Part 1: Monitor Azure Resources from Uptime Cloud Monitor

As of today, IDERA Uptime Cloud Monitor (UCM) now supports monitoring for more Microsoft Azure services including Azure Virtual Machines, Azure MSSQL, Azure database for MySQL and Azure database for PostgreSQL.

This is the first blog post in a series of 5 that will give you an overview of how to configure the UCM Azure monitoring, alerting and viewing of monitoring data.  Part 1 explains how to add Azure account(s) and setup alerts.  Refer also to Part 2: Details of All Azure Monitored Services of this series of blog posts.

Support for four Azure monitoring services was added in November 2017:

We are happy to announce that we have added monitoring support for 11 more Azure services.

Newly added services:

  • Analysis Services (covered in part 3 of the series)
  • Network Services (covered in part 4 of the series)
    • Standard Load Balancer
    • Application Gateway
    • Virtual Network Gateway
    • Express Route Circuit
    • Traffic Manager Profile
  • Web Services (covered in part 5 of the series)
    • Server Farm (App Service Plan)
    • Site (Web App)
    • Function Site (Function App)
    • Slot
    • Function Slot

The 11 services newly added services can be categorized into three main categories:

  1. Analysis Services (covered in part 3 of the series)
  2. Network Services (covered in part 4 of the series)
  3. Web Services (covered in part 5 of the series)

Prerequisites

Uptime Cloud Monitor from IDERA offers a SAAS based out-of-the-box solution for monitoring Azure resources for performance and availability. You need the following to monitor an Azure account on UCM.

  1. An Uptime Cloud Monitor account - If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for a 14 day FREE TRIAL of Uptime Cloud Monitor here (no credit card required).
  2. An Active Azure account for Azure resources running in your network.
  3. Azure Application - Access rights to create applications in the Azure account for monitoring.

Monitor Azure Resources from Uptime Cloud Monitor

There are three steps that you need to do to start monitoring an Azure Account using IDERA Uptime Cloud Monitor:

  1. Add an Azure Account for Monitoring
  2. Verify that the Dashboard for all Azure monitored entities is up and running
  3. Configure Alerts to be notified about performance and availability issues with Azure monitored entities
    (by default, no alerts will be created automatically)

1. Add an Azure Account for Monitoring

Figure 1: In your Uptime Cloud Monitor Account, navigate to Azure tab

Login to your Uptime Cloud Monitor account and navigate to Azure Tab. Click on ‘Click Here’ to add an Azure account.

Figure 2: Wizard to enter Azure Tenant ID, Azure client ID and Client Secret key

  1. Enter Azure Tenant ID.
    2. Enter Azure client ID.
    3. Enter Azure client secret key.
    4. If you are not sure how to get the above values for your Azure account, then click on “Show me how” link to check the steps to obtain required data from your Azure account.
    5. Go to the next wizard after filling required fields.

Figure 3: Wizard to enter a label for Azure account and tags

  1. Enter Unique label for Azure account.
    7. Enter comma separated tags (optional).
    8. Click on ‘Done’ button to verify creds and add an account for monitoring.

Add your other Azure accounts if needed.

2. Verify that the Dashboard for all Azure monitored entities is up and running

In Azure tab, there is an Overview secondary tab in the left navigation menu where stats for resources of all accounts can be viewed. Also by clicking on an account name in the left navigation menu, resources of the chosen account will be visible.

A. Overview/Summary Screen

Overview screen shows the metrics count aggregated by service type. This is assisted by a pie chart. You can also see the number of resources per service type. This is also aided by a pie chart. It helps you quickly know what is currently monitored by the UCM for your Azure infrastructure.

As soon as you add your Azure account, you will be greeted with the overview widget upon navigating to the Azure tab.

Figure 4: Overview for Azure account showing metrics and objects count

B. All Entities

Figure 5: All entities list

This is a paginated list of all Azure resources.

Note: UCM currently supports monitoring for four resource types; VM, Azure SQL databases, Azure MySQL Servers and Azure PostgreSQL Servers but all entities page will list all your Azure resources. If there is a different Azure resource you are running (e.g., Azure Redis Cache) for which there is no UCM support for detailed monitoring, then the ‘Details’ button will be hidden for that resource/resources. As an illustration, in Figure 5, Azure entities of type “Other” do not have an associated ‘Details’ button.

C. Accounts

Accounts is a paginated list of all Azure accounts added for monitoring. The user can either enable, disable or edit an account.

The user can also add a new account by clicking on New Azure Account button.

Figure 6: Tree List of entities within an Azure Account

As shown in Figure 6, the user would be presented with a tree list of all entities within an Azure account, segregated by Azure Resource Groups. The user can disable monitoring for specific entities or disable monitoring for all entities within a particular Resource Group.

D. Details

Details for a resource can be opened from All Entities page. Details can also be viewed by clicking ‘Details->’ on the resource widget on Dashboards page.

In the details page, data graphs are available for all the monitored metrics for that resource.

The screenshot shows Details graph for VM CPU usage.

Figure 7: CPU Utilization data for a Virtual Machine

3. Configure Alerts to be notified about performance and availability issues with monitored Azure entities

Figure 8: A new alert being added that will be triggered when Azure VM CPU metric exceeds a threshold of 90% within a time period of 5 min

Alerts can be configured against any of these all monitored metrics for Azure resources.

You can configure new alerts that will be triggered when performance issues with Azure resources. You can also configure the notification mechanisms for a triggered alert.

  1. Go to Alerts Tab > Configure alerts and click on ‘New Alerts’ button
  2. Provide values for these fields in the New Alert page:
  • Description: A description of the alert that will be easily recognized by you and your team if the alert is triggered
  • Alert me when: Select the metric of interest and the condition upon which the alert is triggered. In the Alert me when drop-down, you can prefill “Azure:” to get only the list of monitored metrics of the selected type of Azure resource. From this list, you can then select the specific metric for which you want to configure an alert. As an illustration, in Figure 8, the chosen metric of interest in ‘Alert me when’ is ‘Azure: VM: CPU Utilization’ and the condition for triggering the alert is if the average value is more than or equal to the specified value of 90%
  • For at least: The duration for which the alert condition must be valid for the alert to be triggered
  • Matching tags: By default, (match everything) is chosen. If needed, you can attach tags to a particular metric object and select those tags here, which would cause only alerts on that metric object to be triggered.
  • Excluding tags: By default, (exclude nothing) is chosen. If needed, you can attach tags to a particular metric object and select those tags here, which would cause alerts on that metric object to be skipped.
  • Annotate: When enabled, an annotation is automatically created when the alert is triggered. Annotations will be visible in the custom metrics dashboard where the data stream is displayed.
  • Automatic Clear: When enabled, the alert issue is automatically cleared if the triggering condition is no longer true
  • Notify on clear: When enabled, notifications are also sent when the alert issue is cleared. Please do note that notifications are always sent when the alert issue is triggered.
  • Send Notifications To: Here you can configure the notification mechanisms by which the alert is communicated to you and others in your team.

Uptime Cloud Monitor supports notifying different sets of users with differing notification mechanisms for each alert type. Notification mechanisms include:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • PagerDuty
  • Twitter
  • HipChat
  • Campfire
  • Slack
  • OpsGenie

Webhooks are also exposed for clients to configure custom notification mechanisms.

More about setting up website probe alerts can be found here.

For any questions, you can post a comment or contact support@copperegg.com.

Refer also to Part 2: Details of All Azure Monitored Services of this series of blog posts.

Stay tuned to see more features and more monitoring support getting added to Uptime Cloud Monitor in the near future.

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