As organizations increasingly adopt cloud computing, monitoring their infrastructure becomes a critical aspect of ensuring optimal performance, reliability, and security. Microsoft Azure, one of the leading cloud computing platforms, provides a vast range of monitoring tools and techniques that help users keep a close eye on their resources and applications. In this article, we will explore some of the best techniques to monitor Azure, which can help you identify and address issues before they escalate and impact your operations.
Best Techniques for Monitor the Microsoft Azure
With the rise of cloud-based attacks and security breaches, it is critical to know some techniques which can be used for securing your cloud environment. Here we have some best techniques to improve your operational efficiency.
Create Alert Rules
Use Microsoft Sentinel
Use Azure Rights Management
Use Microsoft Defender for cloud
Use Azure Dashboard
Use Azure Workbooks
Use Azure Metric Explorer User Interface
Use Azure Change Analysis
1. Create Alert Rules
Alerts help you to detect and address issues before users notice them by proactively notifying you when Azure Monitor data indicates there might be a problem with your infrastructure or application.
Here we have different types of alerts which you can choose according to your needs.
Use Prometheus alerts: Prometheus alerts are used for alerting on the performance and health of Kubernetes clusters, including Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). The alert rules are based on PromQL, which is an open-source query language.
Use Smart Detection Alerts: Smart detection on an Application Insights resource automatically warns you of potential performance problems and failure anomalies in your web application. You can migrate smart detection on your Application Insights resource to create alert rules for the different smart detection modules.
Log Alerts: Log alerts allow users to use a Log Analytics query to evaluate resource logs at a predefined frequency.
Metric Alerts: Metric alerts evaluate resource metrics at regular intervals. Metrics can be platform metrics, custom metrics, logs from Azure Monitor converted to metrics, or Application Insights metrics. Metric alerts can also apply multiple conditions and dynamic thresholds.
Below are the steps to create an alert rule in Azure:
STEP 1: In the Azure portal, select Monitor > Alerts.
STEP 2: Open the + Create menu and select the Alert rule.
STEP 3: On the Select a resource pane, set the scope for your alert rule. You can filter by subscription, resource type, or resource location.
STEP 4: Select Apply.
STEP 5: Select Next: Condition at the bottom of the page.
STEP 6: On the Condition tab, select the Signal name field and choose a signal for the condition. You can also select all signals or filter them by signal type or source.
STEP 7: (Optional) If you chose to See all signals in the previous step, use the Select a signal pane to search for the signal name or filter the list of signals. Filter by:
Signal type: The type of alert rule you're creating.
Signal source: The service sending the signal. The list is pre-populated based on the type of alert rule you selected.
STEP 8: Select the Signal name and Apply.
STEP 9: Follow the steps in the tab that corresponds to the type of alert you're creating.
STEP 10: On the Actions tab, select or create the required action groups.
STEP 11: (Optional) If you want to make sure that the data processing for the action group takes place within a specific region, you can select an action group in one of these regions in which to process the action group:
Germany West Central
STEP 12: On the Details tab, define the Project details.
STEP 13: Define the Alert rule details.
STEP 14: On the Tags tab, set any required tags on the alert rule resource.
STEP 15: On the Review + Create tab, the rule is validated, and lets you know about any issues.
STEP 16: When validation passes and you've reviewed the settings, select the Create button.
2. Use Microsoft Sentinel
Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) solution that provides threat detection and response capabilities. It collects data from various sources, such as devices, applications, and users, and applies advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to identify and prioritize potential threats. Microsoft Sentinel also enables security teams to investigate and remediate incidents using a unified dashboard and automated playbooks.
You can use Microsoft Sentinel to:
Detect uncovered threats and minimize false positives using analytics and unparalleled threat intelligence from Microsoft
Respond to incidents rapidly with built-in orchestration and automation of common tasks.
Investigate threats with AI and find suspicious activities.
3. Use Azure Rights Management (RMS)
Azure Rights Management helps to protect files and emails across multiple devices, including phones, tablets, and PCs by using encryption, identity, and authorization policies. For example, when employees email a document to a partner company or save a document to their cloud drive, Azure Rights Management’s persistent protection helps secure the data.
4. Use Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Microsoft Defender for Cloud is an application protection platform that helps strengthen your security posture, enables protection against modern threats, and helps reduce risk throughout the cloud application lifecycle across multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
You can use Microsoft Defender for Cloud to:
Secure cloud applications with unified DevOps security management across multi-cloud and multiple-pipeline environments.
Improve your security posture with continuous assessment, built-in benchmarks, and recommendations for Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.
