Designing correct architectures in the cloud, with predictable costs, compliant with regulations and security standards is a challenging goal, also given by the nature of the cloud itself which is constantly evolving. The Azure platform provides several tools to make Azure architectures optimized and cost-effective, including Azure Advisor. This article describes the main features and functionalities of the solution.
The Azure Advisor solution is able to provide useful recommendations to optimize the deployments in your Azure environment. Analyzing the configuration of their resources and telemetry data on their use, Azure Advisor is able to propose useful solutions to optimize costs, the performance, reliability, efficiency and security. The solution performs its assessments in the background and automatically intercept new resources created. From the moment of creation of new resources it can take a few hours to receive the related recommendations.
Azure Advisor is a totally free solution, included in all Azure environments, which allows you to easily optimize the resources present in your deployments, offering specific recommendations for the following areas:
- Costs: it provides guidance to maximize the economic return on investment in Azure, thanks to the extra touches that can reduce and optimize costs.
- Security: reports on how to best protect Azure resources from security threats.
- Performance: thanks to constant analysis of resources used, the solution is able to report useful information to increase the speed and responsiveness of applications.
- Reliability (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.
- Operational excellence: highlights the techniques to be used to increase the efficiency of processes and workflows and to improve the management of resources and deployments.
Azure Advisor therefore allows you to achieve the following objectives:
- Get personalized advice for your environment, based on Microsoft best practices. The recommendations are proactive and, to facilitate its implementation, contain proposals for concrete actions to be carried out.
- Improve performance, efficiency, the security and reliability of your Azure resources, also identifying the opportunities to be seized to reduce the overall spending of Azure services.
Azure Advisor is accessible from the Azure portal and, in the overview screen, brings together the recommendations of the five macro-categories mentioned:
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.
Furthermore, the Advisor Score is now available, a new way of consulting these recommendations which makes it easy to prioritize, track progress and better assess its impact.
By selecting each category you will be sent to the detail section, where you can check, for each recommendation provided, what are the resources impacted and the relative level of criticality (high, medium, low).
In the specific case, to optimize Azure resource costs , among the recommendations, the purchase of Virtual Machine Reserved Instances prevails (VM RIs), estimating the actual savings that could be obtained by adopting VM RIs in three years.
As for the recommendations related to Security, it should be noted that these are the same provided by the Azure Security Center (ASC) and to obtain a better consultation experience, it is convenient to directly access the interface of the ASC solution.
Selecting the recommended action for a recommendation will open a simple interface that allows you to implement it or you have the option of being directed to the Microsoft documentation that reports the implementation processes.
If you do not want to take immediate action on a recommendation, you can postpone it for a specified period of time or ignore it completely.
If you do not want to receive recommendations for a particular Azure subscription or a specific resource group, Azure Advisor can be configured to generate recommendations only for certain subscriptions and certain resource groups. You also have the option to edit, at the moment for the only rule relating to the use of the CPU, the threshold of use of virtual machines to be taken into consideration in the relative assessments.
Whenever Azure Advisor detects a new recommendation for one of your resources, an event is generated in the Azure Activity log. For these events you can configure Alerts directly from Azure Advisor, which provides a specific creation experience for recommendations.
To always stay informed about the recommendations generated by the solution is also possible to configure the “Recommendation digests”.
Azure Advisor is a very effective tool to verify afterwards that the main implementation best practices in the Azure environment have been respected and to direct the appropriate corrective actions. This tool centralizes in a single solution the different recommendations for different Azure services, present in your environment, useful to have a global view and to improve your implementations in Azure.