Azure Monitor: how to check the health of Azure Services

Azure Monitor, through the service called Azure Service Health, can provide detailed information in case you experience conditions affecting the functioning of your services in the Microsoft cloud. In this article we will examine how Azure Service Health can help to identify the impact of the problems, send notifications and maintain administrators up to date as the issue is resolved. It will also further how this service can help to prepare for planned maintenance and to understand how these might affect the availability of your resources.

To get a visual on the overall state of Azure health, Microsoft offers its status page, that shows in real time the situation of the various products and services, divided into geographical areas. This page shows all the problems, even those who do not have a direct impact on the status of your services.

To obtain a customized view, covering only your own resources, you can use Azure Service Health. In this way is encouraged early detection of information concerning the following aspects:

  • Problems on services: lists the Azure services issues that impact on own resources.
  • Scheduled maintenance: lists the future maintenance affecting the availability of your own services.
  • Health advisories: these are the changes in Azure services that require attention. Possible examples of this can be reports of certain usage quotas are exceeded or when certain features of Azure are deprecated.

Figure 1 – Azure Service Health sections present in the Azure Portal

By accessing the section Azure Service Health – Service issues, in Azure Monitor, you can create custom dashboards. In order to receive notifications only for resources of interest, you are prompted to select the subsbriptions, the regions and the appropriate services. At the end of this selection, you can save the filters by assigning a name.

Figure 2 – Selection of regions

Figure 3 – Selection of Azure services

Figure 4 – Saving and naming

By selecting the button "Pin filtered world map to dashboard" you can see the custom map in the Azure Portal dashboard, so you instantly have a visual impact on the health status of the subscription, of the services and of the selected regions.

Figure 5 – Map, with filters applied, shown in the dashboard

If issues arise that impact your resources on Azure, by accessing the portal, you will receive a notification similar to the following:

Figure 6 - Reporting an ongoing issue that impacts your services

Selecting the custom map you will be sent in the Azure Service Health of Azure Monitor. This dashboard shows the relevant details and the list of your own resources, that potentially could be impacted by the issue, in addition to its status updates.

Figure 7 - Summary of the issue

From this page you can also download the PDF documentation (in some cases also in CSV format) describing the problem, in order to be sent to those who have no direct access to the Azure Portal. There are also useful links to contact Microsoft support if error condition persist after the issue is reported as solved.

Figure 8 – Resources potentially impacted by the issue

The section Health history shows past problems encountered on Azure services and that have had an impact on the health of your own resources.

Figure 9 - List of problems reported in the Health history

Azure Service Health, in the section Resource health, also displays the state of health of the resources by type.

Figure 10 – Resources Health by type

Selecting the individual Azure service you can consult both the current state of health that any problems that occurred in the past on a given resource.

Figure 11 – Current state of health and past events of a specific Virtual Machine

Thanks to the complete integration of Service Health on Azure Monitor, which holds the alerting engine of Azure, you can configure specific Alerts if there are issues on Azure side, that impact on the operation of the resources present on your own subscription. The notification occurs through Action Groups, that currently includes these possible actions:

  • Voice call (currently only in US) or sending SMS (for enabled countries).
  • Sending an email.
  • Calling a webhook.
  • Sending data to ITSM.
  • Recalling a Logic App.
  • Sending a push notification on mobile app of Azure.
  • Running a runbook of Azure Automation.

Figure 12 – Adding a Service Health Alert

Figure 13 -Configuring a Service Health Alert

Conclusions

The recent availability of Azure Service Health, introduced the ability to receive customized and targeted information on the health of your own resources in Azure, without having to search for potential problems of Azure globally by going to its status page. This saves time and easily understand, in the face of problems or scheduled maintenance, what is the impact on your own services.