Microsoft Azure Proactive Alerts
We are embracing cloud computing, specifically in Microsoft Azure! We are excited to share how we've used it to proactively send alerts to support team members for outages, connection issues and more!
Why Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has been around for some time and there are different platforms that offer it. In the Microsoft world, it's Azure and it comes jam packed with services from AI and cloud computing to windows virtual desktop. Two of the main benefits of cloud computing in Azure are saving costs because you're only paying for the resources you use and the ability to scale on demand.
Cloud computing in Azure allows your development team to seamlessly deploy virtually any type of custom code from data integrations to Web and Mobile Apps without having to worry about the hardware behind it. Hardware, connections and applications can still fail though. Luckily, Azure comes with alerting capabilities that are easy for your team to set up and notify your support team of virtually anything, from connection issues to high CPU utilization to issues within the application.
How do alerts work in Azure?
Alerts in Azure first start with a target resource - meaning which Azure service should be responsible for triggering the alert. This can be any Azure resource including Application Insights for your custom development projects, cloud storage accounts and virtual machines.
Next, you must choose the signal which can be a metric, activity log or Application Insights. Once you've chosen the signal, you can set the criteria. For example, activity log failure counts > 0, virtual machine percentage CPU > 70% or server response time > 4ms. You can also choose the aggregation granularity (from every minute to every 24 hours) and the frequency of evaluation (from every minute to every hour). These are just some examples though because you have many options to choose from and are free to enter any count or percentage that you want! You also have the ability to set up alerts based on a custom query.
Additionally, you can enter an alert name and alert description which will be visible to the recipients of any alerts that are sent out.
A severity level is also available to choose from for each alert. The severity ranges from Critical to Error, Warning, Informational and Verbose.
Last but not least, an action is defined within an action group. Actions can include sending an Email/SMS message/Push/Voice alert, triggering an Azure Function or Logic App or a Webhook. Actions can also be used to create a support ticket in your ticketing system of choice, as long as your ticketing system has an API that developers can communicate with (most should).
Important things to consider
As alerts are proactively sent to your team, you want your team to proactively evaluate the alerts as they come in. When an alert is first sent, its monitor condition is set by the system which is 'fired' and then once the condition is no longer met, an alert is sent with the monitor condition set to 'resolved'. This may provide false positive resolutions, especially if there were data issues at the time that require manual intervention to actually resolve. The good thing is that your team still has access to the Azure logs from when the alert was initially fired to troubleshoot further and make the determination if any action needs to be taken.
These are just some of the many things that you can do to proactively send alerts with cloud computing. For more on how to get the most out of Outlook and other Microsoft products, contact us today.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Solutions.