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Geneos for monitoring Azure: a new improved integration

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform for compute, storage, application services and more. It is used by many enterprises, small and large to build and manage applications and services at scale. Increasingly the Financial Services sector is embracing the move to multi-cloud, hybrid environments to increase productivity and enable faster resilient deployment cycles.

Hybrid, multi-cloud environments with highly distributed and scalable applications also introduce complexity. Users need visibility into this full stack to monitor, diagnose and resolve issues quickly. We are excited to introduce new improved Azure monitoring capabilities in Geneos to provide that full stack visibility.

Why use Geneos

Genos is the tool of choice for many financial services teams that are responsible for monitoring critical infrastructure and applications. As multi-cloud deployments become the standard, there are many reasons why teams rely on Geneos to provide that visibility.

  • Combine metrics from Azure with on-premises, multi-cloud, and hybrid environments so you get full visibility across all your environments in once place.
  • Take advantage of Geneos command and control capabilities to build a single-pane-of-glass view of complex application workflows.
  • Close to real-time alerts using Geneos powerful rule and alert capabilities. When you are monitoring critical applications, you want to be alerted within seconds rather than minutes.
  • Minimise cost by using single enterprise tool for monitoring all your environments.

What can Geneos monitor?

Geneos can monitor over 35 Azure services today and we continue to add support for more. Right now, we collect all metrics, future releases will include the ability to see events and logs alongside metrics. We also collect tags associated with your Azure resources, such as resource group, region, custom application tags and more to help organise your monitoring view.

See Azure documentation for full list of supported services.

Azure monitoring table

How is data collected?

The plugin supports two ways of collection data from Azure. Both have their own pros and cons; the choice depends on what you are monitoring and the scale of your Azure environment.

Azure Monitor API:

Azure Monitor service automatically collects and aggregates vast amount of metrics and logs from other Azure services. We integrate with Azure Monitor API to consume this data into Geneos. This is the simplest way to enable monitoring. While this is very easy to setup, there are limitations around how much data we can collect. The API available in Azure has built-in limitations, for very good reasons. In large scale Azure deployments, you will likely hit these limits. We provide self-monitoring view to alert you if you are nearing these limits. By default, the plugin will automatically collect data for all available Azure services, but there are various filtering options available in the plugin to limit data collection to only what you need.

Azure Event Hub:

Azure Event Hub is a platform for event ingestion that can process and store huge amount of data at scale. Azure services can be configured to publish metrics and logs to an Event Hub. Geneos Azure plugin supports the ability to consume real-time metrics from the Azure Event Hub service. This is an alternative to polling Azure Monitor API, enabling Geneos to monitor your Azure cloud environment at scale and in real-time. This option does require some configuration in Azure to make sure the services you want to monitor are publishing data into the Event Hub.

In both cases the collected data is used to dynamically create the Geneos data structure like entities and dataviews using the Gateway dynamic entity feature. This minimises configuration burden as you expand your Azure usage over time.

Deploy easily from Azure Marketplace

You can get started easily by deploying Geneos from the Azure Marketplace. A pre-built VM image is available that includes a Netprobe, Collection Agent and Gateway configured to connect to your Azure environment and dynamically create the Entities in Geneos. All you have to do is open your Active Console and connect to the Gateway in Azure.

See documentation for step-by-step instructions.

What's next?

While metrics are very useful for monitoring, we also need the logs and events to provide full visibility into your Azure environment. This is what we plan to do shortly so you have all the data you need to enable real-time monitoring. We will also continue to update the capabilities to support more and more Azure services, adding to the over 35 services we support today.