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Microsoft Previews Azure Resource Health Service

Microsoft released a preview of its Azure Resource Health service last week.

Azure Resource Health is a new capability that shows healthy and unhealthy resources in an organization's Azure subscription. The preview can be tried out now using the Azure preview portal. It's located under "Help + Support" in the portal.

Azure Resource Health sounds a lot like the Azure Service Health Dashboard (SHD), which is a dashboard that Azure subscribers get to monitor the availability of Azure services worldwide. However, Microsoft's announcement describes Azure Resource Health as being "more granular" than SHD. Here's how Microsoft's announcement described it:

"While SHD communicates events that impact the availability of a service in a region, Resource health exposes platform events that impact a small number of customers, like a node unexpectedly rebooting."

For this preview, Azure Resource Health just checks three Azure services, namely Virtual Machines, Web Apps and SQL Database. It checks if they are healthy, unhealthy or stopped. There's also a fourth state called "unknown" that can appear if a service did not return a "heartbeat" for five minutes or more.

The Azure Resource Health preview also comes with three APIs that IT pros can use to query that status of subscription resources, group resources, or the health of a single resource. The APIs work with various tools -- for instance, Microsoft's announcement mentioned that they work with the ARMClient command line tool.

Testing the preview comes with a few caveats. It only works to assess Azure compute resources right now. Microsoft is working on getting it to function with Azure networking resources.

Another issue to note is that the signals used by the service are delayed by up to 15 minutes. Microsoft is working on reducing that latency period.

Lastly Azure Resource Health will show an "unknown state" if a database "has not been accessed for a period of 10 minutes or more." To avoid that confusion, IT pros can connect to the database and run a query. That will start up the signals needed to assess the database's health using Azure Resource Health.

Microsoft conceives this preview as being "just the first step in a long journey."

In other Azure news, Microsoft announced the general availability of Cloud Foundry today. Cloud Foundry is a service for organizations using Azure resources to build and test cloud-based applications. The service also can be run using Pivotal's cloud platform, supporting .NET apps and Docker images.

Microsoft also issued a preview today of Transactional Replication to Azure SQL Database. The Transactional Replication capability can be used to migrate data to Azure SQL Database "with no downtime." Alternatively, it can be used as a bridge between SQL Server on premises and Azure SQL Database.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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