Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 4: Azure Advisor

In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure.

We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further.

  • Part 2: Activity Logs
  • Part 3: Application Insights
  • Part 4: Azure Advisor
  • Part 5: Azure Alerts
  • Part 6: Azure Diagnostics
  • Part 7: Azure Metrics
  • Part 8: Azure Monitor
  • Part 9: Azure Security Center (ASC)
  • Part 10: Network Watcher
  • Part 11: Operations Management Suite (OMS)
    • Note: Also known as Log Analytics
  • Part 12: Service Health
  • Part 13: System Center Operation Manager (SCOM)

We’ve already discussed Azure Activity Logs, and Application Insights. The next tool on the list is Azure Advisor. 

 

Azure Advisor

The Azure Advisor service analyzes your resources that are running in Azure and provides recommendations based on best practices, cost-saving adjustments that could be applied, and suggestions to improve performance, security, and high availability.

Recommendations are updated hourly, and are currently provided for the following Azure services:

  • Virtual Machines
  • Availability Sets
  • Application Gateways
  • App Services
  • SQL Servers
  • SQL Databases
  • Redis Cache

Some of the recommendation areas are tied to other services. For example, the Security recommendations are linked to Azure Security Center recommendations.

Here is the official documentation about Introduction to Azure Advisor.

 

Real Word Example

Let’s see this in real-world action.

In my Azure Subscription, I have a lot of things running/not-running, leftovers from testing, etc. When I navigate to the Azure Advisor, I see recommendations for Security, and Cost.

Azure Advisor Example

It’s interesting that the Security recommendations are based on Azure Security Center (ASC). This means that you also need to onboard your systems (Azure or non-Azure, since Azure Security Center now works in a hybrid-mode), into Azure Security Center. This will mean an additional cost since there is a cost per node. Something to think about before just turning everything on.

Azure Advisor – Security

The most interesting element is the Cost recommendations. I can see in my case, that I have a Site-to-Site VPN Gateway that is not being used, and so it was recommended to remove it. It’s also nice to see that the Advisor will show the potential cost saving by doing this.

Azure Advisor – Cost

If you click on the actual recommendation, it provides further information, including Impact, the Resource it’s referring to, and the Recommended Action.

Azure Advisor – Cost – Recommendation Details

Additionally, it is very helpful that you can download all of the recommendations as a PDF. This is extremely useful, especially if you have a lot of recommendations. This empowers you to provide your team with the recommendations list, review them, and discuss which ones you will act on.

Azure Advisor – Recommendation Report

 

Conclusion

The Azure Advisor service is a nice concierge-type of service. It’s like someone saying: “Hey, you might want to look at this, or change that, to… improve security, save money, etc.”

It will be interesting to see how this service grows and evolves in the future, especially with becoming more deeply integrated with other Azure technologies and services.

The next tool in our series will be the Azure Alerts.

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