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Does it feel like you’re always firefighting problems, especially when you talk about cloud services? Did you know that Azure has a FREE service that lets you be proactive to potential issues and pitfalls? It’s called Azure Advisor and this blog will discuss how you can use it to become less reactive and more proactive. Come on, who doesn't like FREE?!

 

What is Azure Advisor?

 

Azure Advisor is like a personalized cloud consultant. It provides you with recommendations and best practices to optimize your Azure deployments. It does this by analyzing your resource configuration then recommends solution based on telemetry data usage. Instead of firefighting, Advisor gives you the ability to be proactive AND actionable with your resources.

Advisor is broken down into these main categories:

 

 

The Azure Advisor can be accessed via logging into the Azure portal. You can access Advisor recommendations as Owner, Contributor, or Reader of a subscription. Currently Advisor is available for the following resources:

Application Gateway, App Services, availability sets, Azure Cache, Azure Data Factory, Azure Database for MySQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Database for MariaDB, Azure ExpressRoute, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure public IP addresses, SQL Data Warehouse, SQL servers, storage accounts, Traffic Manager profiles, and virtual machines.

 

advisor2.PNG

 

How can you make Azure Advisor Valuable to your organization?

 

Ok. We tell you what that it provides all these recommendations and you can act on them and everyone is happy now dancing in the clouds right? Probably not. Because what you really want to know is “how is it going to be valuable to me” and “what problem is this solving for me?”.

 

The answer is, it depends on your organizational requirements because each organization has their own set of questions/problems. However, there are some basic things that everyone can do to get started and realizing the full potential of their azure resources. Start off small then work your way up.  Don't turn everything on at once, you will be overwhelmed which then can reduce your chance of being successful. Some tips: 

1. Determine the recommendations that you want. My advice is start with 1 or 2 recommendations. This will help reduce white noise and gives you more time to be successful with it.  Some examples of  recommendations that you can select from are the following :

  1. Optimize virtual machine spend by resizing or shutting down underutilized instances
  2. Reduce costs by deleting or reconfiguring idle virtual network gateways
  3. Delete unassociated public IP addresses to save money
  4. Configure low usage VM recommendation
  5. Protect your virtual machine data from accidental deletion
  6. Ensure virtual machine fault tolerance

More recommendations can be found here

2. Start setting recommendations for a few subscriptions or resource groups at first. Once you’ve fine-tuned which recommendations alerts you want you can expand them to more subscriptions. 

 

3. Make corrective recommendations or ignore the recommendations. 

 

4. Repeat the above steps for any other Azure Advisor recommendations. 

 

While this isn’t the end of your firefighting days it is a start. Figure out those recommendations you want to get started on and go from there.