In these recent months, I have worked with implementing monitoring services for workloads that run on Azure and based on my experience, I have observed that every monitoring solution available from Azure has its specific purpose and benefits. Let me summarize my findings. I hope it helps.
Why monitor your cloud application?
Monitoring, collecting, analyzing, and acting on telemetry data from your Azure and on-premises environments ensures that your applications run in a healthy state. Azure Monitor helps you maximize the performance and availability of your applications and proactively identify problems in seconds. Also, you can use monitoring data to gain deep insights into your application. These insights help you to improve application performance or maintainability, or automate actions taking out the need for manual intervention. In short, Azure enables you to transform your business with advanced monitoring.
Features of Azure Monitor:
Integration – Stores and analyzes all your operational telemetry in a fully managed, centralized, scalable data store that is optimized for performance and cost.
Intellectual – Uses the interactive query language, built-in machine learning constructs, and advanced analytic engine to test your hypotheses and disclose unseen patterns.
Open – Allows integration with popular DevOps, issue management, IT service management, and security information and event management tools.
Let’s look at the bigger picture of end-to-end monitoring services that Azure provides.
Azure End-to-End (E2E) Monitoring Experience
Azure Monitor, Log Analytics and other OMS components and Application Insights can all be viewed in the Azure portal.
Bridging the Gap
It is interesting to note how these sets of monitoring services are connected to bridge the gap between Application, Infrastructure, and Platform.
All right, let’s get into the details of each of these services below:
Application Insights – this service can be used for development and as a production monitoring solution. To make it work, install a package into your app, and get a comprehensive internal view of what’s going on. Its data consists of response times of dependencies, exception traces, debugging snapshots, and execution profiles. The service also provides powerful smart tools to analyze all this telemetry for users to debug an app and help understand what users are doing with it. Users can know a change in response times is due to something in an app, or some external resourcing issue.
The Azure Dashboard is a powerful tool for operations and service desk teams that operate Microsoft Azure at any scale. It is a simple interface and supports teams get a quick overview of the information they need to keep an eye on. customizing using a web interface is easy and can be deployed using ARM templates.
There are two pricing options,Basic and Enterp
- ise for Application Insights. For Basic, you pay based on the volume of telemetry your application sends, with a 1 GB free allowance per month.
- With Application Insights, Enterprise charges will scale up or down, such as adding additional web servers during peak periods of activity.
OMS (Operations Management Suite) Service Map – this service automatically maps and discovers the communication between application components on Windows and Linux systems services. Utilize the service and view your servers as interconnected systems that deliver critical services. By installing only an agent, Service Map shows connections between servers, processes, and ports across any TCP-connected architecture.
You access Service Map in the Azure portal from your Log Analytics workspace and select the option Solutions from the left pane.
Pricing: Service map is available in Insight and Analytics OMS Stand-alone solution package. Users have the option of buying this as a stand-alone package or through an OMS subscription.
OMS Log Analytics – based in Azure, this service is for users who need to tune performance and schedule maintenance on applications running in production. Though with a delay of 10 to 15 minutes, it collects and aggregates data from many sources. It also offers a holistic IT management solution for Azure, on-premises, and third-party cloud-based infrastructure (such as Amazon Web Services). Besides, the service provides rich tools to analyze data across multiple sources, allows complex queries across all logs, and alert proactively on specified conditions. To query and visualize data at a later time, users can collect custom data into its central repository.
Pricing: Log Analytics is billed per gigabyte (GB) of data ingested into the service.
OMS Network Watcher
Monitor the network performance in near real-time-to detect and locate network performance bottlenecks with this service. Network Performance Monitor solution helps you monitor the loss and latency between two networks, subnets, or servers.
Well, that’s all! I hope this informative article gave you an overview of what are the monitoring services in Azure and when and where to use them. Feel free to connect with us and get more than what you think with YASH Cloud Services.
Images credit: Microsoft Azure.
Sr Software Engineer @YASH Technologies