Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 1: Introduction

In Azure, there are many different tools to do a job. In some cases, there is more than one tool that does almost the same thing as another tool, but not quite.

The frustration with this is, each team inside Microsoft focuses on their own elements of Azure (usually without any or limited collaboration with other teams). This then results in multiple tools that tend to overlap in functionality and use and leads to confusion.

Do you find yourself trying to figure out “Do I use Tool-A to monitor Resource-B, but if I want to do Activity-C, then I need to use Tool-D?” Or worse, you may be an IT Consultant, and have to understand all the tools in order to explain and recommend one to your customer!

Today, we’re going to look into the long list of “monitoring” tools in/for Azure, and try to provide clarity on when/why you would use one (or more) in what scenarios.

 

The List

In alphabetical order, here is the current (as of this post) list of available tools. This list was derived from my own experience, along with a review of the ‘More Services’ list within the Azure portal.

  • Part 2: Activity Logs
  • Part 3: Application Insights
  • Part 4: Azure Advisor
  • Part 5: Azure Alerts
  • Part 6: Azure Diagnostics
  • Part 7: Azure Metrics
  • Part 8: Azure Monitor
  • Part 9: Azure Security Center (ASC)
  • Part 10: Network Watcher
  • Part 11: Operations Management Suite (OMS)
    • Note: Also known as Log Analytics
  • Part 12: Service Health
  • Part 13: System Center Operation Manager (SCOM)

Now that we have the list defined, let’s dive into each of these tools (we’ll do our best to include real-world examples). You will notice that some of these tools roll-up or are a part of other services, and in some cases overlap in functionality, hence why there is confusion on when to use which tool.

The first tool we will explore is Activity Logs.

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