It is crucial for SSP to have the tasks running smoothly, otherwise people may not receive e-mail messages or wait steps are not checked properly. For that reason, SSP7 comes with an additional feature called "Watchdog" which will monitor the health of configured tasks. The watchdog is a Windows Service running next to the Task Scheduler Service. The watchdog service is informed by the Task Schedule Service about each run of a Task. In case a task has not been reported successful within the thresholds set for each task, the watchdog service will send out an alert, as configured within the watchdog configuration files.
To make the watchdog service work, each task that needs monitoring has to have its threshold set. Check the Task configuration section, for more information about that.