Microsoft is known for providing excellent, reliable, and scalable enterprise solutions, and Azure is no different. If you’ve recently moved your company’s data, processes, and infrastructure to the Microsoft cloud environment, you need to know about Azure cloud monitoring and how it helps you track everything happening in your cloud environment.
Typically, the apps deployed in Azure are built on a siloed and dynamic architecture. Thus, they should get monitored to optimize their performance, availability, consumption, and reliability. Monitoring your Azure environment using the tools available to you is a sure-fire way of gaining deep visibility into your cloud infrastructure.
What is an Azure Monitor?
An Azure monitor is an analytics and reporting tool designed to optimize the performance and availability of your applications. It collects, analyzes, and acts on critical metrics related to your data. When you deploy an Azure monitoring tool, you’ll discover how your apps are performing since the tool uncovers the issues inherent in your Azure environment. You can then use the insights to respond to those issues proactively.
How Does Azure Cloud Monitoring Work?
The Azure monitoring tool you choose receives data from target resources such as operating systems, applications, and Azure subscriptions. Generally, the nature of the resources defines the available data type. The data can either be a log, a metric, or a combination of both.
Metrics are a measure of a resource’s characteristics over a specified period. These include disk IOPs, CPU utilization, and the number of connections. The characteristics are often real-time and are stored as values. Azure monitoring tools capture these numeric metrics in real-time.
The metrics are excellent for detecting and alerting you of any issues in your cloud environment. They also provide insights into system performance. When combined with logs, metrics help you pinpoint the root cause of problems in your Azure cloud environment.
On the other hand, logs capture time-stamped info about any changes made to the resources. The log source determines the type of information recorded, and logged data is organized into records. Each type of record has its unique properties. Although the logs may include numeric values like metrics, they can also include text values.
Events within your cloud environment are the most common log entry records. They tend to occur sporadically and not according to schedule. Your apps and services create these events. An Azure monitoring tool helps you query the events and create logs for useful visualizations into your cloud environment.
Benefits of Monitoring Azure Cloud Services
Monitoring tools provide insights into all aspects of your Azure cloud operations. Using them translates into numerous benefits, including:
It’s a no-brainer that monitoring your cloud environment helps you identify flaws that threat actors often leverage. It helps you pinpoint and remediate issues before they become full-blown security incidents. An Azure cloud monitoring tool can also help you determine whether you have the appropriate dependencies for managing specific applications. Application insights are helpful when undertaking such diagnoses.
There has been a rise in the number of compliance regulations that companies must adhere to. These include NIST, HIPAA, SOC2, and CMMC regulations. An organization can only maintain compliance if it performs penetration testing regularly to check the security posture of its applications. Since Azure cloud monitoring tools are automated, using them makes penetration testing easier.
Easier Interpretation of Threats
Pinpointing threats is one thing, but interpreting them is a different ballgame. Azure cloud monitoring tools come with dashboards for interpreting Azure cloud metrics.
When you ask for reviews from those who use your app, they’ll tell you nothing matters more than performance. There’s no better way of optimizing the customer experience than ensuring that your cloud apps and services always perform seamlessly.
Azure cloud monitoring allows you to access the tools needed to gauge the performance of various cloud apps and resources. As a result, it will be easier for you to configure and deploy the best-performing apps and resources.
Tracking Spending Patterns
Cloud monitoring tools with log analytics capabilities help you track and define usage patterns. Monitoring tools leverage AI and machine learning to help you track past spending patterns and forecast future spending. This comes in handy when planning for the future.
Detecting anomalies isn’t always easy, thanks to the complexities and siloed nature of the cloud data environment. However, that cannot be said of cloud environments where Azure monitoring tools are deployed. The tools help you detect anomalies such as security threats, increased account activity, and cost spikes. You’ll also receive alerts on critical issues that need to be dealt with.
Azure cloud monitoring makes it easier to access data from external sources and compare performance with other organizations that have invested in Azure cloud infrastructure. Collaborating with such organizations to guarantee your cloud environment’s reliability, availability, and security will also be easier.
Choosing a Cloud Monitoring Tool
The reliability, security, and availability of your Azure cloud environment are only as good as the monitoring tool you choose. For this reason, you need cloud monitoring tools with excellent visibility features, seamless reporting, and good analytics. Before you settle on a monitoring tool, you need to consider the following:
- What you’re monitoring.
- The performance of the tool.
- The tool’s compatibility with Azure cloud architecture.
Azure monitoring has many facets to it. Collecting data from various sources isn’t straightforward, so you need a monitoring tool that helps you overcome them. You may also want to use a tool that can monitor all the microservices in your Azure cloud environment. Such a tool will help you maintain visibility into everything that happens.
After moving your company’s data, processes, and infrastructure to the Microsoft cloud environment, you need an end-to-end monitoring tool that helps you maintain full visibility into your Azure cloud environment.
Ideally, the tool should come equipped with features that go beyond insights, logging, and metrics. It should help you pinpoint and remediate issues before they morph into costly incidents. This allows you to monitor your cloud resources and ensure that it is well configured.