Create, view, and manage alerts using Azure Monitor

Overview

This article shows you how to set up alerts using the new alerts interface inside Azure portal. Definition of an alert rule is in three parts:

  • Target: Specific Azure resource, which is to be monitored
  • Criteria: Specific condition or logic that when seen in Signal, should trigger action
  • Action: Specific call sent to a receiver of a notification - email, SMS, webhook etc.

Azure alerts also provides a unified view to all your alert rules and ability to manage them a single place; including viewing any unresolved alerts. Learn more about functionality from Azure alerts - Overview.

Alert uses the term Log Alerts to describe alerts where signal is custom query based on Log Analytics or Application Insights. The new metric alert capability provides ability to alert on multidimensional metrics for specific Azure resources. The alerts for such resource can use additional filters on dimensions creating Multi-Dimensional Metric Alerts.

Note

While Azure alerts offers a new and enhanced experience for creating alerts in Azure. The existing alerts (classic) experience remains usable.

Detailed next is step-by-step guide to using Azure alerts .

Create an alert rule with the Azure portal

  1. In the portal, select Monitor and under the MONITOR section - choose Alerts.
    Monitoring

  2. Select the New Alert Rule button to create a new alert in Azure. Add Alert

  3. The Create Alert section is shown with the three parts consisting of: Define alert condition, Define alert details, and Define action group.

    Create rule

  4. Define the alert condition by using the Select Resource link and specifying the target, by selecting a resource. Filter by choosing the Subscription , Resource Type , and finally selecting required Resource.

    Note

    Verify the signals available for the selected resource before you proceed.

    Select resource

    The user interface allows you to create various types of alerts from one place. Based on the type of alert desired choose the next step as:

    • For Metric Alerts: follow steps 5 to 7; then go directly to step 11
    • For Log Alerts, jump to step 8.

    Note

    Activity Log alerts are also supported, but are in preview. Learn more.

  5. Metric Alerts : Ensure Resource Type is selected with signal type as Metric, then once appropriate resource is chosen click Done button to return to the Create Alert. Next use the Add criteria button to choose the specific signal from list of signal options, their monitoring service, and type listed - which are available for the resource selected earlier.

    Select a resource

    Note

    All near real time alerts capable resources are listed with monitor service Platform and signal type as Metric

  6. Metric Alerts: Once signal is selected, logic for alerting can be stated. For reference, historic data of signal is shown with option to tweak the time window using Show History, varying from last six hours to last week. With the visualization in place, Alert Logic can be selected from shown options of Condition, Aggregation and finally Threshold. As preview of the logic provided, the condition is shown in the visualization along with signal history, to indicate when the alert would have triggered. Finally specify for what time duration, Alert should look for the specified condition by choosing from the Period option along with how often Alert should run by selecting Frequency.

    Configure signal logic for metric

  7. Metric Alerts: If Signal is a metric, then alert window can be filtered using multiple data points or dimensions for the said Azure resource.

    a. Choose a duration from the Show History dropdown to visualize a different period of time. You can choose dimensions for the supported metrics to filter on a time series; choosing dimensions is optional and up-to five dimensions can be used.

    b. Alert Logic can be selected from shown options of Condition, Aggregation and Threshold. As preview of the logic provided, the condition is shown in the visualization along with signal history, to indicate when the alert would have been triggered in the past.

    c. To specify the time duration, chose Period along with how often alert should run by selecting Frequency.

    Configure signal logic for multi-dimensional metric

  8. Log Alerts: Ensure Resource Type is an analytics source like Log Analytics or Application Insights and signal type as Log, then once appropriate resource is chosen, click Done. Next use the Add criteria button to view list of signal options available for the resource and from the signal list Custom log search option for chosen log monitor service like Log Analytics or Application Insights.

    Select a resource - custom log search

    Note

    Alerts lists can import analytics query as signal type - Log (Saved Query), as seen in above illustration. So users can perfect your query in Analytics and then save them for future use in alerts - more details on using saving query available at using log search in log analytics or shared query in application insights analytics.

  9. Log Alerts: Once selected, query for alerting can be stated in Search Query field; if the query syntax is incorrect the field displays error in RED. If the query syntax is correct - For reference historic data of the stated query is shown as a graph with option to tweak the time window from last six hours to last week.

    Configure alert rule

    Note

    Historical data visualization can only be shown if the query results have time details. If your query results in summarized data or specific column values - same is shown as a singular plot.

