In this lesson, you will learn about the metrics and how to monitor them properly. You will learn how metrics are reported for the different services. We will enable and view metrics in the Azure VM dashboard.
You will be introduced to Azure Monitor, what is provides to Azure, and why it is one of the main services covered in the 70-535 course.
We will discuss the Azure Monitor interface, and how it browses multiple system metrics. You will also learn how Monitor interacts with other non-Azure systems like Cloudwatch or Google Cloud.
We will show you Monitor’s diagnostics extension that can be used for application performance monitoring. We will discuss how Monitor and Application Insight have a tendency to blend together in respect to monitoring.
Finally, we will discuss the default settings of Azure Monitoring, and how to store metrics indefinitely.
One of the nice things about Azure is that there are a lot of default metrics automatically reported for different services. For Azure VM’s, system level metrics are enabled by default and viewable in the dashboard. You can see a lot of these metrics right from the Azure compute interface by just clicking on the relevant VMs.
Azure Monitor is sort of your ‘base camp’ for metrics in Microsoft Azure. Azure Monitor, ‘provides base level infrastructure metrics and logs for most services in Microsoft Azure. The service has evolved over time, gradually subsuming more and more types of metrics from other Azure services. We are going to focus on Azure Monitor as our solution for system level monitoring.
In the Azure Monitor interface we can casually browse different system metrics. By default all Azure resources report basic information about network and system state. It is analogous to Amazon’s Cloudwatch. Azure Monitor is meant to be used primarily with Azure resources, however individual components can be used with non-Azure servers. For example the Application Insights component, which we will address in more detail later, can be installed on on-premise servers or virtual instances in another cloud. You could then use Azure Monitor to collect metrics about your Google Cloud or Amazon servers. This is not a very common use case though.
Azure also has a diagnostics extension that can be used for application performance monitoring. For this course we will be using Application Insights for this sort of monitoring, but it is cool to know that Monitor is also getting into this use case. In the future the two systems may become more tightly integrated, so it’s good to be aware of it.
By default Azure Monitor will store metrics for 30 days. If you need to keep metrics for longer than that you will need to store them somewhere. You can easily import metrics into Azure storage by using the console. If you wish to store metric data elsewhere, you can also export everything to some other system.
Now that we have a good understanding of Azure Monitor’s capabilities and how to get started, our next priority is looking at log aggregation. In the next lesson we’ll talk about Azure Log Analytics and learn how it can be your one-stop shop for logs. Let’s get to it.
Jonathan Bethune is a senior technical consultant working with several companies including TopTal, BCG, and Instaclustr. He is an experienced devops specialist, data engineer, and software developer. Jonathan has spent years mastering the art of system automation with a variety of different cloud providers and tools. Before he became an engineer, Jonathan was a musician and teacher in New York City. Jonathan is based in Tokyo where he continues to work in technology and write for various publications in his free time.