Azure Management - Monitoring

Monitoring in Azure is one aspect of Azure Management. This article briefly describes the different areas of management required to deploy and maintain your applications and resources in Azure with links to documentation to get you started.

Management in Azure

Management refers to the tasks and processes required to maintain your business applications and the resources that support them. Azure has multiple services and tools that work together to provide complete management for not only your applications running in Azure but also in other clouds and on-premises. Understanding the different tools available and how they can be used together for a variety of management scenarios is the first step in designing a complete management environment.

The following diagram illustrates the different areas of management that are required to maintain any application or resource. These different areas can be thought of in terms of a lifecycle where each is required in continuous succession over the lifespan of a resource. This starts with its initial deployment, through its continued operation, and finally when it's retired.

Management capabilities

No single Azure service completely fills the requirements of a particular management area, but instead each are realized by multiple services working together. Some services provide targeted functionality such as Application Insights that provides monitoring for web applications. Others provide common functions such as Log Analytics that stores management data for other services allowing you to analyze data of different types collected by different services.

The following sections briefly describe the different management areas and provide links to detailed content on the main Azure services intended to address them.

Monitor

Monitoring is the act of collecting and analyzing data to determine the performance, health, and availability of your business application and the resources it depends on. An effective monitoring strategy will help you understand the detailed operation of the different components of your application and to increase your uptime by proactively notifying you of critical issues so that you can resolve them before they become problems. You can read an overview of Monitoring in Azure that identifies the different services used for a monitoring strategy at Monitoring Azure applications and resources.

Configure

Configure refers to the initial deployment and configuration of applications and resources and their ongoing maintenance with patches and updates. Automation of these tasks through script and policy allows you to eliminate redundancy, minimizing your time and effort and increasing your accuracy and efficiency. Azure Automation provides the bulk of services for automating configuration tasks. In addition to runbooks for automating processes, it provides configuration and update management, which assist you in managing configuration through policy and in identifying and deploying updates.

Govern

Governance provides mechanisms and processes to maintain control over your applications and resources in Azure. It involves planning your initiatives and setting strategic priorities. Governance in Azure is primarily implemented with two services. Azure Policy allows you to create, assign and, manage policy definitions that enforce different rules and actions over your resources, so those resources stay compliant with your corporate standards and service level agreements. Azure Cost Management by Cloudyn allows you to track cloud usage and expenditures for your Azure resources and other cloud providers including AWS and Google.

Secure

Managing security of your applications, resources, and data involves a combination of assessing threats, collecting and analyzing security data, and ensuring that your applications and resources are designed and configured in a secure fashion. Security monitoring and threat analysis are provided by Azure Security Center which includes unified security management and advanced threat protection across hybrid cloud workloads. You should also see Introduction to Azure Security for comprehensive information on security in Azure and guidance on securely configuring Azure resources.

Protect

Protection refers to ensuring that your applications and data are always available, even in the case of outages beyond your control. Protection in Azure is provided by two services. Azure Backup provides backup and recovery of your data, either in the cloud or on-premises. Azure Site Recovery ensures high availability of your application by providing business continuity and immediate recovery in the case of disaster.

Migrate

Migration refers to transitioning workloads currently running on-premises to the Azure cloud. Azure Migrate is a service that helps you assess the migration suitability, including performance-based sizing and cost estimates, of on-premises virtual machines to Azure. Azure Site Recovery can help you perform the actual migration of virtual machines from on-premises or from Amazon Web Services. Azure Database Migration will assist you in migrating multiple database sources to Azure Data platforms.

Operations Management Suite

Previous technical documentation related to Azure management included Operations Management Suite (OMS), which is a bundling of the following Azure management services:

  • Azure Automation
  • Azure Backup
  • Log Analytics
  • Site Recovery

We are moving away from describing this bundling in our technical documentation since complete management in Azure has expanded to include other services. None of the services that are part of OMS have changed, and each still has a critical role in managing your Azure applications and resources. Your focus should be on the management tasks that you need to perform and the different Azure services that work together for each task.