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I wasn't sure where to post this question. If this is not the right place, kindly point me in the right direction.

We have SQL Server 2012 and 2014 on-prem. My intention was to forward the error logs to another server. Based on my search, I keep running into what's called an alerts management server. I also found that I can designate the receiving server from this article in Step 5.

However, I'm not too sure that I'm on the right track and is the reason I'm posting these questions:

  • Are there other alternatives to forward SQL error logs to a centralized location (something like WEF/WEC)? Or is this the only way?
  • The 2nd article states, the alerts management server must be a default instance of SQL Server. What does this mean?
  • Can I forward this to a server of my choosing? I'm not sure how SSMS would be able to list the server I want to be the receiver (maybe dependent on the 2nd bullet).

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Yes, you are on the right track in using SQL Server's alert management server to forward error logs to a centralized location. This is one of the ways to achieve that.

Regarding your questions:

Are there other alternatives to forward SQL error logs to a centralized location (something like WEF/WEC)? Or is this the only way?

There are other alternatives, such as using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to automate the transfer of error logs to another server or using a third-party tool such as LogRhythm or LogDNA to aggregate and manage your logs.

The 2nd article states, the alerts management server must be a default instance of SQL Server. What does this mean?

A default instance of SQL Server means that the instance of SQL Server was installed with the default configuration and does not have a custom name. It is usually referred to as just "SQL Server" or "MSSQLSERVER".

Can I forward this to a server of my choosing? I'm not sure how SSMS would be able to list the server I want to be the receiver (maybe dependent on the 2nd bullet).

Yes, you can forward the error logs to a server of your choosing. The SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provides the ability to select the target server for the error logs. The server must be accessible and running a compatible version of SQL Server to receive the error logs. Additionally, you may need to configure the target server's firewall to allow incoming connections from the source server.

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