Configure Azure Key Vault alerts

After you start to use Azure Key Vault to store your production secrets, it's important to monitor the health of your key vault to make sure that your service operates as intended.

As you start to scale your service, the number of requests sent to your key vault will rise. This rise has a potential to increase the latency of your requests. In extreme cases, it can cause your requests to be throttled and affect the performance of your service. You also need to know if your key vault is sending an unusual number of error codes, so you can quickly handle any problems with an access policy or firewall configuration.

This article will show you how to configure alerts at specified thresholds so you can alert your team to take action immediately if your key vault is in an unhealthy state. You can configure alerts that send an email (preferably to a team distribution list), fire an Azure Event Grid notification, or call or text a phone number.

You can choose between these alert types:

  • A static alert based on a fixed value
  • A dynamic alert that will notify you if a monitored metric exceeds the average limit of your key vault a certain number of times within a defined time range

Important

It can take up to 10 minutes for newly configured alerts to start sending notifications.

This article focuses on alerts for Key Vault. For information about Key Vault insights, which combines both logs and metrics to provide a global monitoring solution, see Monitoring your key vault with Key Vault insights.

Configure an action group

An action group is a configurable list of notifications and properties. The first step in configuring alerts is to create an action group and choose an alert type:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Search for Alerts in the search box.

  3. Select Manage actions.

    Screenshot that highlights the Manage Actions button.

  4. Select + Add action group.

    Screenshot that highlights the button for adding an action group.

  5. Choose the Action Type value for your action group. In this example, we'll create an email and SMS alert. Select Email/SMS/Push/Voice.

    Screenshot that highlights the selections for adding an action group.

  6. In the dialog, enter email and SMS details, and then select OK.

    Screenshot that shows selections for adding an email and S M S message alert.

Configure alert thresholds

Next, create a rule and configure the thresholds that will trigger an alert:

  1. Select your key vault resource in the Azure portal, and then select Alerts under Monitoring.

    Screenshot that shows the Alerts menu option in the Monitoring section.

  2. Select New alert rule.

    Screenshot that shows the button for adding a new alert rule.

  3. Select the scope of your alert rule. You can select a single vault or multiple vaults.

    Important

    When you're selecting multiple vaults for the scope of your alerts, all selected vaults must be in the same region. You have to configure separate alert rules for vaults in different regions.

    Screenshot that shows how you can select a vault.

  4. Select the thresholds that define the logic for your alerts, and then select Add. The Key Vault team recommends configuring the following thresholds:

    • Key Vault availability drops below 100 percent (static threshold)
    • Key Vault latency is greater than 1000 ms (static threshold)
    • Overall vault saturation is greater than 75 percent (static threshold)
    • Overall vault saturation exceeds average (dynamic threshold)
    • Total error codes are higher than average (dynamic threshold)

    Screenshot that shows where you select conditions for alerts.

Example: Configure a static alert threshold for latency

  1. Select Overall Service Api Latency as the signal name.

    Screenshot that shows selecting a signal name.

  2. Use the following configuration parameters:

    • Set Threshold to Static.
    • Set Operator to Greater than.
    • Set Aggregation type to Average.
    • Set Threshold value to 1000.
    • Set Aggregation granularity (Period) to 5 minutes.
    • Set Frequency of evaluation to Every 1 Minute.

    Screenshot that shows the configured logic for a static alert threshold.

  3. Select Done.

Example: Configure a dynamic alert threshold for vault saturation

When you use a dynamic alert, you'll be able to see historical data of the key vault that you selected. The blue area represents the average usage of your key vault. The red area shows spikes that would have triggered an alert if other criteria in the alert configuration were met. The red dots show instances of violations where the criteria for the alert were met during the aggregated time window.

Screenshot that shows a graph of the overall vault saturation.

You can set an alert to fire after a certain number of violations within a set time. If you don't want to include past data, there's an option to exclude it in advanced settings.

  1. Use the following configuration parameters:

    • Set Dimension Name to Transaction Type and Dimension Values to vaultoperation.
    • Set Threshold to Dynamic.
    • Set Operator to Greater than.
    • Set Aggregation type to Average.
    • Set Threshold Sensitivity to Medium.
    • Set Aggregation granularity (Period) to 5 minutes.
    • Set Frequency of evaluation to Every 5 Minutes.
    • Configure Advanced settings (optional).

    Screenshot that shows the configured logic for a dynamic alert threshold.

  2. Select Done.

  3. Select Add to add the action group that you configured.

    Screenshot that shows the button for adding an action group.

  4. In the alert details, enable the alert and assign a severity.

    Screenshot that shows where to enable the alert and assign a severity.

  5. Create the alert.

Example email alert

If you followed all of the preceding steps, you'll receive email alerts when your key vault meets the alert criteria that you configured. The following email alert is an example.

Screenshot that highlights the information needed to configure an email alert.

Next steps

Use the tools that you set up in this article to actively monitor the health of your key vault: