Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 6: Azure Diagnostics

In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure.

We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further.

We’ve already discussed Azure Activity Logs, Application Insights, Azure Advisor, and Azure Alerts. The next tool on the list is Azure Diagnostics. 

 

Azure Diagnostics

There are multiple elements to Azure Diagnostics, including Diagnostic Logs, and Diagnostic Extensions; and we use these to collect diagnostics data from different types of resources.

Azure Monitor – Diagnostics Settings

This is different from Guest OS diagnostics since that requires an Agent inside the Virtual Machine or other diagnostics like Boot diagnostics.

New Azure VM – Monitoring Diagnostics

To better understand and visualize where this fits in with all the other logs and monitoring components, here’s a helpful diagram from Microsoft.

Activity Logs vs Other Logs

Through Azure Monitor > Diagnostic Settings, you can easily see which resources have diagnostics enabled, and which do not (see the first posted screenshot).

Here is are 2 useful articles on this topic:

 

Real Word Example

Now let’s enable diagnostics on a resource, and see what information and value we can get out of it.

In this example, I’m going to enable diagnostics on a Network Security Group (NSG). In Azure Monitor > Diagnostic Settings, I see my Network Security Group which does not have diagnostics turned on.

When you select a resource that does not yet have diagnostics enabled, it will show you what data will be collected when you enable it. In the case of a Network Security Group, it shows it will collect Events, and Rule Counters.

Azure Monitor – Diagnostics – Enable

When you turn on diagnostics logs, you can choose where those logs will go, and what logs specifically you want.

Azure Monitor – Diagnostics – Settings

Once the diagnostic logs are being collected and sent, this gives you more data to work with for troubleshooting and investigating issues.

OMS – NSG Analytics – Details

 

Conclusion

Azure Diagnostics really provides a great option for collecting additional details and data about your environment and resources. And in the world of monitoring and troubleshooting, the more data the better.

Why? You may think: Too much data means too much to sift through. But with tools like Azure Monitor, Operations Management Suite (OMS), Azure Security Center (ASC), etc. having all these data points is best.

Let the tools do the heavy lifting in churning through mountains of logs and data. Leverage the power of the behind-the-scenes machine learning and artificial intelligence against these datasets.

By including diagnostics data from your resources, it will help you to correlate issues with your environment.

The next tool in our series will be Azure Metrics.

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