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Should I use Azure Monitoring or Azure Service Health?

In this post, we will try to respond to a simple question:

Should I use Azure Monitoring or Azure Service Health?

It is important to emphasise that there is no overlap of the features that each service is offering.

  1. Azure Service Health: inform us about outages or planned maintenance on Azure Services that we are using
  2. Azure Monitoring: inform us about how our application performs and provides us with information to identify and track issues inside our app.

In a standard scenario, we need both services during the operation phases. One service is providing us with information related to the current health status of Azure Services that we are using. The other one offers us insights related to our application insights.

Azure Monitoring
Using Azure Monitoring, we can collect, analyse and react based on information that we collect from Azure Services, applications or any other systems that are involved. The no. of data sources supported by Azure Monitoring is vast and includes:
  • Application
  • Operation System
  • Azure Subscription
  • Azure Resources
  • Azure Tenant
  • On-premises data sources
  • Custom sources
One of the most significant benefits of Azure Monitoring is the capability to aggregate metrics, logs and audit from multiple sources and consolidate them in one central location. From it, we can run queries and drill down inside issues.
Even if Azure Monitoring has a powerful dashboard, we should remember that it is well integrated with other systems. In this way, Azure Monitoring can become easilty a data source for PowerBI or for Workbooks.

Azure Health
It's the source of truth when you want to know if a specific Azure Service that you are using has health issues or when planned maintenance takes place. When one of Azure Services that you are using has health problems, the Azure Health will notify you.
You might say that this is an overlap with Azure Status dashboard, where you can see the current status of all Azure Services cross the globe. The difference is that inside Azure Health you see the outages, health issues and maintenance events that are affecting you.

The power of alerts
Both services that were covered in this post support alert notification. Using alerts we can create the notification system that would allow our operation team to get notifications related to health issues of Azure Services that we are using or issues of our application and system automatically.
Additional to this, notifications can trigger auto-scaling actions or custom flows that can execute disaster recovery or any other actions.

Conclusion
The combination of these two services enables the operation team to have the right tool to monitor and react for any kind of incident. Root cause analyzes can be done fast by consolidating these two services.

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