Design a monitoring strategy

Operations Manager is the primary monitoring component within System Center which integrates with other Azure services. On-premise SCOM deployments can integrate with Azure through deployment of the Azure Management Pack for Operations Manager.

The ideal configuration, particularly when a larger number of systems are deployed on Azure is to deploy a SCOM Gateway server. Systems can be configured as proxy agents to monitor other systems which are not directly accessible. TCP port 5723 is used for monitoring traffic.

By uploading the SCOM server Public Key to Azure Storage it is possibly to collect data from the Azure Monitor and Diagnostic Service (Windows, Azure, App Sources, Counters, Events, Logs, Dumps).

Azure build in monitoring capabilities include:

  • Default metrics (CPU usage, disk read / write, network in / out)
  • Web apps metrics (CPU time, data in / out, HTTP server errors, requests)
  • Application diagnostics and logging:
    • Application Logging (File System) – access from FTP share for web app
    • Application Logging (Table Storage) – access from specified field table
    • Application Logging (Blob Storage) – access from blob container

Configure application logging, certificate authentication and verbose logging for additional logging and statistics.

3rd party tools are also available often through the marketplace:

Global Service Monitor is an Azure cloud service which works with SCOM to monitors web applications from an end-user perspective and can help identify issues with DNS, network connectivity, etc.

Application Insights provides deep insight into your applications running on a VM or web role and integrates with SCOM to provide a single consolidated view.

When designing application resiliency consider the use of:

  • Availability Sets to split instances across Fault and Update Domains
  • 2 Fault Domains exist in Azure
  • Up to 20 Update (or Upgrade) Domains can be used but only 5 are by default
  • Use Virtual IP (VIP) Swap to test application upgrades

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