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Monitor effectively using Azure Monitor for Azure Site Recovery

Monitor effectively using Azure Monitor for Azure Site Recovery

As a Backup and Site Recovery Admin, one of your key roles is to be on top of all critical incidents and ensure timely resolution from an outage. Azure Site Recovery now offers an improved alerting solution for Azure Site Recovery on Azure Monitor. This includes default alerts via Azure Monitor, which will enable you to have consistent experience for alert management across different Azure services.  

 

With Azure Monitor based alerts, you can route alerts to any notification channel supported by Azure Monitor, such as email, Webhook, Logic app, and more. You can also use other alert management capabilities offered by Azure Monitor, for example, suppressing notifications during a planned maintenance window, correlate alerts, etc.  

 

Benefits of Azure Monitor 

 

  • Ability to configure notifications to a wide range of notification channels - Azure Monitor supports a wide range of notification channels such as email, ITSM, webhooks, logic apps, and so on. You can configure notifications for backup alerts to any of these channels without needing to spend too much time creating custom integrations. 
  • Ability to select which scenarios to get notified about - With Azure Monitor alerts, you can choose which scenarios to get notified about. You also have the flexibility to choose whether to enable notifications for test subscriptions or not. 
  • Ability to manage alerts and notifications programmatically- You can leverage Azure Monitor’s REST APIs to manage alerts and notifications via non-portal clients as well. 
  • Ability to have a consistent alerts management experience for multiple Azure services including backup - Azure Monitor is the established paradigm for monitoring resources across Azure. With the integration of Azure Backup with Azure Monitor, backup alerts can be managed in the same way as alerts for other Azure services without requiring a separate paradigm. 

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Alerts scenarios  

 

Azure Site Recovery sends a default alert (surfaced via Azure Monitor) whenever any of the following critical events occur:  

  • Enable disaster recovery failure alerts for Azure VM, Hyper-V, and VMware replication.  
  • Replication health critical alerts for Azure VM, Hyper-V, and VMware replication.  
  • Azure Site Recovery agent version expiry alerts for Azure VM and Hyper-V replication.  
  • Azure Site Recovery agent not reachable alerts for Hyper-V replication.  
  • Failover failure alerts for Azure VM, Hyper-V, and VMware replication.  
  • Auto certification expiry alerts for Azure VM replication.  

 

To test the working of the alerts for a test VM using Azure Site Recovery, you can disable public network access for the cache storage account so that a Replication Health turned to critical alert is generated.   

 

 

Notifications 

 

The built-in alerts can be consumed via the Azure portal or other clients such as Azure PowerShell, CLI and REST API. 

In many cases, you might also want to configure notifications for these alerts - for example, email. To configure notifications, you can leverage Azure Monitor’s Action Groups and Action Rules. 

  • An Action Group is a collection of notification preferences defined by the owner of an Azure subscription. Azure Monitor alerts use action groups to notify you that an alert has been triggered. Various alerts may use the same action group or different action groups depending on your requirements. As highlighted earlier, Azure Monitor supports a wide range of action groups, including email, ITSM, webhooks, logic apps, and so on.  
  • An Action Rule lets you associate alerts to action groups. Action rules provide rich flexibility in allowing you to specify the scope of resources to which an action group should be attached, and the alert scenarios for which notifications should be generated. 

 

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For configuring notifications to other channels, you can refer to the Azure Monitor documentation pages. 

 

 

Manage Azure Site Recovery Alerts  

 

In addition to enabling management of alerts on Azure Monitor, Azure Site Recovery also provides an alert management experience on Recovery Services Vault, Business Continuity Center and Backup Center. Following are the available benefits and experiences: 

  1. At scale view of site recovery and backup alerts across vaults 
  2. Ability to configure and manage notifications (action rules) for alerts from Business Continuity Center 
  3. Actionable interfaces that enable navigation to the virtual machine that requires attention 

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In Recovery Services Vault  

 You can view the alerts settings under Recovery Services Vault -> Settings -> Properties -> Monitoring Settings. The built-in alerts for Site Recovery are enabled by default, but you can disable either or both categories of Site Recovery alerts. You can click on the checkbox to opt out of classic alerts for site recovery and only use built-in alerts. If not done, duplicate alerts will be generated of types classic and built-in.   

Screenshot 2024-05-07 121932.png

 

 

In Business Continuity Center  

1. You can manage your alerts settings under Business Continuity Center -> Monitoring+Reporting blade -> Alerts blade -> Manage alerts dropdown -> Manage built-in alert settings for resources. 

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2. Get an at-scale view of all vaults across all subscriptions using Classic Alerts for Backup and Site Recovery. You can update the alert settings for each vault by clicking on Update. Manage the alert settings here. 

Screenshot 2024-05-09 175115.png

 

 

In Backup Center  

Click on Click here to take action to manage built-in alerts for site recovery. Further opt-in to use Azure Monitor for alert and manage alerts at scale. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Q. How to enable these alerts? 

A. These alerts are generated by default, without any need for rule configuration. However, to enable notifications (for example, email notifications) for these generated alerts, you must create an alert processing rule.  

 

Q. What will happen to the classic alerts for azure site recovery? 

A. For a period of time, the earlier classic alerts solution will co-exist with the newer Azure Monitor-based solution. This is meant to provide you sufficient time to familiarize yourself with the new experience. It is recommended to switch to using Action Groups for notifications as Azure Monitor integration is the forward-looking alerting and notification solution for Azure Backup. Note that the alerts visible in Backup center are all based on the Azure Monitor-based solution. Alerts generated by the earlier solution cannot be viewed in Backup center. 

 

Q. Do I pay for the built-in alerts for site recovery on Azure Monitor? 

A. The alerts are fired by default and come at no additional cost. If you choose to configure notifications (action rules) for these alerts, notifications are free up to the limits specified in the free tier. If the volume of notifications falls beyond the free tier, there is a minor cost involved for the additional notifications generated. Refer to this page to learn more about the free tier for notifications and the cost of notifications beyond the free tier. 

 

Q. What if I want to create alerts based on custom rules, in addition to the built-in alerts? 

A. The Azure BCDR team is actively working on enhancements in custom alerting. Write to [email protected] if you’d like to learn more about the roadmap and the upcoming preview programs! 

 

In the meantime, you can always make use of alert rules based on Azure Monitor Logs if you have configured your vaults to send data to a Log Analytics workspace. 

 

Resources 

 

 

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