Protect cloud workloads with cloud-native threat detection and response across cloud apps, infrastructure, and data.
5. Use Azure Dashboards
Azure dashboards are useful in providing a "single pane of glass" of your Azure infrastructure and services. While a workbook provides richer functionality, a dashboard can combine Azure Monitor data with data from other Azure services.
Native dashboarding platform in Azure.
Supports at-scale deployments.
No added cost.
Follow the below steps to create a new dashboard in Azure Portal:
STEP 1: Sign into the Azure portal and Select Dashboard.
STEP 2: Select New Dashboard and then select Blank Dashboard.
This will open the Tile Gallery where you can select tiles and an empty grid where you will arrange the tiles.
STEP 3: Select the My Dashboard text in the dashboard label and enter a name that will help you easily identify the custom dashboard.
STEP 4: Click Save to save the dashboard.
You can also create a new dashboard in Azure Application Insight. But, if you move your Application Insight resources over to another resource group or subscription, you have to manually update the dashboard by removing the old tiles and adding new tiles from the same Application Insight resource.
Consider the following steps to create a new dashboard in Application Insight:
STEP 1: In the Azure Portal, select Dashboard.
STEP 2: On the Dashboard, select New Dashboard => Blank Dashboard.
STEP 3: Enter the name of the Dashboard.
STEP 4: Go to "Tile Gallery" for various tiles that you can add to your dashboard.
STEP 5: Locate the "Markdown" tile and drag it onto your dashboard. With this tile, you can add text formatted in Markdown, which is ideal for adding descriptive text to your dashboard.
STEP 6: Add text to the tile's properties and resize it on the dashboard canvas.
STEP 7: Select "Done Customizing" at the top of the screen to exit tile customization mode.
6. Use Azure Workbooks
Azure Workbooks is a tool that helps you analyze data and create visual reports. You can use them to combine data from various sources in Azure, creating interactive experiences. They are particularly helpful for monitoring multiple Azure resources and presenting critical health and performance information. You can access pre-built workbooks or create your own to meet your specific user requirements.
Exploring the usage of your Virtual Machine. Discover metrics for CPU utilization, disk space, memory and network k dependencies.
Share your resizing experiments of your VM with other team members.
Report the impact of an outage on the usage of your Virtual Machine.
Can combine the data, text explanation and a discussion of the next steps to prevent outages in the future.
You can access Azure Workbooks by following the below steps:
STEP 1: In the Azure Portal, select Monitor=> Workbooks from the menu bars on the left.
STEP 2: On a Log Analytics workspaces page, select Workbooks at the top of the page.
When the gallery opens, select a saved workbook or a template. You can also search for a name in the search box.
STEP 3: Save your Workbook by saving the report with a specific title, subscription, resource group and location.
7. Use Azure Metric Explorer User Interface
Azure metrics explorer UI is used to plot charts, visually correlate trends, and investigate spikes and dips in metrics’ values. Metrics are numerical values that describe some aspect of a resource or service and are collected at regular intervals. You can use metrics explorer UI to monitor the health and utilization of your Azure resources and services.
Follow the below steps to create a metric chart from your resources, subscription or Azure Monitor View:
STEP 1: Open the Metric tab and select "Select a scope" to open the resource scope picker.
STEP 2: For some resources, you must pick a namespace. The namespace is a way to organize metrics so that you can easily find them.
For example, storage accounts have separate namespaces for storing metrics for files, tables, blobs, and queues. Many resource types have only one namespace.
STEP 3:Select a metric from a list of available metrics.
STEP 4: Optionally, you can change the metric aggregation. For example, you might want your chart to show the minimum, maximum, or average values of the metric.
STEP 5: You can select the time range to store the charts. By default, the chart shows the most recent 24 hours of metrics data. You can use the time picker panel to change the time range on your chart.
8. Use Azure Change Analysis
Azure change analysis helps you identify and troubleshoot issues caused by changes in your Azure resources and services. Change analysis detects various types of changes, such as resource properties, resource configurations, app service files and configurations, and network configuration settings. It also tracks resource dependency changes to diagnose and monitor an application end-to-end.
To use Azure Change Analysis, first, you need to enable it. Follow the below steps to enable it:
STEP 1: In the Azure Portal, go to Azure Monitor's Change Analysis UI.
STEP 2: Enable web app in-guest change tracking by selecting "Enable Now" in the banner
STEP 3: Toggle on Change Analysis status and select Save.
This tool displays all web apps under an App Service plan, which you can toggle on and off individually.
By implementing these techniques, you can proactively monitor your Azure resources and ensure they are performing optimally while staying within your budget.