4 ways to use Azure Monitor beyond Azure resources

by bluemedora_admin on September 25, 2018

Do you love Azure Monitor? Have you considered setting up an Action Group for when the office coffee maker is at 10% capacity? Do you wish you could ask the Azure Advisor anything? Today, with the GA release of Blue Medora BindPlane for Microsoft Azure Monitor, there are dozens of new ways to use Azure Monitor for more. Here’s a few of the most important.

1. Close the gap between application and infrastructure monitoring
You’ve probably heard someone say “X% of application problems start with infrastructure”. Perhaps the only verifiable truth in that statement is that the percentage “X” cited tends to be higher if you ask the application team and lower if you ask the infrastructure team. Regardless of what perspective you’re monitoring from, the reality is everyone needs visibility all the way into the application. For the infrastructure team do their job, they can’t be blindly reacting to changes from the app team. It’s also beneficial for developers to have real-time access to more details about the health and performance of the infrastructure supporting their applications.

In addition to adding more than 100 new integrations that include servers, storage, networking, load balancers and more, BindPlane for Azure Monitor also features dozens of built-in dashboards, including application-to-infrastructure monitoring dashboards for Oracle, SAP and IIS. Giving you a full-stack view for your critical Azure VM workloads. Dashboards like these can improve collaboration between teams using monitoring tools both inside and outside of Azure, enabling both dev teams and operation teams to react to issues faster.

4 ways to use Azure Monitor beyond Azure resources
Figure 1: This Microsoft IIS dashboard inside Azure Monitor includes critical details on cache hit rates and misses.

2. Optimize costs across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments
Research from Edwin Yuen at ESG suggests enterprises have adopted multiple public clouds for production workloads at a remarkably high rate. His research says 81 percent of current cloud infrastructure users are running two or more public cloud infrastructure providers. Of those users, 61 percent are using three or more. For these organizations, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments have the potential to create new monitoring silos, making it incredibly difficult to actually identify the ideal cloud for any given workload.

BindPlane for Azure Monitor integrates all five of the top public cloud providers including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google and Alibaba cloud environments. You can use it to monitor the behavior and performance of non-Azure resources in the same context of their Azure-based resources for unified visibility across data center and multiple public cloud providers. This dramatically expands observability in these environments, making it possible to optimize workloads across different pricing models to achieve the lowest cost between clouds and data center.

4 ways to use Azure Monitor beyond Azure resources
Figure 2: BindPlane allows you to monitor Google Cloud resources, like Kubernetes, within Azure Monitor.

3. Reduce DataOps administration, speed up DB troubleshooting
Most organizations now run a mix of database technologies from RDBMS, NoSQL, NewSQL both in the cloud and on-premises. And just like multi-cloud environments, the more diverse and complex the database landscape grows, the greater potential for monitoring silos and visibility issues. Because of these database blind spots, many database and infrastructure administrators have had to resort to developing their own personal library of homegrown scripts. While these scripts can function as a bridge between the monitoring solutions implemented and the functionality required by the stakeholders, they are inevitably hard to maintain and it’s nearly impossible for them to provide the same functionality as what can be found in a fully featured monitoring suite.

BindPlane’s agentless Smart Collector dramatically reduces integration maintenance in multi-cloud or multi-database environments, so your DBA (and everyone else) can retire those plugins and scripts. Its single, self-maintaining connection not only eliminates the need to maintain multiple plugins, but it provides cloud-like currency to on-prem integrations as well. The Smart Collector continuously updates Microsoft Azure Monitor integrations as and when enterprise software or hardware IT resources get updated, whether in the cloud or datacenter.

The biggest benefit to DataOps may come from having a unified view of your entire database landscape with the right level of depth (query-level data resolution) to pinpoint root causes accurately and enough context (relational visibility) to help correlate waterfall impacts on related infrastructure–things like host memory and CPU capacity. With all of these details inside Azure Monitor, you can quickly see if your root cause is due to increase requests, maxed out connections, a problematic query or limited resources.

4 ways to use Azure Monitor beyond Azure resources

Figure 3: With access to query-level data resolution for this Microsoft SQL Server you identify problematic queries without leaving Azure Monitor.

4. Right-size in virtualized or containerized environments
Virtualization and more recently containerization has made monitoring more challenging by distributing services across virtual machines, zones, clusters, pods, nodes, and containers. This makes it more challenging to understand exactly how much CPU, memory or other host or datastore resources are needed to support them. What’s more, the temporary nature of containers, cells and pods makes trend analysis very difficult. Most teams err on the side of caution. Afterall, overprovisioning can be costly, but not as costly as downtime.

BindPlane’s Dimensional Data Stream provides the highly granular behavioral detail — beyond what a single endpoint API connection might include — as well as rich relational context that helps teams understand the current and historic impact of resource constraints from hosts and datastores on pods and clusters.

4 ways to use Azure Monitor beyond Azure resources
Figure 4: This Kubernetes overview lets you quickly evaluate node health and helps you determine if you need to add another–right from Azure Monitor.

Try these out today
Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to establish a closed-loop incident response on your coffee maker just yet, but you can try out all four of these ways to use Azure Monitor in your own environment. Start your 30-day free trial right now.

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