Azure Monitor – Ask Me Anything – Session Summary

On November 15, 2018, between the hours of 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Azure Monitor team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Twitter.

This is a session where individuals from the Azure Monitor Engineering team are available on hand to answer any questions we may have.

Similar to my summary of the Azure Backup Ask Me Anything session, here is a summary of some of the responses from the Azure Monitor team, which provides insight into what’s coming in the not-too-distant future! I’ve also highlighted keywords to help you skim the content.

PS: If you would like to review the session in full, questions asked, etc. here is the direct Twitter link.

  • The Azure Monitor team is working to make the experience between Application Insights and Log Analytics seamless
  • Work is on-going to bring the Log Analytics data ingestion time down further (currently it is 3-5 minutes for standard logs). More information can be found here: Data ingestion time in Log Analytics
  • Starting in the first half of 2019, there will be a focus to upgrade and overhaul the Log Analytics View Designer and its components
  • There is a unifying journey to bring together all monitoring data (metrics, logs, Azure activity logs, alerts, etc.) under a single API (similar to the Microsoft Security Graph)
    • Currently, all Metrics (Application, Platform, Infrastructure) are available via one API, App, Infrastructure and Custom Logs are consumable via one API, and Azure Activity Logs are available via a single API
    • All Alerts are configurable via one API and can be explored via the ARM APIs
  • Although you can monitor and query across subscriptions with Log Analytics, the Azure Monitor team is working on ways to make it easier to have a single pane of glass across multiple subscriptions
  • For Azure SQL DB, Classic Alerts will be migrated to the “new” Alerts & Metrics platform in early 2019
    • Quote: “Azure Monitor will ensure all classic alerts present will be migrated to the new platform before its closure; if anything goes amiss – we won’t shut the old platform and customers out.”
  • New monitoring, alerting and dashboarding capabilities will be coming to the Azure Government Cloud in early 2019
    • The goal is to have “everything that is available in Commercial Azure, in the Government clouds as well”
  • Azure Monitor regularly runs previews of new capabilities in development through the “What’s New” tab in the Azure Monitor – Overview blade in the Azure portal.
  • The Azure Monitor teams love to receive problem reports via GitHub
  • The recently launched Azure Monitor For VMs feature enabled guest diagnostics that you would normally traditionally see from System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). This is designed to replace SCOM! You can read more about it here: Azure Monitor for VMs (Preview)
    • Next, they will be looking at how to support workload-level monitoring (similar to what we currently get from SCOM Management Packs), with best practices, default thresholds, etc.
    • SQL Server is one of the top workloads being prioritized for the 1st half of next year
  • With the recently launched ability to analyze Azure Active Directory (AAD) logs with Log Analytics, you can monitor User sign-in failures and create Alerts based on this
  • One item in the Azure Monitor team’s backlog is to enable a Partner View for Alerts, which will facilitate a better multi-tenancy experience for Service Providers and their customers
  • Azure Monitor is also exploring the option of combining Log Analytics and Application Insights data into the same unified Workspace. They are currently completing the merging of the two backend pipelines
  • There is a high priority effort undergoing to consolidate and combine all the existing Agents into a single one!
    • Currently, we have: Azure IaaS Diagnostics, Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA), Dependency Agent, OMS, Infrastructure Insights, Monitor, Service Health, Log Analytics
  • We are thinking about a more friendly graphical interface to building Log Analytics queries
  • You can use Azure Monitor to retrieve telemetry and information on Azure Load Balancers and create Metric Alerts when it exceeds your thresholds
  • For Serverless applications, Azure Functions v2 will automatically add Application Insights, and different functions are set up as different roles for separation
    • If you are also using the latest SDKs, automatic correlation of transactions and mapping them also occurs
    • Support for connecting components across queries is on the backlog
  • Azure Monitor for Containers will be adding features next year for supporting Azure Container Instances and Service Fabric Mesh Infrastructure monitoring
  • Additional improvements are planned for the Grafana plugin for Azure Monitor, along with more flexible dashboards in Azure Monitor natively
  • There are currently no plans to replace the Hyper-V Capacity solution for Log Analytics (unless there is a big change in demand for it)
  • We are working to simplify/streamline our solution framework, make it easy and become more prescriptive for teams to produce and share Solutions for Log Analytics
  • Currently, there are no immediate plans to provide expanded options for View Designer tiles (i.e. Assessment solution type tiles/layouts, Change Track swimlanes, NPM multi-blocks, etc.)
  • A preview for the upcoming Maintenance Mode for Azure Monitor Alerts is expected in January 2019

Conclusion

A big THANK YOU goes out to the Azure Monitor team, and their efforts to answer everyone’s questions.

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