What are Azure Monitor alerts?

Alerts help you detect and address issues before users notice them by proactively notifying you when Azure Monitor data indicates there might be a problem with your infrastructure or application.

You can alert on any metric or log data source in the Azure Monitor data platform.

This diagram shows you how alerts work.

Diagram that explains Azure Monitor alerts.

An alert rule monitors your telemetry and captures a signal that indicates something is happening on the specified resource. The alert rule captures the signal and checks to see if the signal meets the criteria of the condition. If the conditions are met, an alert is triggered, which initiates the associated action group and updates the state of the alert.

An alert rule combines:

  • The resources to be monitored.
  • The signal or telemetry from the resource.
  • Conditions.

If you're monitoring more than one resource, the condition is evaluated separately for each of the resources. Alerts are fired for each resource separately.

After an alert is triggered, the alert is made up of:

  • Alert processing rules: You can use these rules to apply processing on fired alerts. Alert processing rules modify the fired alerts as they're being fired. You can use alert processing rules to add or suppress action groups, apply filters, or have the rule processed on a predefined schedule.
  • Action groups: These groups can trigger notifications or an automated workflow to let users know that an alert has been triggered. Action groups can include:
    • Notification methods, such as email, SMS, and push notifications.
    • Automation runbooks.
    • Azure functions.
    • ITSM incidents.
    • Logic apps.
    • Secure webhooks.
    • Webhooks.
    • Event hubs.
  • Alert conditions: These conditions are set by the system. When an alert fires, the alert's monitor condition is set to fired. After the underlying condition that caused the alert to fire clears, the monitor condition is set to resolved.
  • User response: The response is set by the user and doesn't change until the user changes it.

You can see all alert instances in all your Azure resources generated in the last 30 days on the Alerts page in the Azure portal.

Types of alerts

This table provides a brief description of each alert type. For more information about each alert type and how to choose which alert type best suits your needs, see Types of Azure Monitor alerts.

Alert type Description
Metric alerts Metric alerts evaluate resource metrics at regular intervals. Metrics can be platform metrics, custom metrics, logs from Azure Monitor converted to metrics, or Application Insights metrics. Metric alerts can also apply multiple conditions and dynamic thresholds.
Log alerts Log alerts allow users to use a Log Analytics query to evaluate resource logs at a predefined frequency.
Activity log alerts Activity log alerts are triggered when a new activity log event occurs that matches defined conditions. Resource Health alerts and Service Health alerts are activity log alerts that report on your service and resource health.
Smart detection alerts Smart detection on an Application Insights resource automatically warns you of potential performance problems and failure anomalies in your web application. You can migrate smart detection on your Application Insights resource to create alert rules for the different smart detection modules.
Prometheus alerts (preview) Prometheus alerts are used for alerting on the performance and health of Kubernetes clusters, including Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). The alert rules are based on PromQL, which is an open-source query language.

Out-of-the-box alert rules (preview)

If you don't have alert rules defined for the selected resource, you can enable recommended out-of-the-box alert rules in the Azure portal.

Note

The alert rule recommendations feature is currently in preview and is only enabled for:

  • Virtual machines
  • AKS resources
  • Log Analytics workspaces

Azure role-based access control for alerts

You can only access, create, or manage alerts for resources for which you have permissions.

To create an alert rule, you must have:

  • Read permission on the target resource of the alert rule.
  • Write permission on the resource group in which the alert rule is created. If you're creating the alert rule from the Azure portal, the alert rule is created by default in the same resource group in which the target resource resides.
  • Read permission on any action group associated with the alert rule, if applicable.

These built-in Azure roles, supported at all Azure Resource Manager scopes, have permissions to and can access alerts information and create alert rules:

  • Monitoring contributor: A contributor can create alerts and use resources within their scope.
  • Monitoring reader: A reader can view alerts and read resources within their scope.

If the target action group or rule location is in a different scope than the two built-in roles, create a user with the appropriate permissions.

Alerts and state

You can configure whether log or metric alerts are stateful or stateless. Activity log alerts are stateless.

  • Stateless alerts fire each time the condition is met, even if fired previously.

    The frequency of notifications for stateless metric alerts differs based on the alert rule's configured frequency:

    • Alert frequency of less than 5 minutes: While the condition continues to be met, a notification is sent sometime between one and six minutes.
    • Alert frequency of more than 5 minutes: While the condition continues to be met, a notification is sent between the configured frequency and double the frequency. For example, for an alert rule with a frequency of 15 minutes, a notification is sent sometime between 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Stateful alerts fire when the condition is met. They don't fire again or trigger any more actions until the conditions are resolved, as described in this table:

    Alert type The alert is resolved when
    Metric alerts The alert condition isn't met for three consecutive checks.
    Log alerts The alert condition isn't met for a specific time range. The time range differs based on the frequency of the alert:
    • 1 minute: The alert condition isn't met for 10 minutes.
    • 5 to 15 minutes: The alert condition isn't met for three frequency periods.
    • 15 minutes to 11 hours: The alert condition isn't met for two frequency periods.
    • 11 to 12 hours: The alert condition isn't met for one frequency period.

When an alert is considered resolved, the alert rule sends out a resolved notification by using webhooks or email. The monitor state in the Azure portal is set to resolved.

Pricing

For information about pricing, see Azure Monitor pricing.

Next steps