Server Notifications & Alerts

Never miss another server outage. Learn how to build a server notification system that will alert all administrators via SMS when a server outage occurs.

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What Does This Thing Do?

This Ruby on Rails sample application demonstrates how to send SMS alerts to a list of system administrators if something goes wrong on your server.

In this tutorial, we'll show you the key bits of code to make this work.

See how EMC uses Twilio SMS to send IT alerts to 68,000 employees.

Let's get started!

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List of Server Admins

Create a list of administrators who should be notified if a server error occurs. The only requirement we have is a phone_number.

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Configure Twilio Client

In order to send a message we'll need to initialize the Twilio REST client which requires reading our TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN environment variables.

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Handle All Exceptions on a Controller

Here we ensure any StandardError triggers our alert method with rescue_from.

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Create a custom alert message

Here we create an alert message to send out via text message. You might also decide to include a picture with your alert message, maybe a screenshot of the application when the crash happened?

Reading the Admins from the YAML File

Next we read the admins from our YAML file and send alert messages to each of them with the private send_message method.

Sending a Text Message

There are the three parameters needed to send an SMS using the Twilio REST API: from:, to:, and body:. After the message is sent, we print out the phone number we're texting. US phone numbers can also send an image with the message.

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Where to Next?

That's it! We've just implemented an automated server notification system that can send you server alerts if anything goes wrong. If you're a Ruby developer working with Twilio, you might want to check out these other tutorials.

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Did this help?

Thanks for checking out this tutorial! If you have any feedback to share with us, we'd love to hear it. Contact the Twilio Developer Education Team to let us know what you think.