yellow), Critical alerts (red), email notifications, and deployments.

For more help

Additional documentation resources include:

If you need additional help, get support at