Best practices in Azure deployment with Azure Advisor

In Azure is available the Advisor solution that would provide useful recommendations to optimize the deployment in your environment. Azure Advisor analyzes the configuration of the resources present in the Azure subscriptions and its use, and highlights the issues to consider in order to optimize costs, the performance, high availability and security. This article lists the main characteristics and features of the solution.

Azure Advisor is a totally free solution and included in Azure that allows you to easily optimize the resources in your deployments, offering specific recommendations in the following categories:

  • High availability: It gives directions on how you can increase the availability of your business-critical applications, in order to ensure greater continuity of service.
  • Security: It shows how to best protect the Azure resources to security threats.
  • Performance: Thanks to constant analysis of resources used, the solution is able to return useful information to increase the speed and responsiveness of applications.
  • Costs: It provides guidance to maximize the economic return on investment in Azure, Thanks to the extra touches that can reduce and optimize costs.

All these recommendations are proactive and, to facilitate its implementation, contain proposals for concrete actions to be carried out.

Azure Advisor is accessible from Azure portal and the overview screen includes the recommendations of the four macro-categories mentioned :

Figure 1 – Azure Advisor overview

All information provided by the solution can be downloaded in two different formats (.pdf and .csv), to facilitate the consultation and to keep them documented.

By selecting each category you will be sent to the detail section, where you can check for any recommendation provided, which resources are impacted and the relative level of criticality (high, medium, low).

Figure 2 – High Availability raccomandations

The recommendations in the field of security are integrated with Azure Security Center and you will be sent to the specific section of the Security Center.

Figure 3 – Security raccomandations

The solution is also provided for integration with Azure SQL DB Advisor, to get useful tips even for improving the performance of datatabase.

Figure 4 – Performance raccomandations

Figure 5 – Cost raccomandations

In the specific case, to optimize Azure resource costs , it is recommended the purchase of Virtual Machine Reserved Instances (VM RIs), estimating the savings that could be achieved by adopting VM RIs 3 years.

For ease of reference, you can apply filters to display only the recommendations relating to specific resources on the subscriptions and in certain resource groups, with the ability to select only the desired categories.

Figure 6 – Azure Advisor Resources configuration

It is also possible to modify, at the moment the only rule on the CPU, the threshold for the use of virtual machines to take in consideration in the assessments.

Figure 7 – Azure Advisor Rules configuration

Azure Advisor provides recommendations for virtual machines, availability set, application gateway, Service App, SQL Server and Redis Cache. The solution performs its assessments in the background and automatically intercept new resources created. Since the creation of new resources, can take up to 24 hours to receive its recommendations.

Every single recommendation can be postponed or ignored for a certain period of time.

Figure 8 – Management of the recommendations

Conclusions

This is a very useful support tool to verify that fulfilled the main best practices in the Azure environment and to guide you in taking appropriate corrective actions. Azure Advisor allows you to centralize in a single solution the different recommendations from different Azure services, to have a global vision and improve implementations in the Azure environment.