    For Metric Measurement type of Log Alerts using Application insights, you can specify which specific variable to group the data by using the Aggregate on option; as illustrated in below:

    aggregate on option

  10. Log Alerts: With the visualization in place, Alert Logic can be selected from shown options of Condition, Aggregation and finally Threshold. Finally specify in the logic, the time to assess for the specified condition, using Period option. Along with how often Alert should run by selecting Frequency. For Log Alerts alerts can be based on:

    • Number of Records: An alert is created if the count of records returned by the query is either greater than or less than the value provided.
    • Metric Measurement: An alert is created if each aggregate value in the results exceeds the threshold value provided and it is grouped by chosen value. The number of breaches for an alert is the number of times the threshold is exceeded in the chosen time period. You can specify Total breaches for any combination of breaches across the results set or Consecutive breaches to require that the breaches must occur in consecutive samples. Learn more about Log Alerts and their types.

    Tip

    Currently in alerts - log search alerts can take custom period and frequency value in minute(s). Values can vary from 5 minutes to 1440 minutes (that is) 24 hours. So if you want alert period to be say three hours, convert it into minutes - 180 minutes, before use

  11. As the second step, define a name for your alert in the Alert rule name field along with a Description detailing specifics for the alert and Severity value from the options provided. These details are reused in all alert emails, notifications, or push done by Azure Monitor. Additionally, user can choose to immediately activate the alert rule on creation by appropriately toggling Enable rule upon creation option.

    For Log Alerts only, some additional functionality is available in Alert details:

    • Suppress Alerts: When you turn on suppression for the alert rule, actions for the rule are disabled for a defined length of time after creating a new alert. The rule is still running and creates alert records provided the criteria is met. Allowing you time to correct the problem without running duplicate actions.

      Suppress Alerts for Log Alerts

  12. As the third and final step, specify if any Action Group needs to be triggered for the alert rule when alert condition is met. You can choose any existing Action Group with alert or create a new Action Group. According to selected Action Group, when alert is trigger Azure will: send email(s), send SMS(s), call Webhook(s), remediate using Azure Runbooks, push to your ITSM tool, etc. Learn more about Action Groups.

    For Log Alerts some additional functionality is available to override the default Actions:

    • Email Notification: Overrides e-mail subject in the email, sent via Action Group; if one or more email action exist in the said Action Group. You cannot modify the body of the mail and this field is not for email address.
    • Include custom Json payload: Overrides the webhook JSON used by Action Groups; if one or more webhook action exist in the said Action Group. User can specificy format of JSON to be used for all webhooks configured in associated Action Group; for more information on webhook formats, see webhook action for Log Alerts. Test Webhook option is provided to check format and processing by destination using sample JSON and this option as labelled meant only for testing purposes.

      Action Overrides for Log Alerts

  13. If all fields are valid and with green tick the create alert rule button can be clicked and an alert is created in Azure Monitor - Alerts. All alerts can be viewed from the alerts Dashboard.

    Rule Creation

    Within a few minutes, the alert is active and triggers as previously described.

View your alerts in Azure portal

  1. In the portal, select Monitor and under the MONITOR section - choose Alerts.

  2. The Alerts Dashboard is displayed - wherein all Azure Alerts are unified and displayed in a singular board Alert Dashboard

  3. From Top Left to Right, the Dashboard shows at a glance, the following - which can be clicked to see a detailed listing:
    • Fired Alerts: The number of Alerts currently, which have met logic and in fired state
    • Total Alert Rules: The number of Alert rules created and in subtext, the number that are currently enabled
  4. A list of all fired alerts is shown which the user can click to view details
  5. Aiding in finding specific the alerts; one can use the dropdown options on top for filtering specific Subscription, Resource Group and/or Resource. Further for any unresolved alert, one use the Filter alert option to find for provided keyword - specific matching alerts with Name, Alert Criteria, Resource Group, and Target Resource

Managing your alerts in Azure portal

  1. In the portal, select Monitor and under the MONITOR section - choose Alerts.
  2. Select the Manage rules button on the top bar, to navigate to the rule management section - where all alert rules created are listed; including alerts that have been disabled.
  3. To find for specific alert rules, one can either use the drop-down filters on top, which allow to shortlist alert rules for specific Subscription, Resource Groups and/or Resource. Alternatively on using the search pane above the alert rule list marked Filter alerts, one can provide keyword, which is matched against Alert Name, Condition, and Target Resource; to show only matching rules. Alert Manage Rules
  4. To view or modify specific Alert rule, click on its name that would be shown as a clickable link.
  5. Alert defined is shown - in the three stage structure of: 1) Alert Condition 2) Alert Detail 3) Action Group. Target Criteria can be clicked to modify the alert logic or a new criteria can be added after using the bin icon to delete the earlier logic. Similarly, in Alert details section - Description and Severity can be modified. And the Action Group can be changed or a new one can be crafted to linking to the alert using the New action group button.

    Modify Alert Rule

  6. Using the top panel, changes to the alert can be reflective including: Save to commit any changes done to alert, Discard to go back without committing any changes made to alert, Disable to deactivate the alert - after which it no longer runs or triggers any action. And finally, Delete to permanently remove the entire alert rule from Azure.

Next steps