notifications on maintenance plans and SQL Server Agent

i recently had a backup job go dormant for a few weeks and didn't notice the problem soon enough.  is there a strategy that someone might point me to that is not overly complex, but its pretty rock solid as far as making sure your backups are working properly.

all the backup jobs and maintenance are running through ssms maintenance plans.

i have 3 maintenance plan set ups.
Backup full
Backup differential
and one called "maintenance" - this one cleans out old back up files

on the email notifications on the sql agent job... question.
Look at attachment 1 for reference.  I have this set to "when the job completes".  does this mean it will fire off an email when the job succeeds or fails?

2 follow up questions.

i want to test this job to see what it does when it fails.  i see what it does when it completes successfully.  is there an easy way to fire this backup job off and make it fail... a certain setting i should try or something like that.

follow up question 2.  i would like to be immediately notified if the sql agent service turns off... best way for this?
Attachment1.JPG
jamesmetcalf74Asked:
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Aneesh RetnakaranDatabase AdministratorCommented:
> have this set to "when the job completes".  does this mean it will fire off an email when the job succeeds or fails?
It will send an email when the job completes, job completes only when it is successfully run other wise it will fail.

> is there an easy way to fire this backup job off and make it fail... a certain setting i should try or something like that.
Update the backup job to backup the master database which is really small and will be done pretty fast
>Is there an easy way to fire this backup job off and make it fail.
Update the backup job set the backup destination to a drive that is not on that server or set it to a dvd drive and run the job. it will throw an error
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Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution GuideCommented:
>> i would like to be immediately notified if the sql agent service turns off... best way for this?

To get notified, do the following steps
1. In services.msc, Right Click SQL Server Agent Service -> Choose Properties
2. Click on Recovery
3. Set actions for First Failure, Second Failure and Subsequent failures to run a program(*.bat or *.cmd file) to alert the required people.

Hope the remaining questions were answered by Aneesh already and let us know for more details.
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jamesmetcalf74Author Commented:
Thank you gentlemen
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