Azure Monitor: For Monitoring and Log Analytics
The Azure suite of services can be an excellent choice for those looking towards cloud migration. With options for storage, security, remote-work infrastructure, and more, the Microsoft set of cloud services is now a SMB preferred staple. With new system and information infrastructure comes a requirement to oversee the health of these new components: we now require new tools to help do this job.
Azure Monitor is the Microsoft tool that “collects and aggregates data from a variety of sources into a common data platform where it can be used for analysis, visualization, and alerting.”
Logging and monitoring are essential activities to see that our systems are up to performance, availability, and fault expectations, as well as to help determine the root cause of any inefficiencies. Despite this fact, plenty of Azure customers do not have Monitor set up correctly.
To examine the health of our systems, we need to record data so that we can analyze it. This is the basis of metrics and log analytics for any systems, but here it’s for Azure.
Azure Monitor provides a holistic platform to perform logging and monitoring of your Azure services. It can oversee on-premise and cloud Application and Operating System events, plus your Azure Resources, Azure Subscription, and Azure Tenant events – plus from custom sources if you wish. Data is stored in Metrics (numerical data describing the system at a certain point in time), and Logs, which have various properties and are organised by type.
Using deep analytics provided by Azure Monitor’s Metrics Analytics and Log Analytics functionality, you can go deeper into the data, combining and transforming it for more intelligent insights for both reporting and as data input into other systems.
Diving into the tool
The main screen of Azure Monitor provides numerous customizable dashboards to help check the health of your most critical systems at a glance. This may include areas like app availability, response times, missing patches or system updates, and security health. While security within and across services is crucial, it’s not something we’ll be going into great detail with here. Services that data (Metrics in Azure Monitor) can be gathered from include: Redis Cache, Storage, SQL Database, Data Lake, Virtual Machines, Event Hub, and Logic Apps.
The Azure Monitor overview has areas to explore for the Activity Log, Metrics, and Diagnostic Logs. There are facilities to set up and monitor Alerts for activities based on certain criteria which may be sent to apps, email, or phone. These Alerts may also be configured to trigger autoscaling activities such as just in time compute resources, or removing unused resources.
Of course, due to the breadth of coverage of monitoring and logging provided by Monitor, this is just the start of what’s possible with the platform. For a full roundup of Azure Monitor’s functionality and how to work it, it’s best to start at the official Microsoft documentation.
Azure Monitor for your systems
Azure Monitor is an essential service for businesses running the Azure suite. It requires system admins to learn how to navigate the new platform or build out monitoring solutions that integrate into your current platform using Monitor’s REST API.
If you need assistance in setting up your monitoring systems, dashboards, logging, and alerts, or would like training in using Azure Monitor, then ask us for assistance. A1 Technologies are Microsoft certified partners with the know-how and experience to help get you up and running fast, reliably, and comprehensively. We also offer partner services if you are interested in outsourcing your systems monitoring and would prefer a more hands off approach.
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