Get started with Azure Monitor

Azure Monitor is the platform service that provides a single source for monitoring Azure resources. With Azure Monitor, you can visualize, query, route, archive, and otherwise take action on the metrics and logs coming from resources in Azure. You can work with this data using by using the Azure portal, Monitor PowerShell Cmdlets, Cross-Platform CLI, or Azure Monitor REST APIs. In this article, we walk through a few of the key components of Azure Monitor, using the portal for demonstration.


  1. In the portal, navigate to All services and find the Monitor option. Click the star icon to add this option to your favorites list so that it is always easily accessible from the left-hand navigation bar.

    Monitor in the services list

  2. Click the Monitor option to open up the Monitor page. This page brings together all your monitoring settings and data into one consolidated view. It first opens to the Overview section. The Overview shows you a rollup of all monitoring alerts, errors, and service health advisories that relate to resources in your subscription.

    Monitor navigation

    Azure Monitor has three basic categories of monitoring data: The activity log, metrics, and diagnostic logs.

  3. Click Activity log to ensure that the activity log section is displayed.

    The activity log describes all operations performed on resources in your subscription. Using the Activity Log, you can determine the ‘what, who, and when’ for any create, update, or delete operations on resources in your subscription. For example, the Activity Log tells you when a web app was stopped and who stopped it. Activity Log events are stored in the platform and available to query for 90 days.

    Activity Log

    You can create and save queries for common filters, then pin the most important queries to a portal dashboard so you'll always know if events that meet your criteria have occurred.

  4. Filter the view to a particular resource group over the last week, then click the Save button. Give your query a name.

    Save activity log query

  5. Now, click the Pin button.

    Click pin for activity log

    Most of the views in this walkthrough can be pinned to a dashboard. This helps you create a single source of information for operational data on your services.

  6. Return to your dashboard. You can now see that the query (and number of results) is displayed in your dashboard. This is useful if you want to quickly see any high-profile actions that have occurred recently in your subscription, for example a new role was assigned or a VM was deleted.

    Activity logs pinned to dashboard

  7. Return to the Monitor tile and click the Metrics section. You first need to select a resource by filtering and selecting using the drop-down options at the top of the page.

    Filter resource for metrics

    All Azure resources emit metrics. This view brings together all metrics in a single pane of glass so you can easily understand how your resources are performing. Also, check out our brand new metric charting experience by clicking on the Metrics (preview) tab.

  8. Once you have selected a resource, all available metrics appear on the left side of the page. You can chart multiple metrics at once by selecting metrics and modify the graph type and time range. You can also view all metric alerts set on this resource.

    Metric blade


    Some metrics are only available by enabling Application Insights and/or Windows or Linux Azure Diagnostics extension on your resource.

  9. When you are happy with your chart, you can use the Pin button to pin it to your dashboard.

  10. Return to Monitor and click Diagnostic logs.

    Diagnostic logs blade

    Diagnostic logs are logs emitted by a resource that provide data about the operation of that particular resource. For example, Network Security Group Rule Counters and Logic App Workflow Logs are both types of diagnostic logs. These logs can be stored in a storage account, streamed to an Event Hub, and/or sent to Log Analytics. Log Analytics is Microsoft's operational intelligence product for advanced searching and alerting.

    In the portal you can view and filter a list of all resources in your subscription to identify if they have diagnostic logs enabled.


    Sending multi-dimensional metrics via diagnostic settings is not currently supported. Metrics with dimensions are exported as flattened single dimensional metrics, aggregated across dimension values.

    For example: The 'Incoming Messages' metric on an Event Hub can be explored and charted on a per queue level. However, when exported via diagnostic settings the metric will be represented as all incoming messages across all queues in the Event Hub.

  11. Click a resource in the diagnostic logs page. If diagnostic logs are being stored in a storage account, you will see a list of hourly logs that you can directly download.

    Diagnostic logs for one resource

    You can also click Diagnostic Settings, which allows you to set up or modify your settings for archival to a storage account, streaming to Event Hubs, or sending to a Log Analytics workspace.

    Enable diagnostic logs

    If you have set up diagnostic logs to Log Analytics, you can then search them in the Log search section of the portal.

  12. Navigate to the Alerts (Classic) section of the Monitor page.

    alerts blade for public

    Here you can manage all classic alerts on your Azure resources. This includes alerts on metrics, activity log events, Application Insights web tests (Locations), and Application Insights proactive diagnostics. Alerts connect to action groups. Action groups provide a way to notify people or perform specific actions when an alert fires.

  13. Click Add metric alert to create an alert.

    add metric alert

    You can then pin an alert to your dashboard to easily see its state at any time.

    Azure Monitor now also has newer alerts that can be evaluated at a frequency as low as every minute.

  14. The Monitor section also includes links to Application Insights applications and Log Analytics management solutions. These other Microsoft products have deep integration with Azure Monitor.

  15. If you are not using Application Insights or Log Analytics, chances are that Azure Monitor has a partnership with your current monitoring, logging, and alerting products. See our partners page for a full list and instructions for how to integrate.

By following these steps and pinning all relevant tiles to a dashboard, you can create comprehensive views of your application and infrastructure like this one:

Azure Monitor dashboard

Next steps