Revealing Elastic Pool Metrics to Drive Better Microsoft Azure Performance

by bluemedora_editor on May 15, 2017

By: Lora Johnson


Cloud adoption continues to grow globally, but at the same time, many organizations are not abandoning their traditional data center model which has resulted in higher usage of a hybrid cloud strategy, leveraging private and public clouds, as well as traditional on-premises data structures.

Microsoft Azure seamlessly integrates across the cloud and on-premises, simplifying what could be a highly complex data strategy. However, because of the hybrid strategy, it can make it challenging — if not impossible — to view key performance metrics and analytics in a single console.

Today, Blue Medora announced the launch of its Microsoft Azure Management Pack to provide visibility through a suite of metrics, out-of-the-box dashboards and alerts in order to give insight into key performance metrics for your Azure Compute and Azure SQL workloads within vRealize Operations.

Microsoft Azure Overview Dashboard from Blue Medora

Figure 1: Microsoft Azure Overview Dashboard offers insight into key metrics and relationships in vRealize Operations


With more than 200 collected metrics, this blog post will highlight the most revealing metrics for your elastic pools that will help you drive better Azure performance — and, thus, improve operations across your IT stack.


What are Elastic Pools?

Let’s face it, the unpredictability of your database workloads makes it challenging to provision the right number of resources without draining your budget. Traditionally, this has meant that when your usage spikes, so do your costs as you respond to provisioning needs.

However, within Microsoft Azure, this is treated a bit different with the ability to leverage elastic pools — providing a way to “pool” your resources across your databases. Within Microsoft Azure, you can extend your Database Transaction Units (DTUs) to elastic pools, or Elastic DTUs (eDTUs), which can be shared across your databases. As a result, if one of your Azure SQL databases goes over capacity, it can borrow extra eDTUs from another underutilized database.



Before you jump into eDTUs, you first need to understand your elastic pool storage. How much of your elastic pool resources are currently being used? What is your maximum amount of storage available for your elastic pool?

Answering these questions can give you essential insight into provisioning and capacity for your Azure workloads. For your storage workloads, there are several metrics that give you this insight. Understanding your storage limit and usage are important, but digging into your data IO and log IO can reveal whether you have enough storage for your database needs.


eDTU Used and eDTU Limit

To truly understand the capacity and use of your elastic pools, monitoring key metrics like eDTU Used and eDTU Limit gives you insight into whether your eDTUs offer enough resources to meet your needs. Within vRealize Operations, you can set alerts for specific thresholds — giving you the ability to proactively provision extra resources before it slows down performance.

Example of an analysis badge in the Blue Medora Management Pack for Microsoft Azure

Figure 2: Example of an analysis badge for Microsoft Azure


In addition, you can leverage the analysis badge to assist with capacity planning across your Microsoft Azure workloads. The analysis badge offers insight into specific parameters; in this case, the capacity badge provides insight into your reclaimable DTU capacity.


SQL Server Parents & SQL Database Children

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Within the elastic pool, understanding your SQL Server Parents and subsequent SQL Database Children can ensure that you have visibility into what’s consuming your elastic pool resources.

This provides essential visibility into the performance of your specific database instances, but also allows you to track the capacity to ensure that your Azure SQL resources have the resources required to operate at peak performance.


Extending visibility into your elastic pools can give you essential insight into your Microsoft Azure environment and drive better performance; in turn, providing a better experience for your users across the IT stack.

The Blue Medora Management Pack for Microsoft Azure also includes:

  • Four comprehensive dashboards, including Microsoft Azure Overview, Microsoft Azure SQL Database Analysis and Microsoft SQL Query Analysis
  • More than 20 detailed alerts and recommendations to eliminate mean-time-to-innocence (MTTI) hunts and simplify troubleshooting
  • Capacity definitions and analysis badges for key resources, such as CPU, DTU and eDTU


To learn more about Blue Medora’s Management Pack for Microsoft Azure or to download a free trial, please visit the True Visibility Suite for VMware vRealize Operations page on Blue Medora’s website.


This blog post first appeared on the VMware Cloud Management blog. Read the full post here

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