Pwning your logs and system-wide alerting
As the compute and service resource offerings have matured, Azure has begun to add features to consolidate the UI/UX of its support tools. One of my favorite tools in that toolbox is Azure Log Analytics, built on top of a newly integrated query language from Application Insights (another great tool, this one powering analytics for web applications).
In addition to using the new query language, Log Analytics has just this month begun to move major functionality from the Operations Management Suite (OMS) directly into the Azure Portal.
Let’s take a look at what this tool can do – now that it is accessible right from Azure.
Previously, the Log Analytics insights, charts, and query results were confined to the OMS workspace. Now, you can use them in a number of places in Azure.
The most visible feature in the Azure Log Analytics are the charts and graphs. Fully customizable, you can chart just about anything you can think of. These charts are backed by the query language to give you the ability to bring immediate visualization to the queries you run most often. And because you can edit and create them on the fly, you can easily add new charts if you’re watching a specific task or have a new reporting mandate.
Overview or Dashboard (I’ll take both, please)
Azure Log Analytics allows you to define an overview and a dashboard for specific use domains. This gives you the ability to define tiles that give you important information at a glance, for use on a large display monitor (YESSSS!) or just quick checking. If you see something amiss or something you need to check, click right on the tile and you’re right into the dashboard with detailed information and charting about that subject.
In fact, Azure has already defined and pre-packaged a number of use domains into configurable presets called:
Solutions cover many of the common use cases for centralized logging and alerting. Pictured above is the solution for Change Tracking. Any changes that are made to servers enrolled in my log analytics workspace show up in this solution dashboard, giving me a great way to stay on top of a large constellation of servers and services.
Finally, you can now query logs across your enrolled systems (VMs, on-premise machines, Azure services) from a single centralized place. From the query results, you can edit and refine the query or dump it right to a text file to run the query in PowerBI (opening up limitless possibilities for visuals).
More to come in 70-533!
If you’re looking for more, I’m working on the latest Azure content that will be released among the 150+ new hands-on training coming in July! Watch for my upcoming course and tune in to the live show on July 31st at 10:30AM CDT if you have any questions for me!