Monitor Key Metrics for Azure Services and Workloads with Wavefront

September 12, 2018 Chhavi Nijhawan

Public cloud adoption is on the rise and if you look at the major players in the public cloud space, Microsoft Azure (Azure) is the second most popular after Amazon Web Services (AWS), and gaining share. The Wavefront platform already has an advanced suite of integrations with AWS, but in response to increasing demand from our customers, we have now added a suite of integrations with Azure, making visualization, monitoring and alerting of Azure resources and services much easier.

According to RightScale’s 2018 Report, Azure continues to grow quickly and reduce the AWS lead, especially among enterprises

In this blog, I’ll cover key Azure metrics to monitor, provide details on Wavefront Azure integrations and go over some cost benefits of monitoring Azure metrics in Wavefront. Before I go into the details, it’s important to note that Wavefront Azure integrations (in fact all Wavefront integrations) come with pre-built dashboards that help you visualize and monitor the health of your Azure resources out-of-the-box, making cloud monitoring easy. You can customize the pre-built dashboards based on your needs. Additionally, alerting and analytics are also included in the Wavefront platform. To check it out yourself after reading this blog, give Wavefront a try using our free 30-day trial.

Key Azure Metrics DevOps and SRE Teams Must Monitor

Base-level infrastructure metrics, granular performance and utilization metrics for most services in Azure are provided by Azure Monitor. For details on the metrics that the Azure Monitor supports, see the documentation. Once the Wavefront Azure integration is set up, Wavefront automatically ingests the Azure metrics streams using the Azure Monitor APIs. You can browse all the available Azure metrics in Wavefront’s metric browser, as shown below.

Easily browse Azure metrics in Wavefront

As you can see, there are many different metrics for different Azure services. To get a full picture of the health of all services and corresponding resources, DevOps and SRE teams often categorize metrics into four categories, i.e. Capacity, Errors, Latency, and Throughput. Below are some of the key Azure metrics to monitor for Azure services like Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Storage Accounts, and Web Apps.

Key metrics to monitor for different Azure services

Easily Monitor Azure Virtual Machines, Scale Sets, Storage Accounts and Container Instances with Pre-built Dashboards

Whether you are using Azure Virtual Machines or have Virtual Machine scale sets configured to deploy, manage and auto-scale identical VMs for large-scale applications, or have a containerized environment using Azure containers, in each case, you can easily monitor all your Azure resources using the Wavefront Azure Integrations.

As mentioned earlier, all integrations come with pre-built dashboards, that show you a view of all your resources, in an easy to filter and customizable dashboard. The snapshot below shows the Wavefront dashboard for Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets. In one glance, you can see:

An Overview dashboard of Azure Scale Sets across different subscriptions, regions and resource groups
Top 10 Stats such as top 10 VMs by CPU utilization or network in/out for selected resource groups
Performance Metrics such as CPU utilization, disk read and write bytes, IOPS and network in and out throughput for selected Scale Set
Auto Scaling metrics such as observed capacity, scale actions initiated and metric threshold vs. value

All dashboards are driven by Wavefront’s powerful Query Language and can be easily customized to your needs.

Pre-built Wavefront dashboard for Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets

Similar dashboards are included for Azure Virtual Machine instances, Azure Storage Accounts and Azure Container instances as well. The following snapshot is the dashboard for Azure Storage Accounts, which shows all active Azure storage accounts, and corresponding metrics such as account used capacity, total transactions, ingress, Server latency and E2E latency.

Pre-built Wavefront dashboard for Azure Storage Accounts

Wavefront Azure Integrations Deliver Analytics and Smart Alerts

Once the metrics are flowing into Wavefront, you can issue smart queries, using Wavefront Query Language and quickly understand overall usage and patterns seen in your Azure environment. For instance, the chart below compares average CPU utilization of my Azure Virtual Machine instances and compares it to the average seen a week ago. Looking at this chart, I can easily see that last week average CPU utilization spiked at almost the same time as this week, but the spike is much less this week. Building such queries and comparisons is easy. Please refer to the documentation for learning more about the powerful Wavefront Query Language.

Quickly diagnose issues in your Azure environment, using powerful Wavefront Query Language

Moreover, you can create smart alerts and send alert notifications on multiple alert channels including email, PagerDuty, Slack, VictorOps, ServiceNow, Jira, HipChat and Webhooks.


Alert Notification Channels

In addition to the pre-built dashboards, the powerful Query Language, and the capability to create smart alerts across multiple notification channels, Wavefront also offers some more cost related benefits such as:

Long-term storage of metrics included: Wavefront stores metrics for the long term without roll-ups, with no additional cost as opposed to 90 days metrics storage in Azure
No additional cost for setting up alerts: Wavefront does not charge anything additional for (any number of) alerts whereas Azure charges beyond the first ten metric alerts
No additional cost for alert notifications: Wavefront does not charge additional for (any number of) alert notification as compared to Azure which charges for each notification beyond what’s included in the free tier

Setting up Azure Integrations is Easy

Wavefront is a SaaS solution, so minimal setup and zero maintenance or patching needed to run Wavefront, as compared to traditional monitoring solutions. Adding an Azure cloud integration in Wavefront is a one-time setup, which involves establishing a trust relationship between Azure and Wavefront. Wavefront only needs reader access to the Azure subscription. Once the trust relationship is established, the Wavefront platform automatically pulls in all the metrics and populates the dashboards. Of course, you can fully monitor your application workloads running on Azure as well. You can query any ingested metric and customize any dashboard, based on your needs. For details on the setup process, follow the instructions in the Setup UI or refer to the documentation.


Wavefront is a cloud-native monitoring and analytics platform. Using Wavefront, you can easily visualize, analyze and alert on metrics from different environments such as multiple clouds (AWS, Azure, GCP), Kubernetes, Pivotal Container Service (PKS), web apps, data stores and metrics sent directly from code. Wavefront provides built-in integrations for Microsoft Azure with dashboards for Azure Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Container Instances, and Storage. Using the powerful Wavefront Query Language and packaged dashboards, you can easily view, query and alert on Azure resource metrics. Please refer to documentation, for a full list of Wavefront integrations. Also, you can refer to this video, to learn more about how to ingest metrics into Wavefront. Even better, go ahead and give Wavefront a try using our free-trial.

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The post Monitor Key Metrics for Azure Services and Workloads with Wavefront appeared first on Wavefront by VMware.

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